Saturday, April 26, 2014

THE WASP WOMAN (1995) movie review

Wasp Woman, The (1995) d. Jim Wynorski (USA)

Janice Starlin (Jennifer Rubin), owner and lead model of Starlin Cosmetics, finds that her looks and company stock have begun to sag a little, leading her investors to suggest that she step down and find a newer, younger model (Maria Ford). Stung by such criticisms (ohoho, so witty), she recruits discredited scientist Dr. Zinthorp (Daniel J. Travanti) to use her as his human guinea pig for an incredibly volatile new serum derived from, you guessed it, wasp hormones.

The results are a mixed bag of buzz, indeed; on the one hand, Janice’s wrinkles and dark circles vanish, leaving her looking a decade younger. On the other, she routinely transforms into a fantastically stupid-looking insectoid creature (with huge knockers, because, well, Jim Wynorski) that kills! Kills!! KILLS!!!

One of several “Roger Corman Presents” installments cranked out by the erstwhile producer for Showtime in the mid-90s, a who-asked-for-this grab bag of remakes that included A Bucket of Blood, Humanoids from the Deep, and Piranha. While not devoid of goofy charms, it’s a pretty generic creature feature that doesn’t improve much on its predecessor except in the way of blood and boobs. (Ford clearly struts her own stuff, but it’s Rubin’s well-utilized body double, according to Mr. Skin, who gets a workout.) 

Outside of the godawful morphing effects, the practical wasp-monster effects are enjoyable for their B-movie chutzpah, and the supporting cast (Gerrit Graham, Jay Richardson, the smokin’ hot Melissa Brasselle) all know exactly what kind of movie they’re in and perform their duties with zeal. Not a complete waste of time.

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