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Old 04-17-2014, 05:29 PM   #1
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The Wasp Woman

Caught this 1959 Corman cheapie on TCM the other day. An admirable 60-minute runtime. There were surprisingly a few scenes with blood, and I'll say despite the obvious mask and gloves the woman wore to become the beast of the title, the look is pretty effective. Maybe it's the eyes, or maybe it's that weird psychological effect of something looking close to human but not, to the point where it's off-putting. I appreciated the quick and simple storytelling mechanisms, although the film milked the limited number of sets to the point of absurdity. At one point the main character houses the mad doctor in a makeshift bedroom in her office, and herself also throws a cot up in her office room. That's kind of the catch-22 of old cheap horror movies - you get brisk runtimes and usually do without the filler, but the reason for doing so is usually the same for skimping on sets or production value - there just isn't any money for it!

Still, despite the low budget I found the wasp attack scenes to be relatively effective. The attacks were frenzied and the kitsch wasp buzzing sounds that play underneath each attack do create a mood. Despite being 55 years old, the documentation of the celebrity pursuit of reducing the effects of aging seem just as relevant today. Anyone else like this cheap-but-effective morality tale?
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:13 PM   #2
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
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I loved this presentation. I have a few DVD versions including the Elite Drive-In one and the TCM is the best I have ever seen the movie look. I saw a 35mm viewing in 1992 that was better than the DVDs as well.
I never get tired of watching this one.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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I've got the movie in a PD Roger Corman set, but haven't watched it or any of the other films yet. I do think I saw it in a heavily abridged version on TV in the 90s, though.

For a little while in the mid-90s, Global TV would have an hour of weird programming that ran between midnight and 1. This block of programming had an overarching name, but I can't remember what it was. I feel like it might have been TV-X for some reason, but when I search for that, all I find are porn channels. So I might be wrong about that. In any case, every night the actual content of the show was something different. One night would be a faux-70's mod squad-type cop show called "Funky Squad" which was produced in Australia. The next night would be Nightstand with Dick Dietrick, a fake talkshow. There was also something called Weird TV, and possibly some others. The reason I bring this up, is that they also had a program that took low budget 50's and 60's sci-fi and horror films, and edited them into half-hour versions. And that is where I think I saw The Wasp Woman. The only other movie I can remember seeing in this fashion was The Killer Shrews.

This is going off on a bit of a tangent, I know, but does anybody else have any memory of this weird block of midnight to 1 programming? It may have only existed in southern Ontario for all I know, although I know the individual shows were available in other markets. I'd completely forgotten about it until Rhett brought up The Wasp Woman...

Last edited by dave13; 04-17-2014 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:51 PM   #4
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:21 PM   #5
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I have a really bad dub of it. Now I want to pick up a good copy and re-watch it!
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