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The Wasp Woman (1959)

As promised another review from a movie pack. This time the honor goes to another Roger Corman movie, the king of bee movies (lame pun), The Wasp Woman also know as The Bee Girl from Sci-Fi Classics 50 Movie Pack. While this movie also got a remake it is a lot less popular then little shop of horrors (read my review).
  • Year of release: 1960
  • Director: Roger Corman
  • Genre: Comedy, Horror
  • IMDB Page
Janice Starlin, played by Susan Cabot whom we know from euh virtually nothing, is the owner of a large international cosmetic company. Not only the owner but also the face of the company and its marketing campain, but when sales starts to drop she has to admit that it is because she is getting old.
What do you mean I'm getting ugly?

She lost her good looks and well thats all that matters in a woman (at least back than). Luckly we are introduced to our mad scientist Dr. Eric Zinthrop, played by Michael Mark from from Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe), who isn't all that mad this time around (what a twist!). He found a way to reverse the aging process by extracting enzymes from the royal jelly of wasp queens. After receiving a letter from him Janice contacts him, desperate that she is to try anything. Dr. Eric Zinthrop performs his magic and makes an old guinea pig into a young white rat (I guess they didn't have to budget to get a young guinea pig?). Starlin agrees to pay for his reseach on one condition, that she can serve as a human subject. And what do you know, it works, day after day miss Starlin gets younger, and like all young people she has no patience anymore. So instead of listening to the advice of Zinthrop she breaks into his office and gets herself extra doses of the potion.
The guard looks like a mix between Hardy and Indiana Jones.

Now Zinthrop himself has noticed some strange things with his other non-human test creatures and goes out to warn her in person, when what do you know he gets run over by a car! After a lot of trouble Janice manges to find him and is able to take care of him herself by letting him recover in her own company. Janice continues to excessively use the potions that Zinthrop made, and in just a single weekend she has gotten about twenty years younger but there are some nasty side-effects she turns into a murderous queen wasp (actually just herself with a wasp mask and a black sweater).
Look at my all young and beautiful again.

Our lovely killer were-wasp kills 3 people before Zinthrop (who only just got better) kills here with acid (the exact same thing I use to kill bees and wasps around the house).
Looks legit
And thus ends this parable with the message that you have to be glad with what you have instead of turning into a killer wasp queen (or something like that).
It's obvious that Corman was inspired by the success that "The Fly" has gotten not long before this one. Not only does somebody also transform into an insect, take a loot at the movie poster, the "monster" looks nothing like this (quite the opposite actually with a wasp head and a human body). Maybe they first wanted to get the monster like this but the extreme low budget (It's a Corman film what did you expect) made them change their minds.
No! I'm allergic.

The bad costume is really a shame, especially if you compare it with the fly and the production is quite underwhelming. Not only that but it takes a long time before we see the monster and things start to get more interesting. If it wasn't for the low budget I am sure this movie would be one of the more memorable flicks, the story is quite original, the scientist does not force his guinea pig but it's the other way around. It's the woman who is to greedy to return to her former beauty that thrives the plot, and if you think about it, it is our society itself that makes our protagonist into our antagonist.
All in all a fun movie to watch, but it could be so much more.

Score: 6.5/10
Note: I haven't seen the remake yet but I ought to check it out.
Again the print on the sci-fi box is the same that can be found online and is quite bad. It is way to dark, making it sometimes very difficult to follow the more action based scenes. It's a shame but it is nothing less than I expected.


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