One of the things that fascinates me about the world of Ufology is the way in which it – and its attendant reports of alien-human contact – has influenced movie-makers. Take a look at, for example, Close Encounters of the Third Kind; E.T.: The Extraterrestrial; Men in Black; and Independence Day. But, I’m also intrigued by the exact opposite: namely, how fictional, UFO-themed films may have influenced the field of flying saucer-based research and reports. Sometimes it’s very difficult to determine who took inspiration and ideas from who first. A perfect example of this is a certain Devil Girl From Mars.
An old (1954) British, black and white science-fiction film, Devil Girl From Mars starred Patricia Laffan as the Devil Girl of the movie’s title. It also starred Hazel Court (who appeared in a number of the classic Hammer horror films of the late 1950s and 1960s), and John Laurie, a Scottish character-actor best known in Britain for his role as Fraser in the BBC comedy of the late 1960s and 1970s, Dad’s Army.
Basically, the film tells the story of a hot alien babe from Mars named Nyah, who spends the whole time clad in a tight-fitting black outfit, black cloak and long black-boots – most certainly not something to complain about!
She comes to our world to seek out males to help boost the waning Martian population. As Nyah reveals to those she encounters, Mars has been decimated as a result of a war on the red planet between males and females, in which the women won. Of course, with the Martian men now utterly gone, this makes breeding more than a significant problem.
Well, personally speaking, having to repopulate a whole planet full of numerous Nyah’s doesn’t sound such a bad job to me at all – but I digress! The plan is for Nyah to land her flying saucer in the very heart of London and announce to the people of the UK – and, soon thereafter, to the entire world – that a program of alien-human breeding is to quickly begin in earnest.
Unfortunately for Nyah, things go deeply awry and her spacecraft comes down near an old inn in the dark wilds of Scotland. It’s an inn that is populated by just the owner, a couple of employees and a handful of guests. And, yes, as you might have quickly guessed, they become the small, heroic band that has to try and thwart Nyah’s dastardly plans to enslave the entire Human Race.
I won’t spoil the outcome for those who may now want to watch the film, but I will say the following: Devil Girl From Mars certainly isn’t a classic of the genre. But it is entertaining and thought-provoking. Not only that: it also contains a number of Contactee-based parallels, too.
For example, Nyah can speak all Earth-based languages, as, reportedly, could a number of the so-called Space-Brothers. She warns of the perils of war and destruction, as did pretty much all of the long-haired and alien ones that absolutely dominated 1950s-era Ufology.
She provides a wealth of obscure scientific data about her craft to those of the group she invites on-board, which is a curious theme present in many Contactee accounts. And she is strangely and noticeably detached and even slightly ethereal – which reminds me very much of Truman Bethurum’s very own alien hotty, Captain Aura Rhanes of Clarion.
On top of that there is the matter of Nyah’s race visiting the Earth as a means to try and save the waning Martian population. Of course, today, we hear a great deal about the so-called Grays and the theories that they are on an evolutionary decline. The result: they come to the Earth to abduct people. They then steal DNA, sperm and eggs, which they use as part of a bizarre and nightmarish program to create a hybrid species that is part-human and part-E.T.
Back in the 1950s, when Devil Girl From Mars was made, many people within Ufology were focusing on the idea that extraterrestrials were here to “save” us from the perils of atomic destruction. For the most part, the idea that inter-species cross-breeding was at the very heart of the alleged alien mission didn’t surface until years later. So, for that reason, it’s interesting that Devil Girl From Mars is so heavily focused around the specific angle of alien-human cross-breeds that dominates so much of alien abduction research today.
I suspect not many people will be aware of Devil Girl From Mars, but for anyone with an affection for the early years of the flying saucer culture (both in the real world and in the domain of on-screen fiction), it’s most definitely worth a watch. Whether Devil Girl From Mars took its inspiration from Ufology, or provided certain characters in the field with a few ideas, themes and memes that then became integral parts of its lore, very much remains to be seen.