The Wasp Woman (1959)
Directed by Roger Corman
Susan Cabot stars in The Wasp Woman as
cosmetics company owner Janice Starlin, who is worried about
her company's flagging sales. Sales for the last fiscal quarter are
down by fourteen and a half percent; she tells her senior staff members
and demands an explanation. To one member of her team, Bill Lane, the
problem is obvious and he tells her so: it's her. Miss
Starling has always been the face of Starling Cosmetics, but that is no
longer the case. Janice is getting older and now, after sixteen years,
a new and younger face features in the company's advertising campaigns.
The company was built, he tells her, on the strength and appeal of one
person: Janice Starling and Janice Starling Cosmetics should have
Janice Starling's picture advertising them.
Enter Scientist Eric Zinthrop.
Zinthrop's last employer was paying him to research the values of Royal
Jelly and Royal Jelly comes from bees. So, as you can imagine, the
people signing Zinthrop's paycheck were less than impressed to discover
that he was actually working with wasps. Zinthrop tried to explain that
he'd made some significant success in reversing the aging process and
it was all because of wasp royal jelly. His employers are not
interested though, and tell him to buzz off which is just what the
nutty professor does and he makes a beeline for Starlin Cosmetics.
Zinthrop needs somewhere to continue his experiments and Janice Starlin
needs a way to turn back her biological clock, so, after a little
demonstration with a guinea pig, Janice gives Zinthrop a job and tells
her people to provide him with everything he needs. Janice does impose
one condition on Zinthrop though: she is to be his first human guinea
pig. The professor agrees and is soon injecting his concoction into his
new employer on a regular basis. The treatment is a success and
Starlin's secretary is soon telling her that she could pass for twenty
three, or maybe even twenty-two. If this sounds like a happy ending, I
am sorry to disappoint you, it is only the start because the treatment
has some rather nasty side effects and the queen bee of Starling
Cosmetics is winging her way to disaster.
The original version of The Wasp Woman is 73 minutes long, but some versions have been cut to just 54 minutes. The
story is very basic, but so are a lot of stories. The special effects
are minimal, but the same can be said of a lot of older films and yet
they do not drag like The Wasp Woman.
One problem with the movie may be that it is hard to feel sympathetic
towards any of the characters and they are quite hard to like.
Susan Cabot ... Janice Starlin
Anthony Eisley ... Bill Lane
Barboura Morris ... Mary Dennison
William Roerick ... Arthur Cooper
Michael Mark ... Eric Zinthrop
Frank Gerstle ... Les Hellman
Bruno VeSota ... Night watchman
Roy Gordon ... Paul Thompson
Carolyn Hughes ... Jean Carson
Lynn Cartwright ... Maureen Reardon
Frank Wolff ... Man
Lani Mars ... Secretary
Phillip Barry ... Man
This text will be replaced
and select "save as")
Or Buy on Disc