Devil Girl From Mars (1954/Network U.K./PAL/Region 2 DVD)/Femme Fatales – The Complete Second Season
(2013/E1 DVDs)/Legend Drive-In Double
Feature – Cult Horror Night (with Bela Lugosi in Corpse Vanishes and Voodoo
Man) + Exploitation Film Night (Cocaine Fiends/Reefer Madness/Legend DVDs)/Super
Storm (2011/Anchor Bay Blu-ray)
Picture: C/C/C/B- Sound: C/C+/C/B- Extras: C/C/C/D Main Programs: C/C/C/D
PLEASE NOTE: The Devil Girl From Mars Region Two PAL
import DVD is only available in the U.K.
from our friends at Network U.K.
and can be ordered from them exclusively at the website address link provided below
at the end of the review.
the latest exploitation and B-movie releases…
MacDonald’s Devil Girl From Mars
(1954) is not a great Science Fiction film by any standard, but it is pretty
good at being a British version of bad U.S.,
other B-movie tales of deadly alien women coming to our planet to find men to
breed with. Worth catching with Ed Wood,
Roger Corman and other such black and white howlers ready for the MST3K treatment, Patricia Laffan plays
the lead Mars Woman arriving at a Scottish Inn to do business (i.e.,
kidnapping) and this is atmospheric to its advantage.
the script is flat and silly, maybe not silly enough, but the sets are a hoot, Hazel Court, John
Laurie and Adrienne Corri are a plus in the supporting roles and just to see a
British variant of the same old thing is something all fans of this genre
should see once.
include a PDF DVD-ROM accessible Press Book and an Image Gallery.
Femme Fatales – The Complete
(2013) follow-up the debut season we covered at this link:
second season is more of the same, but any attempts to be like real Noir films
(which the makers proved in the extras on the last set they did not understand
it) has been tossed aside so these new shows (all 12) are sleazier, more
violent and the sexuality is less appealing (as compared to the last season,
which at least tried to be titillating).
Again, we get some ideas that could and should work even on a basic
level, but do not, but someone is watching, so is this a cult item in the
include audio commentaries on all episodes including the International Version
of the Libra episode, five making of
featurettes, 2012 San Diego Comic Con presentation, the premiere party of this
season and Deleted Scenes.
Video is the latest company to offer Drive-In styled double feature DVDS that
try to recreate the experience driving to one and staying there for the fun of
it in two new releases dubbed (logically) the Legend Drive-In Double Feature.
One set is subtitled the Cult
Horror Night and features two B-movies with Bela Lugosi in his usual
villain role: Corpse Vanishes (1942)
and William Beaudine’s Voodoo Man
(1944 with John Carradine & George Zucco adding to the unintentional
laughs), then we have the Exploitation
Film Night with Cocaine Fiends
and Reefer Madness (both 1936). They are bad, so bad they are really bad and
more than a few people will find these a hoot.
IN the case of Reefer Madness,
we covered a spoofing of the film and a Musical version of the film, but this
is the first time we have covered the film on its own in any format, though it
is always imprint being public domain and all.
read about the other versions at these links:
Rifftrax Version DVD
Lugosi films are worth seeing once, but they are not great, while the latter
beware-of-drugs films are sadly out of wack and confused beyond belief, but
post-counterculture remain talked about for their naďve quaintness. This is an interesting way to see these films
and we’ll see what Legend comes up with next.
extras on both discs are trailers and Drive-in Theater instructionals and
concession stand ads before, between & after the films.
have saved the least for last in Sheldon Wilson’s awful Super Storm (2011) where the storm might be caused by an evil,
angry force from above that just wants to zap and kill people to be hateful and
mean! Made in Canada for TV and co-starring X-Files alum Mitch Pileggi, the only
thing worse than the digital visual eff3ects are the dumb teleplay that is so
flatly bad that it is boring and does not have the energy or originality of the
B-movies above from over half-a-century and counting.
very, very curious would waste their time on this dud, but it is much worse
than my description has it as the makers seem as joyless as everything else
X 1 black and white image on Devil
is a little better than the prints on the Drive-in
DVDs, but not by much as this transfer is a bit soft and the 1080p 1.78 X 1
digital High Definition image on the Fatale
episodes are HD shoots with their own motion blue r issues all over the place,
even more so than the debut season. As a
result, they all look softer than they should and only the Drive-in DVDs have an excuse for looking so bad. That means sadly, the anamorphically enhanced
1.78 X 1 image on Storm is the best image performer here, but even it has bad
digital visual work, softness, motion blur and color limits.
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Devil and
the Drive-in DVDs show their age
with Devil slightly cleaner by a
narrow margin, but they are the poor performers as expected. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Fatale episodes are too much towards
the front speakers and though better than the old monophonic sound films,
should be more active, leaving the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 on Storm the sonic champ by default and even it has mixing issues,
sound that can be too silly in sweetened, overly loud sound effects and it too
is more towards the speakers than I would have liked.
above, you can order the Devil Girl From
Mars PAL DVD import exclusively from Network U.K. at:
- Nicholas Sheffo