The Wasp Woman/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
A scientist working with beekeepers named Dr. Zinthrop (Michael Mark) is fired from his job because he is developing a new serum from the Royal Jelly of wasps. Zinthrop is dissapointed but he quickly gets an idea. He pays a visit to the Starlin Cosmetics company which is run by Janice Starlin (Susan Cabot). Janice was the cover model for the company for many years, but she now looks tired and has bags under her eyes. Dr. Zinthrop explains his current experiments with the wasp's Royal Jelly to Janice and lets her know it has extraordinary effects. To prove he's not some screwball, he injects the serum into a cat and it transforms back into a kitten. Janice Starlin is excited by his discovery and she realizes that if she can be Dr. Zinthrop's first human prototype and get the serum to work on her, she can help the business prosper and get her own beauty back again. Dr. Zinthrop certainly needs the work so he gives Janice the serum and amazingly she becomes a young, vivacious woman again. The only side effect is that she now will change into a human wasp queen and go on a bloody rampage!!
Even though The Wasp Woman is another smaller production, you can see Roger Corman had a great eye for direction and pacing. The acting in the film is not over the top and silly. Its played straight and this adds to the films overall impact alot. While the Wasp Woman makeup FX aren't incredible, they are good enough to serve the story and theres enough shock developed from the attack scenes to overlook the cheap design. Theres no doubt that The Wasp Woman was heavily influenced by the smash hit, The Fly (1958) which came out a year earlier. If you look closely you can also see some of the beginnings of ideas and themes that Corman would revisit a few years later in his cult classic X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes (1963). The Wasp Woman is an entertaining older sci-fi/horror film that longtime Roger Corman fans will want to check out!
Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.