“Today will be your first injection.”
Janis Starlin (Susan Cabot) runs a cosmetic company. She has been the face of the company since she started it. Unfortunately for Janis she is getting older and she feels that she is no longer the young beautiful girl who once had her face on cosmetic jars. Her company’s lagging sales is testament to that.
Dr. Eric Zinthrop (Michael Mark) is a professor who use to work at a honey farm doing experiments with wasps. He has been able to extract enzymes from the royal jelly of the queen wasp. With it he can make a serum that reverses the aging process. Dr. Zinthrop approaches Janis with his discovery. He needs funding to complete his experiments. Janis agrees to give the professor all the money he needs to complete his research under one condition. She insists that she be the test subject of the experiments.
The doctor’s work continues for months, however, Janis is getting impatient for progress. She sneaks into the doctor’s laboratory and starts injecting herself with additional serum. Suddenly she looks 18 years younger. When one of the doctor’s experiments goes bad the doctor, lost in thought, absent mindedly walks into traffic and is hit by a car. Janis is frantic to find him. When Janis finally finds the doctor in the hospital she has him transferred to the cosmetics company so she can take care of him. The doctor is unable to tell Janis about the side effects of the drug. She continues giving herself injections.
Janis isn’t feeling well. She’s getting headaches. She’s a little dizzy. She is short of temper. And late at night she turns into a wasp and kills people.
"The Wasp Woman" was released in 1959 and was directed by Roger Corman and Jack Hill. Although the movie was panned when it was released it has since gotten a cult following. This is one of Roger's earlier treasures. He also produced the movie. He also has a small part as the doctor in the hospital scene. His brother Gene also has a bit part in the movie. Some kind of company representative at the bee keeping company I believe. The budget of course was minimal. Approximately $50,000. In 1962 director Jack Hill added an additional 20 minutes to the film for the television syndication.
It is your basic low budget “B” movie. And it is a really good example of drive-in movie camp. It is a must have for those who appreciate the genre. There was a TV remake done in 1995 that nobody watched.