Not every film can be a classic. And in the case of these five, it was seemingly never even a possibility…
5) Psychomania – 1971
In 1971, the British film industry was undergoing its 38th crisis since the Second World War – the Hollywood studios had pulled out of London and Hammer was reduced to making On the Buses – The Movie. Psychomania was devised to get the ‘kids’ back into their local cinema with an enticing blend of diabolism, toads, bikers and Beryl Reid. Possibly the only quality zombie-biker-in-Walton-on-Thames film in the entire history of cinema, Psychomania still has a demented glory all of its own.
4) Devil Doll – 1964
Discredited German doctor-turned hypnotist Bryant Halliday has to endure the rigours of a S & M relationship with his ventriloquist’s dummy and the fact that he sports one of the worst glue-on beards in any British film. However, Dr. Bryant is so utterly depraved that he entices beautiful actresses onto the stage in order for him to force them into spectacularly bad twist dancing against their will. The cad!
3) The Night of the Big Heat – 1967
The cast is good – Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee – and the director is none other than Terence Fisher but Night of the Big Heat suffers from aliens that bear a deeply unfortunate similarity to poached eggs. This problem not withstanding, the invaders manage to destroy several decent cars – a Ford Consul Mk.1, a Triumph Renown and a Humber Hawk – and turn Kenneth Cope into a sex-crazed maniac.2) Killer’s Moon – 1975
A great critic once described this offering as Carry On Clockwork Orange and it really has to be seen to be disbelieved. The story so far – a coach party of 25 year old school girls is stranded in the Lake District at the same time as four lunatics, all suffering from LSD treatment, escape from the local asylum. Also starring a three-legged dog and actors who visibly fluff their cues on camera, the most astounding aspect of this epic is the source of some of the script – one Fay Wheldon…
1) Devil Girl From Mars – 1954
“You puny fools!” An everyday story of Miss Nyah, a Martianess who favours black leather uniforms – and who has clearly learned English via long-wave broadcasts of the BBC Home Service – coming to a remote Scottish inn in order to kidnap B-film leading men for mating purposes. To assist her in her foul quest, Nyah can call upon her ‘indestructible robot’ Chani, whose powers are in no way hampered by his being a disused petrol pump mounted on castors. Played with straight-faced elan by the magnificent Patricia Laffan, Nyah is one of the finest creations of any sci-fi film and there is more entertainment value in one reel of Devil Girl From Mars than in the entire bloated running time of Independence Day.
Agree? Disagree? Head to the comments…