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The Wasp Woman

USA 1995
produced by
Mike Elliott, Roger Corman (executive), Lance H. Robbins (executive) for New Horizon/Showtime
directed by Jim Wynorski
starring Jennifer Rubin, Doug Wert, Daniel J. Travanti, Melissa Brasselle, Maria Ford, Jay Richardson, Gerrit Graham, Richard Gabai, Johnny Williams, Lenny Juliano, Kimberley Roberts, Fred Olen Ray, Julie K.Smith, Rob Kerchner, Antonia Dorian, Jim Wynorski
screenplay by Daniella Purcell, Guy Prevost, based on the story by Kinta Zertuche and the older screenplay by Leo Gordon, music by Terry Plumeri, special makeup effects and costumes by Greg Aronowitz

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Janice (Jennifer Rubin) is a former top model who has since launched a fairly successful skincare company, which she's also the face of - but she, while still very attractive, is getting on in age a bit, a fact that isn't even lost on her, and painfully so, since her partners think they have found a new spokesperson for the company in younger Caitlin (Maria Ford), and Janice simply doesn't want to play second fiddle in her company, in any position. But recently, Janice has made the acquaintance of Dr Winthrop, a (mad) scientist who thinks he has found a youth serum based on the genetic structure of the common wasp. It's untested of course, but Janice blackmails Winthrop to first test the serum on her - with fantastic results, all of a sudden, Janice looks like 25 again and draws the attention of everybody. Thing is, there are some side effects - as a matter of fact, the serum turns the user into a murderous wasp when sexually aroused - and Winthrop himself is the first who has to become victim of that when he is killed by his own labcat turned wasp. There is one more problem even, the serum heightens the sex drive of the user ... so after a night on the pull, Janice finds she has killed the assistant (Richard Gabai) of her boyfriend Alec (Doug Wert), a naive young man who just couldn't resist her ...

When Janice finds out what she has become, she first uses her newfound lethal powers on those who have wronged her, like her treacherous second-in-command (Gerrit Graham) and a competitor (Jay Richardson) planning a (less than) friendly takeover of her company. But eventually, her jealousy takes over, and she kills Caitlin whom she suspects of having had an affair with Alec (and to be fair, she had reasons to believe that, even if she was mistaken). But eventually, her jealousy just runs rampant and she tries to kill her own sister Mary (Melissa Brasselle) on very unfounded suspicions that she had an affair with Alec as well. But Alec saves Mary in the nick of time, which is when Janice finally sees how wrong she has been, and she lets herself be blown up to end her reign of terror ...

 

A remake of Roger Corman's The Wasp Woman from 1960 - not one of Corman's best films -, this film is ... actually more fun than it's supposed to be: Sure, the film is a thinly-veiled reworking of the Jekyll & Hyde formula with monsters and topless nudity thrown in, and it's underbudgeted for it's story (as was Corman's original), which is rather obvious in the creature design among other things ... but somehow the film actually works: It's approach to the genre is light-footed, it doesn't take itself wholly seriously while at the same time it does make a point or two about our day and age's obsession with models, youth and perfection, and the story at least is rather well-structured (not always the case with creature features) and populated with a few actual characters rather than paper cutouts (again, not always the case with creature features).

Now don't get me wrong, this is not a masterpiece by any definition of the word, but when it comes to low budget creature features, you could just to a lot worse ...

 

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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD