Tired plotting and terrible special effects make this one of the worst of the Roger Corman-produced, made-for-cable remakes of his 1950s shockers.
Sales of the Starlin line of skin care products are down, and Janice Starlin (Jennifer Rubin) knows the cause. As both owner of and model for the company, her aging face no longer sells the product. Worse, she is afraid (though needlessly so) that her photographer and lover Alec (Doug Wert) may
also be losing interest. So Janice is thrilled when the secret research of Dr. Zinthorp (Daniel J. Travanti) seems to have produced a serum that reverses the aging process. Unwilling to wait for testing, Janice takes the serum herself. And when a safe dose produces minor but positive effects, she
disregards Zinthorp's warnings of side-effects and sneaks into his lab to administer herself a dangerously large dose. Overnight, she appears 20 years younger.
With Alec out of town, she picks up his assistant Nick (Richard Gabai). During sex, Janice becomes a giant wasp and kills Nick. In her wasp state, she also kills two business partners who are planning to take over her company. Janice's jealousies become more extreme with every injection of wasp
serum. When she suspects her trusted assistant Mary (Melissa Brassselle) of having designs on Alec, she summons her to Bronson Caves, a secluded location where they had done photo shoots. Mary is rescued in the nick of time when Alec, who has been investigating Janice's strange behavior, arrives.
In her wasp stage, Janice is killed by dynamite.
To call the plot foolish is hardly necessary for this kind of dopey horror movie. But there's no reason for it to be even more foolish than the 1959 original, whose plot it closely follows. Having Janice turn into a giant wasp with a human torso (rather than simply develop a waspy head) is
implausible even by the thin logic of the genre. It's not even an excuse for show-offy special effects: Jennifer Rubin's transformation to a giant wasp is accomplished by some of the poorest morphing effects ever seen. The wasp outfit itself is a poor piece of puppetry. And whose idea was it to
put it in a bustier? If that was meant to be a bit of camp humor, it's about the only instance of it in a film wholly indifferent to plot and character logic. (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, substance abuse, profanity.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Tired plotting and terrible special effects make this one of the worst of the Roger Corman-produced, made-for-cable remakes of his 1950s shockers. Sales of the Starlin line of skin care products are down, and Janice Starlin (Jennifer Rubin) knows the caus… (more)