Roger Corman’s The Wasp Woman is a reasonably entertaining little 1959 sci-fi/horror B-movie. A mad scientist decides that if royal jelly from bees can help give you a youthful complexion, then royal jelly from wasps should do an even better job. In fact, it should reverse the ageing process completely! The idea certainly appeals to cosmetics tycoon Janice Starlin. She’s so impressed with the mad scientist that she volunteers to be the first human guinea pig. Needless to say, things go wrong.
This is a very low-budget flick, and it does show. There are very few sets, but that does create a nicely claustrophobic atmosphere. The main problem is the pacing – it’s just a bit too slow early on. The idea is good, though, and it’s developed pretty well. The acting is adequate for this type of movie, and Susan Cabot is rather good as Janice Starlin. It’s an undemanding little movie, and it’s a cut above the usual run of late 50s monster movies destined for the drive-in circuit. I liked it.