Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Wasp Woman – The Original “Bee Movie.”

By Steve D. Stones

The Wasp Woman proves that beauty is only skin deep. Its message is a universal truth that all of us must confront – we all get old, lose our youth and beauty, and eventually die. There is no magic potion for maintaining youth and beauty forever. Any attempt to find it proves to be disastrous.

A young woman (star Susan Cabot) who heads a cosmetics firm wants to find the fountain of youth and beauty. She employs the help of a crack-pot scientist who extracts enzymes from queen wasps to compound in a royal cosmetic jelly. The scientist first conducts experiments on various animals to see if the jelly can make them young again. His experiments prove successful on cats, dogs and hamsters. Now his task is to inject Janice Starlin, the cosmetics mogul, with his youthful serum.

The process is very slow going. Janice sees no changes in her appearance, even after weeks of injections. Soon, she begins to see her features become youthful again. In a company conference, she becomes the talk of the meeting, shocking her colleagues with her youthful appearance.  Three of her colleagues, however, are greatly concerned for her safety.

The injections begin to go wrong, changing Starlin into a murderous wasp faced creature. She murders a snoopy colleague and a night janitor in the scientist’s laboratory. In a fight with one of her female colleagues, she is flung out the window of her high rise office, falling to her death.

The most intriguing aspect of The Wasp Woman is the feminist message that we should all accept and cherish who we are on the inside and not worry about what we look like on the outside. If our friends, peers and family truly love and accept us for who we are, we really don’t need to waste any time worrying about how youthful and good looking we may or may not appear on the outside. True beauty lies in a person’s heart and mind. Janice Starlin’s vanity in The Wasp Woman ultimately becomes her undoing.

Actress Susan Cabot starred in a number of director Roger Corman’s low-budget films, such as Viking Women and The Sea Serpent (aka The Saga of The Viking Women & Their Voyage To The Waters of The Great Sea Serpent), Sorority Girl, War of The Satellites and Machine Gun Kelly with Charles Bronson. Cabot passed away of an apparent homicide in Encino, California on December 1986 at the age of 59.

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