4.7/10
3,952
105 user 55 critic

The Wasp Woman (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 30 October 1959 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
The head of a major cosmetics company experiments on herself with a youth formula made from royal jelly extracted from wasps, but the formula's side effects have deadly consequences.

Director:

Roger Corman

Writers:

Leo Gordon (screenplay), Kinta Zertuche (story)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Cabot ... Janice Starlin
Anthony Eisley ... Bill Lane (as Fred Eisley)
Barboura Morris Barboura Morris ... Mary Dennison
William Roerick William Roerick ... Arthur Cooper
Michael Mark ... Eric Zinthrop
Frank Gerstle ... Les Hellman
Bruno VeSota ... Night Watchman (as Bruno Ve Sota)
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... Paul Thompson
Carolyn Hughes Carolyn Hughes ... Jean Carson
Lynn Cartwright ... Maureen Reardon
Frank Wolff ... First Delivery Man
Lani Mars Lani Mars ... Nurse
Philip Barry Philip Barry ... Second Delivery Man (as Phillip Barry)
Edit

Storyline

Janice Starlin, the owner of a cosmetics firm, sees that her fading beauty is not only causing waves in her personal life but causing some prestige problems for her also-fading business. She becomes an easy mark for a pseudo-scientist, Eric Zinthrop, who claims to have developed a serum from the enzymes of wasps that will turn aging skin to youthful-looking skin. The second-best thing to a time machine. She, without any hesitation, agrees to be the first human to try the Zinthro injections. But, as her beauty returns, her secretary, Mary Dennison, and her advertising executive, Bill Lane, notices she is also having a personality change and it isn't for the better, albeit she was no Miss Congegeniality to begin with. Then, Zinthrop gets hit by an automobile, for plot-development purposes, and is somewhat incapacitated and not in any shape to be whipping up any new batches of Zinthrop's Wasp Enzyme Injection Serum and, without her enzyme injections, Janice turns into a wasp-like woman ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A beautiful woman by day - a lusting queen wasp by night. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Susan Cabot. See more »

Goofs

When Janice is giving the positive outlook to her board members in the conference room, the camera moves to the back of the large table and you can clearly see the shadows of the camera and some crew members on one of the chairs. See more »

Quotes

Bill Lane: You're as bad as she is! Oh, women!
Mary Dennison: Men! Every time you search for an answer, you always come up with women. You're not getting out of this one so easily. I'd like to know why you think Zinthrop really hasn't got something.
Bill Lane: Well, you can call it male intuition if you like... except there's something about this whole business that doesn't smell right... a private laboratory! A secret experiment! Zinthrop himself! The only thing missing is a genie with a lamp!
See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film was sold to television in 1962 it featured additional footage featuring Michael Mark that was not in the original theatrical release. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cinema Snob: The Wasp Woman (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Okay, but mostly dull
18 May 2005 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

A professor is working on the deadly jelly of a Queen Wasp. Where he learns that this drug his working can slow down the aging cycle and make one look young again. So a boss of a cosmetics company in need to boost her companies falling sales becomes interested in it. So she becomes the first human guinea pig for the drug and soon enough she becomes a youthful beauty again. Though, there are nasty side effects to follow.

I will start off by typing that the DVD I watched it on didn't have such great picture quality, with some scenes being too dark and real grainy, but maybe that's the way it was shot. Since the production would have had a shoestring budget, but anyway it was still viewable.

Roger Corman's The Wasp Woman which I borrowed from a friend is one weird, but mostly a lacklustre thriller. It has a very slow first 50-miutes and it suddenly picks up in the last quarter of the film. I just found it quite a tedious viewing, with two or three moments of sheer excitement and interest in just basically the last 20-minutes of the film.

The film premise was interesting enough, but the discussions and theories leading up to the thrilling last quarter weren't entirely enticing or particularly fun viewing. They were more of a snore fest and a real drag. Well, maybe some scenes early on involving a Professor and his mumbo jumbo have its moments. But saying that, the story was generally unpredictable and it had its amusing situations. Like the fruity Prof. Zenthrop going into a trance and having a scuffle with a cat, the first appearance of the wasp woman and some moments when she decides to feed on some unexpected guests, but most of these humorous scenes come too late in the film.

The wasp costume came as a surprise; it looked ridiculously funny and truly unimaginative. With someone running around in black clothing, black high heels, a fury mask that covers the face with some feelers and beady eyes added on, but what do you expect from a Roger Corman z-grade film. Reading some reviews from fellow IMDb users I see I'm not the only one to feel a bit conned, as the cover art on the DVD box actually had a wasp with a woman's head on it ;). Cheap and shoddy effects were to be expected and are definitely a humorous sight to see.

There are stilted performances, except for the main leads Susan Cabot as the vain boss of a beauty products company during the day and the vicious wasp woman at night and Michael Mark as Professor Eric Zinthrop are pretty good.

The script is fairly corny and at times it will unintentionally cause a snicker. The plot has its usual flaws and inconsistencies. Though, these are the reasons to watch these types of films.

The mostly loud and forceful music score was a bit over-the-top and it kind of got on my nerves. It was just too distracting for me. The dim lighting and cheap sets really added to the atmosphere side of things.

It has an enjoyable and thrilling climax, but the sudden ending just felt forced and unconvincing. I wasn't expecting big things or anything grand from this film, but I was hoping for more fun and for me the film sorely lacked that.

Well, maybe I'm being too critical, but I just couldn't get into this film liked I hoped, as I usually enjoy these types of films. It's not awful, I just found it plain dreary… well, most of it.


16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 105 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wasp Woman See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed