“The enzymes . . . the enzymes, they’re going crazy. You do not understand that she’s a danger! You must stop her before it’s too late, you fool! Miss Starlin will kill her . . . tear her body to shreds. Miss Starlin is not a human being any longer.” Could she be a . . . a wasp woman? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Doc Rotten, and Jeff Mohr – as they feast on the royal jelly served up in Roger Corman’s The Wasp Woman (1959).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 154 – The Wasp Woman (1959)
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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 (from a story by)
- Music by: Fred Katz
- Cinematography by: Harry Neumann (director of photography) (as Harry C. Newman)
- Editing by: Carlo Lodato
- Art Direction by: Daniel Haller (as Dan Haller)
- Director (additional scene for TV version): Jack Hill (uncredited)
- Selected Cast:
- Susan Cabot as Janice Starlin
- Anthony Eisley as Bill Lane (credited as Fred Eisley)
- Barboura Morris as Mary Dennison
- William Roerick as Arthur Cooper
- Michael Mark as Eric Zinthrop
- Frank Gerstle as Les Hellman
- Bruno VeSota as Night Watchman (credited as Bruno Ve Sota)
- Roy Gordon as Paul Thompson
- Carolyn Hughes as Jean Carson
- Lynn Cartwright as Maureen Reardon
- Frank Wolff as First Delivery Man
- Lani Mars as Nurse
- Philip Barry as Second Delivery Man (credited as Phillip Barry)
- Gene Corman as Bit (uncredited)
- Roger Corman as Doctor in the Hospital (uncredited)
- Aron Kincaid as Renfrew – Beekeeper (uncredited)
- Karl Schanzer as Mr. Barker – Front Office Executive (uncredited)
Who’s ready for some early Roger Corman-directed, drive-in monster movie madness? Oh, yes! Does it get any more “signature 1950s creature feature” than The Wasp Woman? Short run time, straightforward direction, thin but interesting plot, and crappy-yet-delightfully-campy monster make-up: it all adds up to a good time. This is especially true if you’re a monster kid through and through. Check out the Grue-Crew review and keep your ‘royal jelly’ safely hidden away.
At the time of this writing, The Wasp Woman is available for streaming from the Classic Horror Movie Channel, Kanopy, Amazon Prime, and several additional free with ads, subscription, and PPV sources. The film is also available as a Blu-ray disc from Scream Factory!
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Jeff, is It Came From Outer Space (1953), directed by Jack Arnold, starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, and some one-big-eyed extraterrestrials with strange abilities.
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