Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Wasp Woman (1959)

They say that ambition bites the nails of success.  Apparently it also stings like a deranged insect.  The Wasp Woman is a low budget horror film from none other than Roger Corman.  Although Corman made a number of wonderful films in his career,,,this is not one of them.  
First of all, the sound on the copy I watched was terrible.  I streamed it from Netflix which usually does a good job with older films.  However, I had to turn the volume way up on this one and most of the dialogue sounded like all the actors were in their beekeeper suits even when they were not.
The soundtrack by Fred Katz was jazzy but a bit too fussy for my taste.  It seemed distracting at times when a simpler score would have suited the picture better.
Then there's the "wasp woman" who looks like a Halloween costume some 11 year old put together.  OMG, it's sooooooo bad...but not in a good way.  I bust out laughing the first time it appeared on screen but then the novelty wore off and I was left groaning instead.
The story is completely formulaic and predictable.  It involves a "mad" scientist with a fascination for bees and other stinging insects.  He invents the "elixir of youth" but has yet to test it on a human being.  Enter Janice Starlin, an ambitious owner of a cosmetic company whose sales are slumping.  She convinces the good doctor to be his first human test subject.  Initially, things go well and Ms. Starlin looks ten years younger.  Then, things so horribly awry.  I think you can take it from there.
The acting is not bad so I was almost tempted to give this one a Fair rating.  However, the creature is so poorly constructed, it's unforgivable.  [It makes some of Ed Wood's work look like genius.]  If you love bugs, don't waste your time on this one.  Instead, watch the classic Them! (1954) which is the blueprint for how a successful 1950s Sci-Fi Horror film should be done.  You've been warned.
RATING:  Bad.
For more info check out the episode's entry in IMDB.

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