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The Wasp Woman

USA 1959
produced by
Roger Corman for Filmgroup, Santa Cruz Productions
directed by Roger Corman
starring Susan Cabot, Michael Mark, Anthony Eisley (as Fred Eisley), Barboura Morris, William Roderick, Frank Gerstle, Bruno VeSota, Roy Gordon, Carolyn Hughes, Lynn Cartwright, Frank Wolff, Lani Mars, Phillip Barry
screenplay by Leo Gordon, based on a story by Kinta Zertuche, music by Fred Katz

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Janice Starlin (Susan Cabot), owner of a cosmetics company, sees her sales plummet with her youth waneing, since she was the face of her own company for years, but now that she has aged visibly she can't represent the company anymore.

That's when Professor Zinthrop (Michael Mark) steps into her life, who seems to have found the solution for all her problems, royal jelly from the queen wasp, which, when injected int he correct dose, can make animals visibly younger. It's just not tested on humans, so Janice volunteers to be his first guinea pig, and promises his experiments sufficient funding in return.

Several of her friends and employees - including her secretary Mary (Barboura Morris), her publicity agent Bill (Anthony Eisley) and the company's head scientist Cooper (William Roderick) worry that she has fallen for a fraud ... until she presents the results of Zinthrop's experiments, as Janice, a woman in her forties, suddenly looks like 23 again.

But of course this wouldn't be a good shocker wopuldn't there be a problem or two: First off, the effect is only temporary, so Janice needs more and more royal jelly, and secondly, if she doesn't get the jelly quick enough, she turns into a human wasp, who even eats up people (like poor scientist Cooper, whom she finds snooping around in Zinthrop's lab). Now that all would be bad enough, but then Zinthrop, who has just found out about the unpleasent side effects and wanted to warn his employer, is hit by a car, and badly too. So Janice is left with the little supply of royal jelly Zinthrop keeps in his lab's fridge at her disposal, and after that, she - as wasp woman - goes berserk, and is just about to kill Mary when Zinthrop - whom she got back into his lab despite his condition - throws acid into her face before dieing himself, and ultimately, Bill the hero throws wasp woman out of a window ... and despite being all waspy and stuff, Janice jsut had no wings to fly, so she falls to her death.


Now if my synopsis sounded like a clever satire on society's obsession with (eternal) youth, quite frankly the film is not, it's just a cheaply produced but competently put together drive-in shocker starring a woman in a not too convincing wasp-outfit. And in case you are wondering, yes the plot is silly and highly derivative - but isn't that part of the attraction that drive-in shockers from the late 1950's/early 60's hold until today ? So like me, you just might enjoy Wasp Woman.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD