The Wasp Woman (1959) Reviewed

Janice Starlin (Susan Cabot), head of Janice Starlin Cosmetics, can’t be the “face” of her company’s ads now that age has begun to take its toll on her face (in the form of unconvincing smears of grease paint along the creases in her mug). Enter a mad scientist slash wasp aficionado (?). He’s just been fired from his job at a honey farm (?) but that doesn’t keep Cabot from making him her personal beauty consultant. Who knew that extracts taken from wasp enzymes reverse the effects of aging in guinea pigs and cats? Science! Cabot takes it upon herself to play human lab rat, but becomes impatient and begins doubling up on rushed doses, which works great…at first. The promotional materials for WW show a wasp with a woman’s head while the movie gives us the exact opposite. The WW’s attacks are hilarious and the mask is ridiculous, but the story is slightly more engaging than your usual Corman fare. I recognized Cabot from a 50s-era educational short about rushing to marriage called, “Is it Love?” and then stumbled upon a piece in the oddball UK mag, Bizarre, which outlines the actress’ tragic can’t-make-this-shit-up, true-life story. Wikipedia has a decent breakdown of it here (skip to the subhead “Death” for the juicy bits) and it’s worth a read. At the time of this writing, Rose McGowan is attached  to an in-development biopic about Cabot called Black Oasis.

~ by Number5ive on February 11, 2010.

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