Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Wasp Woman (1959)

Poster for The Wasp Woman (1959)The Wasp Woman (1959) by #RogerCorman
w/#SusanCabot #AnthonyEisley #BarbouraMorris

A cosmetics queen is transformed into a murderous monster after she uses an insect chemical to preserve her beauty.

“A beautiful woman by day – a lusting queen wasp by night.”
“Strong men forced to satisfy a passion no human knows.”

#Horror #SciFi

The Wasp Woman (1959) is a super-fun B-movie by none other than the master himself, Roger Corman. I love Roger Corman. He’s one of my heroes. I was once called “the Roger Corman of Manitoba” and it was the greatest compliment that I could imagine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Roger Corman movie that I didn’t enjoy. And The Wasp Woman is no exception.

I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record, but The Wasp Woman is exactly the kind of movie that I might have seen on Not Quite Classic Theatre when I was a kid. Giant bugs were one of the mainstays of that show, and The Wasp Woman, while being considerably smaller than King Kong or Godzilla, was still pretty large when compared to an ordinary wasp.

The Wasp Woman features the kind of plot that I adore. It’s about the queen of a cosmetics empire who feels that she is getting too old to model her own products – and as a result, her products are starting to lose popularity with the public. A mad scientist (or the like) comes to her with his new miracle discovery; something that can actually make her look younger again. It still needs some testing to make sure it’s safe, but the cosmetics queen says “Test it on me NOW” (or the like).

Anyone who’s ever seen a SciFi Horror movie like The Wasp Woman knows that this is probably a very bad idea. But we also know that’s it’s definitely going to happen, and we’re going to enjoy every minute of it.

Susan Cabot plays the aging cosmetics queen, and she is every bit as good as she was in other Roger Corman films like Sorority Girl (1957) and Machine-Gun Kelly (1958). She only made about 20 movies in her career and it’s a damn shame. She died in 1986, at age 59 – too young.

Barboura Morris plays the younger, more beautiful employee (at least until her boss starts getting younger again). She was also in several Roger Corman movies and, unfortunately, died far too young in 1975, at age 43.

Thankfully The Wasp Woman (1959) lives on to be screened again and again – and could be the hit of your nest #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn. It may not make you younger, but it will surely remind you of those long ago times when you stayed up far too late to watch different but similar examples of #NotQuiteClassicCinema.