The Wasp Woman (1959)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film  |   Release Date - Oct 30, 1959 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 73 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

Considering the strange and terrible fate of the lead actress -- Susan Cabot apparently lived her own nightmare and was eventually killed by her increasingly browbeaten son -- The Wasp Woman takes on an added poignancy that obviously wasn't intended by the film's cheapskate producer-director, Roger Corman. Here is yet another creature flick hampered by a ludicrous monster costume -- nothing more than a Halloween mask, really -- not quite as bad as it could have been but not very good either. Cabot herself does well enough as the youth-obsessed heroine/villainess and the film does attempt to address both the increasing paranoia regarding aging and science run amok. But the cheesy special effects (if you can call a rubber mask and a couple of claws "special effects") and lack of any kind of budget betray the good intentions. Typical of Corman, the supporting roles are well cast (including the stunning Lynn Cartwright as a Brooklyn-accented secretary) and an attempt to turn modern office life into a sort of Grand Guignol melodrama works at least part of the way.