Steel and Lace
Video stores, already glutted with where-did-they-come-from exploitation flicks, now have two new entries in the sleaz-o-matic sweepstakes. Bad Girls From Mars, despite the intentionally misleading title, is not a soft-core sci-fi epic; rather, it’s an attempted (read: utterly lame) slasher comedy about the making of a soft-core sci-fi epic. Directed by legendarily incompetent Fred Olen Ray (of such grade-Z efforts as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers), the movie features former Russ Meyer bimbo-type Edy Williams (frequently nude but, alas, a trifle long in the tooth) and the usual parade of morally stunted characters (everybody is either a killer, a rapist, or a slut). On the whole, the movie’s almost — and we mean almost — too stupid to be painfully offensive.
Steel and Lace, on the other hand, while hardly spiritually uplifting, at least feels sort of like a real movie. True, the plot is standard genre nonsense — rape victim is reincarnated as murderous android — and the production values are sub-TV. But the dialogue has zip, the slasher stuff is imaginatively staged, and the highly underrated Bruce Davison (who has since gone on to better things, such as a leading role in Longtime Companion) invests his sketchily written mad-scientist role with enormous, though probably unnecessary, dignity.
Bad Girls: D- Steel and Lace: B-