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(aka 'Insect Woman' or 'The Bee Girl')

Directed by Roger Corman
USA 1959

 

In this sci-fi/horror classic, a fluid from queen bees is extracted and used in a potion as a Youth Serum promises to be the new product for a sagging cosmetic company. The founder of the company wants to be the one to test it. She uses too much and becomes... the wasp woman!

***

A film that highlights Corman's ability to ring interesting changes on proven formulas. The she-creature and the havoc she wreaks are both predictable enough, but it's a novel touch that she's a beautician, and that her metamorphosis is caused by experiments with new cosmetics ingredients. Susan Cabot (always Corman's favourite female sadist-figure) anchors the sexual mayhem in a very credible characterisation.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 30th, 1959

Reviews                                                                                      More Reviews                                                                               DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Retromedia Entertainment Group, Inc. - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

Distribution Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC Retromedia Entertainment Group, Inc.
Region FREE  -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:12:24  1:03:18.795 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 3.14 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

1.43:1 Disc Size: 24,072,018,300 bytes

Feature Size: 10,126,608,384 bytes

Total Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 128 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 128 kbps

Subtitles None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Synergy Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Large Tee Shit with Wasp Woman poster art

DVD Release Date: December 7th, 2010

Transparent slim Keep Case
Chapters: 4

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Archive

1.43:1 Disc Size: 24,072,018,300 bytes

Feature Size: 10,126,608,384 bytes

Total Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

Edition Details:

 Commentary Track by filmmakers, Fred Olen Ray and David DeCoteau
 Additional TV scenes added later for Allied Artists (10:29)
 Trailer (1:26)

On Beast From Haunted Cave

 Commentary Track by star, Michael Forest

 Additional TV scenes added later for Allied Artists (6:42) 

 Trailer (1:32)

Blu-ray Release Date: April 21st, 2017
Standard Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Retromedia Entertainment Group - Region FREE - Blu-ray April 17': This also includes Beast from Haunted Cave (1959) with  commentary - and about the same technical transfer (10 Gig, 20 Mbps, Dolby audio and running 1:05:47.860) and I have added a few captures at the bottom of this review.

After listening to the commentary I believe that the DVD is the 'TV version' (hence the time differential) and those scenes are included as an extra in the Blu-ray package with this statement:

The image, no matter the film, is subject to the caliber of the source material. While this is far from perfect, it's a big advancement over any of the SDs I've seen. It's still waxy, overly bright and has some compression artifacts, but I wasn't deterred and enjoyed my viewing in the odd 1.43:1 aspect ratio (?). Like Fred Olen Ray, I am keen because of the film's impact on me when I saw it as a young boy - great title, great concept, great posters! The image is as it is and it's not a title like Invasion of the Bee Girls which might get 'saved' by a Shout! Factory Blu-ray edition. I'd be thankful if it was released again, with a more robust transfer, but I'm guessing this is it. It's reasonably priced in that it also includes Beast from Haunted Cave and the supplements.

Audio is only lossy Dolby and is imperfect but the dialogue is cloudy but audible and I could discern everything easily. There are no optional subtitles and this Blu-ray disc is region FREE.

What gives this even more value are the two commentaries, both relaxed and fun with plenty of details about Corman, the interesting life - and death of star Susan Cabot. This gives it super value. I don't mind seeing the film looking bad - since the film is bad and a pristine transfer wouldn't feel appropriate. For the price on Amazon - this is almost essential in my mind - thank you Fred! (who is also in the remake!) Recommended!   

***

ON THE DVD: Wow - is this ever bad. I love these type of grassroots cheapo sci-fi films but this DVD package is the pits. Aside from the transfer being interlaced (see 'combing' capture below), hazy, frayed edges, damage, and filled with artifacts - it only takes up 1.7 Gig on a single-layered disc with no extras and a pitiful 4 chapter stops. Is Synergy Entertainment aware that people own HD TVs now? I wouldn't recommend this disc for a CRT. Like other Corman 50's efforts of the same genre - Not of This Earth, and the lesser film It Conquered the World, on DVD - it is barely watchable - even for the less a/v discerning.

Also it is cropped (should be 1.66-1.85) - Thanks Marvin!

NOTE: I am interested in the upcoming Roger Corman's Sci-Fi Classics - with Attack Of The Crab Monsters, War Of The Satellites and Not Of This Earth - from the reliable Shout!Factory.   

For the exorbitant price Synergy are flogging The Wasp Woman here you do get a TEE shirt, large size, with the film's poster on it. But seeing this is a PD flic - for a fraction of the price you can pick up a number of equally poor DVDs that actually include another film (like Attack of the Giant Leeches or The Giant Gila Monster). I apologize for putting this on our release calendar. The Wasp Woman is great fun but this package is a rip-off. 

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

Retromedia Entertainment Group, Inc. - Region FREE  - Blu-ray

 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Cue blip on DVD

 

 


Combing from interlacing on DVD

1) Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Retromedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

 


Box Covers

  

Distribution Synergy Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC Retromedia Entertainment Group, Inc.
Region FREE  -
Blu-ray



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