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The Wasp Woman

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CT03 - The Wasp Woman
CT03 Title
Movie Director Roger Corman
Year 1960
Cast Susan Cabot, Anthony Eisly, Michael Mark, Barboura Morris, Bruno VeSota, Frank Gerstle
Preceded by The Doomsday Machine
Followed by Legacy of Blood

The Movie

Synopsis

Janice Starlin, the owner of a cosmetics firm, finds that her fading beauty is not only causing problems in her personal life but also for her business. She is approached by Eric Zinthrop, who claims to have developed a serum from the enzymes of wasps that will turn aging skin to youthful-looking skin. Starlin agrees to be the first human to try the Zinthrop injections.

As Starlin's beauty returns, her secretary and one of her advertising executives notice that she is also having undergoing a personality change. Then, Zinthrop gets hit by an automobile, and is somewhat incapacitated making him unable to produce any new batches of his Wasp Enzyme Serum

Without her enzyme injections, Janice' aged appearance returns. She later turns into a wasp-like woman and attacks several people before being killed in a final confrontation.[1]

Information

  • Whenever The Wasp Woman bit one of her victims, Cabot had to have a mouthful of chocolate syrup to pass for blood in a black-and-white film.
  • Trying to keep ahead of schedule, Corman tried to film the climactic action scene in one take.
  • When Bill Lane throws a bottle of acid at The Wasp Woman in the final scene, the plan was that Cabot would drop behind a desk and a crew member would sprinkle some liquid smoke on her mask before she would come back up. The crew member accidentally used too much liquid smoke,and by the time she crashed through the window the smoke had gone through the two air holes and into her lungs. An observer on the set realized that she could not breath, so they pulled a bit of the mask off, along with some skin.
  • Much of Fred Katz's soundtrack was recycled for Corman's later film Little Shop of Horrors.

The Episode

Strange Interludes

Prologue (Walk into the Theater): The admins ask the group how they like their living arrangements. Trace asks if anyone's cable went out, and an admin tells them it's not technically cable but a digital media center...yet it still went out apparently. Meanwhile Josh tries to smoke and two armed guards force him into the theater. Frank makes reference to the unusual circumstances of the film's star Susan Cabot's death, which is apparently true.

Interruption 1: Mary Jo calls a board meeting and discusses an arbitrary sales drop. She then berates the men, save for Trace who compliments her pant suit.

Interruption 2: Frank hosts his own segment, claimed to be back by popular demand. He brings in Buddy Rich (credited as "Biddy Rich", played by Dana Gould), who behaves in keeping with his reputation for being temperamental and insulting. Frank releases wasps to get rid of Buddy.

Quotes & References

  • Joel: "B5, you sunk my battleship!"

Reference to the popular board game Battleship.

  • Zinthrop (pointing at dogs in a cage): "Look what do you see?"
  • Josh: "More problems for Michael Vick"

A reference to Michael Vick's felony for dogfighting.

  • Trace: "Painstakingly hand drawn cell animation, the background of Hong Kong Phooey"

Hong Kong Phooey is a 70s cartoon.

  • Mary: "Shooting up in your own pharmacy...priceless"

A reference to Mastercard's "Priceless" advertising campaign.

  • Frank: "Hmn which dosage should I use? Large? Extra large? Or the Belushi?"

A reference to comedian John Belushi, who was overweight and died of a drug overdose. It's possibly that it could be a reference to John's brother Jim, who is also a large man.

  • Trace (singing): "It's a beautiful day in the labra-hood, it's a beautiful day in the waspy-wood..."

A play on words reference to the theme song of Mister Roger's Neighborhood.

  • Cop: "Well find him alright, sooner or later we find them all."
  • Joel: "Take that Waldo character, found him"

In the Where's Waldo series of picture books, readers must find Waldo among a large scene with many elements and characters.

  • Mary: "Hi my name is Janice, and I'm a wasp juice-aholic"
  • The Guys: "Hi Janice"

This is how people admit their problem in AA meetings.

Reference to the Barry Bonds steroid scandal.

Video Release

  • As with all Cinematic Titanic releases, you can purchase them at their website, or for a direct download from EZ Takes.
  • A heavily edited version of The Wasp Woman had previously been used in 1995 on the primetime TV special Attack of the Killer B-Movies, co-written by Frank Conniff. It was never released on home video or DVD, but it can be viewed on YouTube here.

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