THE WASP WOMAN A Beautiful Woman by Day?A Lusting Queen Wasp by Night! [ Roger Corman, king of the cult classics, produced and directed this low-budget fear-fest, and even makes an uncredited cameo appearance as a doctor i... more »n one of the hospital scenes. Susan Cabot (Sorority Girl) plays Janice Starlin, whose cosmetics company has started to lose sales, because its marketing relies on her own once-impressive but now aging beauty. The eccentric Eric Zinthrop (Michael Mark) develops an enzyme extract from royal wasp jelly, which rejuvenates Janice, with one tiny little side effect: it turns her into a monster! Written by frequent Corman collaborator Leo Gordon (The Terror), this co-stars Anthony (aka Fred) Eisley (Dracula Vs. Frankenstein) and Barboura Morris (A Bucket of Blood). Approximately 72 minutes Black and White« less
Oh, Roger Corman, where is thy sting? Oh, here it is
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 02/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've got to hand it to Roger Corman for this one; Wasp Woman is a pretty darn good movie (albeit with vintage Corman-esque not so special effects). The film starts off with a whimper, giving us a boring look at bee farming before introducing us to Dr. Zinthrop, who is promptly fired for wasting his time experimenting with wasps. Then we are taken to the boardroom of Janice Starlin Enterprises, a cosmetics company facing lean times because the face that has always sold the product, that of Janice herself, is not as young as it used to be. Enter Dr. Zinthrop and his fantastic story of restoring youth with a wonder-working extract taken from queen wasps. After he turns two old rabbits into young bunnies before her eyes, Janice believes him and insists that she will be his first human test subject. The rest of the company bigshots are increasingly concerned by the secrecy around Zinthrop's work, but even they cannot deny the new youthful face of their leader (accomplished mainly by taking away her old maid glasses and having her smile more often). Unfortunately, Janice secretly injected herself with the experimental, much more concentrated extract in order to hasten the process, and poor Zinthrop gets run over by a car before he can warn her of its rather disturbing side effects. Thus, we are left with several Starling associates trying to find out what is really going on. They think Janice is in danger, but in fact they are the ones in danger. Janice's headaches are indicative of a much more significant problem; from time to time, she turns into a giant wasp who is less than civil to her underlings. The whole wasp woman getup is pretty ridiculous-looking, but one can look past such silly special effects and enjoy the movie for the fun, B-movie classic it is. The acting is unusually good for a Corman movie, and Susan Cabot particularly shines as Janice Starling. I've seen a number of Roger Corman movies, and this 1960 offering is by far the best of the bunch as far as I am concerned."
A beautiful woman by day - a lusting queen wasp by night.
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 02/22/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"From Roger Corman, one of the most prolific director/producers in Hollywood, comes The Wasp Woman (1960), a film that was most probably influenced by 1958's The Fly, with Vincent Price. Hey, if Hollywood can turn a man into a fly, why not turn a woman into a wasp? Well, no one ever accused Corman of originality.
The movie opens up with a scientist getting fired from a company the produces honey as he is doing some strange experimentation. Seems the Scientist, Eric Zinthrop, played by Michael Mark, has been exploring the notion of using royal jelly to create a rejuvenation formula. After getting fired, Zinthrop contacts Janice Starlin, played by Susan Cabot, the head of Starlin Cosmetics. Starlin Cosmetics is losing sales due to the fact that Ms. Starlin was the only spokesperson for the cosmetics, and now that she is aging, sales are falling off. After talking to Zinthrop and seeing his success on turning back time with various animals, she hires him on, sets him up in a lab, and they begin treatments on her. The process appears to be working, but Ms. Starlin becomes impatient, wanting more results quicker, so she secretly starts injecting herself with the formula. What happens? Take a guess...I mean, the movie is titled The Wasp Woman.
The acting wasn't bad, but we didn't even see the wasp woman until almost an hour into this rather talky feature. There are some bloody deaths, and the make up to create the wasp woman isn't all that bad, but the movie would have benefited from not making us wait so long in seeing the creature, filling up the 73 minute run time with nonsensical plot threads that don't develop.
Alpha Video provides an exceptionally poor print here, as the film has all kinds of blemishes and even drops out briefly at a couple of points. The picture appears washed out, and the audio is pretty poor. No special features here in this barebones release, not even a trailer, but for under ten bucks I wasn't expecting much. Now that I've experienced the quality of Alpha Video, I doubt I will buy any more of their releases. I would recommend someone interested in owning this movie on DVD to do a little research, as I have since found out a number of companies have released a version, some even on double bills with other movies. I will say the cover art on the Alpha Video release looks enticing, but, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for here.
Do Wasps Molt?
Robert I. Hedges | 02/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Doctor Eric Zinthrop is a run of the mill mad scientist of vague and indefinable European descent who loves wasps. He gets fired from one job during the rising action (if you can call it that) and appeals to the aging head of a cosmetics company to fund his research. The vain Janice Starlin (played to the hilt by Susan Cabot) agrees to hire him after watching a (very Cormanesque) demonstration in which Zinthrop turns guinea pigs into rats. Later (offscreen) we are supposed to believe that he turns a huge wild cat into a cute gray kitten. (What kind of cat did it start as with that coloration? A puma?) Miss Starlin is sold, hires him, and begins taking the age-reducing injections herself.
After a plotpoint of extremely dubious credibility, Zinthrop gets hit by a car (apparently) and lapses into a coma. Starlin speeds up her own treatments (she has reduced her age from 40 to around 23 we are told via some talky exposition) but there are side effects. We are not a bit surprised, as it's almost an hour into the film before we finally get to gaze upon the wasp woman, who, of course, is Starlin.
I have seen most of Roger Corman's films, and count myself a fan of his brand of camp, but this is one of the mangiest monster costumes in film history. The wasp does not fly (obviously that was not in the budget) and appears more like a psychopathic black ruffed lemur or a marmoset of some sort with fangs and horns. In other words, it looks absolutely nothing at all like a wasp. This is the sole reason I am giving the film three stars. The rest of the movie rates on the two star level, but the appearance of the wasp woman is delightful to bad movie fans of all types.
The movie is fairly slow, and mainly takes place in one office building, so it really isn't visually stunning, but Susan Cabot does a good job in her role, and truthfully most of the other actors are a bit better than this genre normally sees in roles of this ilk. Please do not miss a cameo role by Bruno VeSota as a drunken security guard with his own comic relief theme song. Bruno is looking pretty rough here, actually, but six years later cleaned up nicely in his tour-de-force performance in Jerry Warren's truly stunning "Wild Wild World of Batwoman."
This is a good, though not terribly exciting, example of the giant mutated monster genre so popular in the middle of the last century. As a bonus, please enjoy the hilarious box art (from the original poster) and compare it to the actual wasp woman. I suspect that you will notice an uncanny and total lack of resemblance.
larryj1 | AZ, USA | 06/28/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"All I can say is the 1-star is for the Good Times DVD. They have their logo throughout the film, thereby ruining it for the viewer and rendering the DVD useless."
Campy, corny schlock!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 06/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What the hell was Roger Corman on when he made this turkey? Anyway, the movie is so bad, it's good! Susan Cabot and Barboura Morris star in this sordid tale of a cosmestics empire magnate and her desire to hold onto her fading looks.Enter a kooky scientist who has a miracle formula that is taken from queen wasps, and once injected will make you stay young forever!Needless to say, poor Susan gets hooked on the stuff and turns into a wasp creature that goes on a killing spree.A great B-movie, and very enjoyable. Being a huge fan, I purchased the Elvira's Midnight Madness edition from Rhino Video. If you love Elvira and schloky B-movies, you will love this edition of this timeless shocker."