Wasp Woman (1960)
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Editor's NoteThis fun, intelligent cheapie from King of the B's Roger Corman ranks as the first feminist horror film. Susan Cabot stars as aging cosmetics mogul Janice Starlin, who injects herself with an experimental wasp enzyme in order to restore her fading youth and save her company from going broke. Eccentric scientist Dr. Zinthrop (Michael Mark) first tries the serum on cats, but when they later sprout wings and stingers, he realizes the formula might not be market ready. Unfortunately, he winds up in a coma before he's able to warn Starlin of the ghastly side effects, and before long she's buzzing around the building at night, attacking and devouring her enemies. What's admirably feminist about the film is how Starlin is portrayed as intelligent, powerful, and sympathetic while her male underlings are condescending buffoons who first dismiss her serum as mere wishful vanity and later find themselves smitten by her newly restored beauty (and later bitten by her wasp alter ego). Barboura Morris plays Starlin's worried secretary, and Bruno Ve Sota is an unlucky night watchman. Cabot is splendid in the title role, reverse-aging beautifully. Carolyn Hughes and Lynn Cartwright add comic relief as a pair of gossipy receptionists.
Cast & Crew
|Roger Corman - Director|
|"Miss Starlin is not a human being any longer. The enzymes have changed her----she will destroy the girl as a female wasp would destroy her enemies, and then devour the remains!"----Zinthrop (Michael Mark) to Bill (Fred Eisley)|