The Wasp Woman (aka Forbidden Beauty) is a 1995 television film starring Jennifer Rubin, and Doug Wert, directed by Jim Wynorski. The film first aired on the Showtime Network during 1995.
The film, produced and distributed by Concorde Pictures, was a Roger Corman production. It was part of the Roger Corman Presents series. The film was a remake of the 1959 film of the same name, which was directed by Corman and starred Susan Cabot in the leading role. The 1988 film Rejuvenatrix was also a loose remake of the film (also known as The Rejuvenator).
Janice Starlin is a model who has built up her own cosmetics company. She has always modelled for her own company's advertisements, but now that she is in her forties, investors are advising her to step aside in favor of a younger model. In desperation, she consults a scientist working on a new youth serum based on wasp hormones. Eager for any possible treatment, Janice agrees to be the first human test subject. At first, the results seem miraculous-she looks like a 25-year-old. As time goes on, however, the terrible side effects of the drug become all too apparent.Jennifer Rubin as Janice Starlin
Doug Wert as Alec
Daniel J. Travanti as Dr. Eric Zinthorp
Melissa Brasselle as Mary Dennison
Maria Ford as Caitlin
Jay Richardson as John
Gerrit Graham as Arthur Cooper
Richard Gabai as Nick
Johnny Williams as Wasp Collector
Lenny Juliano as Wise Guy
Jim Wynorski was an admirer of the original 1959 film: "Roger shot it on used sets. He's a true genius when it comes to taking something that's just sitting there and making a movie around it. He did a great job." Wynorski said remaking the film was his idea. "The original had a very interesting plot, but the film never followed through with the special effects. So I wanted to do it with some bigger crazier effects." Wynorski began his film career working for Roger Corman. He said he wanted to make the film "partly out of nostalgia, partly out of respect to a man who really gave me my start. You don't get to make a wacky crazy thing like Wasp Woman all the time. Now if I could remake Attack of the Crab Monsters, it would make my life complete."
The film had a 20 day shooting schedule. Wynorski revealed: "There's a lot of special effects and things they couldn't do in six days. We have a giant 12-foot-long wasp with wings that fly. It's a wasp with breasts actually. It's quite an astounding thing to see."
In an interview with Rubin from Kitley's Krypt, she spoke of the film: "I did Wasp Woman because I wanted to go through the Corman studios of course. My best friend, Marta Mobley, was running Corman Studios back then, and she asked me to do it. And I wanted to pass through Corman's place." Asking if Rubin was the person in the Wasp costume during the film, she replied: "No, but the wasp was incredible."
In the same interview, Rubin spoke of director Jim Wynorski, and what it was like working with him: "Despicable. He hated me. He was incredibly mean and rude. Fangoria magazine was there on that set of all places, and interviewed someone who wouldn't give their name and said such mean things about me to that magazine. There were times that it was so loud on the set that I can't even hear myself to think my lines with a page and half of dialogue. It was the worst set I've ever been on in my life. The sound guy, Jeff Enden, was incredible nice to me and was a great friend. But Wynorski, he's a pig. To say I wanted to go through Corman studios, I should have looked at it more carefully. I've never had to experience anybody in my life as disgusting as him."
The film was initially released on VHS and LaserDisc in 1996 through New Horizons Home Video. The front cover artwork showed the wasp creature. In 1998, it was released on VHS through New Concorde, featuring new artwork, showing a close-up shot of Rubin. with a DVD version being released in 2004.
Iotis Erlewine of AllMovie gave the film two out of five stars.
Obscurehorror.com gave a favorable review, stating. "The remake watched over by previous director Roger Corman, this film does a bit better in comparison to the first film. The effects which were weak in the first movie are much better and frankly, only time and technology could have done that."