This column by Joe Bob Briggs was humming along splendidly, until:
First of all, for those of you who don’t follow these things, The Wasp Woman was a 1959 quickie for American International, dashed off by exploitation movie legend Roger Corman, that is considered horrible even by people who love Roger Corman. Focusing on this throwaway programmer—a clichéd fountain-of-youth/Dorian Gray story that has been handled much better in other forms—is to ignore the fact that, without Susan Cabot at its center, there’s no movie at all!
Ignore the bad monster makeup. What is particularly well observed (perhaps merely by accident or indifference on the filmmaker’s part), especially since this was just a Roger Corman quickie, this that the subtle differences between the main character when she is less youthful and beautiful, and (after the serum) suddenly more attractive, are a matter of millimeters.
That men made these movies at all is notable.
That they made them in the 1950s is extraordinary.
I’d like to see Briggs’ list of those other, “better” movies. “Better” or not, there are in fact NOT very many movies AT ALL about one of the central facts of a woman’s life:
That her attractiveness is currency, but an asset that rapidly depreciates.
There’s Mr. Skeffington, and a few lines here and there, scattered throughout a handful of movies.
A handful, of the tens of thousands of movies that have been made in the last 100 years.