Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jim Wynorski Week: The Wasp Woman

Welcome back everyone and we are into another Jim Wynorski film. As said yesterday, I have not given a fair shake to the director/writer/producer/actor so I will attempt my objectivity. Today we get take a gander at a remake of Roger Corman's metamorph character of an aging woman unable to struggle against the ravages of age, desperate for a change. This is The Wasp Woman.

This suit itches.  Big time.

A model who as built up her own cosmetics firm and always model the advertisement but now she has reached the ripe era of her forties. Janice Starlin (Jennifer Rubin of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Bad Dreams, The Doors, The Crush, Full Eclipse, Saints and Sinners, Screamers, Last Lives, Fatal Conflict and Amazons and Gladiators) at her wit's end with her investors insistent for her to step aside in view of a much younger model as the face of the company. Desperate to maintain her status she seeks the services of a scientist Dr. Eric Zinthrop (Daniel J. Travanti of General Hospital, Hill Street Blues, Missing Persons, Just Cause, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Boss and NCIS: Los Angeles) has an experimental treatment that he claims can turn back the clock.

My boobs and I are here to see you.


 Familiar face from Janice's assistant Mary (Melissa Brasselle of Sorceress, Body Chemistry 4: Full Exposure, Raptor, Cheerleader Massacre, Treasure Hunt, The Curse of the Komodo and Vampire in Vegas) and her board of directors John (John Henry Richardson of Evil Spawn, Terror Night, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Out of Time, Alienator, Cybernator, Vice Academy 3, The Wasp Woman, Vice Academy 4, Victim of Desires and Treasure Hunt) and Arthur (Gerrit Graham of Cannonball!, Demon Seed, Used Cars, The Annihilators, Chopping Mall, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege and C.H.U.D. II- Bud the Chud) so that got a bit of a snicker out of me seeing Bud the CHUD in a suit. The suits want to bring in a bubbly blonde Caitlin (Maria Ford of Masque of the Red Death, The Haunting of Morella, Slumber Party Massacre III, Mind Twister, Deathstalker IV: Match of Titans and Perfect Fit) to be the new face and Janice clamps her face with a polite smile. Dr. Zinthrop states his formula has not been perfected to the level of human trials yet but Janice threatens to pull his funding if he doesn't.

Just the tip, sweetie. Just the tip.


Cut to a few days later and her age has slimmed down (less age make-up) and Janice is stunning once more. Fresh faced and her energy levels are that of a twenty year old. The board confused but impressed as she proceeds to work her way through the photographer, makeup guy and the board have been taught a lethal lesson. She proceeds to morph into a wasp herself.

Will the mutation go more rampant??? Can anyone stop Janice??? Why doesn't the LAPD have a special weapons division??

Okay let's talk about the practical effects in the film. The old lady make up showed through a bit so I was a bit annoyed with that but let's dig down and love on the body suit they built for Jennifer Rubin. Illustrator/sculptor/model builder Greg Aronowitz (Meet the Applegates, Spaced Invaders, Dinosaurs, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Critters 4 and Forever Young) made an impressive suit with compound eyes, a functioning mouth and a full body Wasp Queen creature and okay the body suit looks a bit lopsided due to the enormous head on it but the murderous wasp has cleavage on display that gave me a great laugh.

Yes this is an B-grade sci-fi exploitation, sexploitation kind of movie but you had that pretty well figured with this going into the film. Dialogue feels as though they hardly changed anything from the original 1960 screenplay but alter the lingo a bit but the same tongue-in-cheek gags are there. It operates on a fairly fast pace and not sure why we needed that much nudity or sex scenes but again I am not in charge. I had a blast sniggering and cackling my way through this but I do get why people defend it and view it as a good bad movie. I almost commented on IMDB in Dinosaur Island's defense but that was clarifying the difference between CGI and Stop motion.

Oh my, the girls are up there.