MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,849 this week

The Killer Shrews (1959)

Passed  -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  6 April 1962 (West Germany)
3.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 3.7/10 from 2,933 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 52 critic

On an isolated island, a small group of people are terrorized by giant voracious shrews in the midst of a hurricane.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 32 titles
created 16 Jan 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Jul 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 14 Mar 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 21 Aug 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 03 Sep 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Killer Shrews (1959)

The Killer Shrews (1959) on IMDb 3.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Killer Shrews.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A doctor experimenting with transplant techniques keeps his girlfriend's head alive when she is decapitated in a car crash, then goes hunting for a new body.

Director: Joseph Green
Stars: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A cosmetics queen develops a youth formula from jelly taken from queen wasps. She fails to anticipate the typical hoary side- effects.

Directors: Roger Corman, Jack Hill
Stars: Susan Cabot, Anthony Eisley, Barboura Morris
Certificate: Passed Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A scientist, aided by an old hag & her two sons - a malicious dwarf and a brutish moron, kills virgin brides, steals their bodies, & extracts gland fluid to keep his ancient wife alive and young.

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Luana Walters, Tristram Coffin
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Mad scientist injects his enemies with acromegaly virus, causing them to become hideously deformed.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: J. Carrol Naish, Ralph Morgan, Tala Birell
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Scientific experiments accidentally revive an executed criminal and make him impervious to harm, prompting him to seek revenge on his former partners.

Director: Jack Pollexfen
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Max Showalter, Marian Carr
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The town's leading citizen becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife deserts him.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, John McGuire
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

A newly married couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon, eerie events lead the new wife to think she's losing her mind.

Director: Alex Nicol
Stars: John Hudson, Peggy Webber, Russ Conway
The Ape (1940)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Maris Wrixon, Gene O'Donnell
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.1/10 X  

A mad scientist changes his simple-minded handyman into a werewolf in order to prove his supposedly crazy scientific theories - and exact revenge.

Director: Sam Newfield
Stars: Johnny Downs, George Zucco, Anne Nagel
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A woman and her lover are tortured and killed by her sadistic husband. The pair return from the grave to seek vengeance.

Director: Mario Caiano
Stars: Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné
Tormented (1960)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A man lets a former flame fall to her death rather than let her interfere with his new relationship, but her ghost returns to disrupt his impending nuptials.

Director: Bert I. Gordon
Stars: Richard Carlson, Susan Gordon, Lugene Sanders
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A district attorney and a reporter try to find the killer of a D.A. who uncovered a massive stock fraud.

Director: Christy Cabanne
Stars: Pat O'Brien, Evelyn Brent, Neil Hamilton
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ingrid Goude ...
...
Gordon McLendon ...
Baruch Lumet ...
Judge Henry Dupree ...
Alfredo DeSoto ...
Edit

Storyline

A disparate group are trapped on a remote island by a hurricane. On the island, a doctor works to make humans twice as small as we already are. This, apparently, will help prevent over population. Unfortunately, his experiments have also created some giant shrews. As the shrews run out of smaller animals to eat, they move in on the people in the house. Written by Dan Whitehead <dan@idg.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They had to eat 3 times their body weight each day... OR STARVE! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 April 1962 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Attack of the Killer Shrews  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$123,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Close-ups of the giant shrews were filmed using hand puppets. The wider shots used dogs made up as the shrews. See more »

Goofs

At one point Thorne and Jerry walk past an apparently undamaged rowboat, which would get everyone off the island. When they return to the house they never mention it. See more »

Quotes

Jerry Farrell: Looks like a rat, smells like a skunk - some call them bone-eaters.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Shiver & Shudder Show (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Cliffhanger 1
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Far from great but mildly entertaining.
6 December 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews

In this cheesy b-movie horror yarn, sailor Thorne Sherman (James Best) finds himself delivering supplies to a small group of scientists who are conducting experiments into the prevention of overpopulation. After taking something of an interest in the beautiful but apprehensive Ann (Ingrid Goude – Miss Universe 1957) he accompanies the group back to their home where he meets the rest of the team and has a pleasant drink. With a hurricane imminent, Thorne wishes to travel back to his boat but it is only when the otherwise timid Ann points a gun at him that he decides to stay, and in turn, learns the shocking truth of what the experiments have unleashed upon the island.

Far from great but still mildly entertaining, ‘The Killer Shrews', was the directorial debut of regular special effects artist Ray Kellogg who created effects (some photographic) for more than eighty movies during the Forties and Fifties. Interestingly, the special effects work in ‘The Killer Shrews' left quite a lot to be desired and one has to question just how much input Ray had on the final results. In something of a stark contrast to the effects present in other Fifties creature features such as ‘Them!' (1954), there is a distinct requirement for a great deal more imagination to see the creatures (mutated shrews) as anything more than what they actually were. One can easily be forgiven for finding amusement in seeing dogs (collies I believe) jumping up walls while wearing somewhat silly rubber masks and what appear to be mop-heads. Close up shots of the mutated shrews show the viewer a remarkably cheap looking puppet. However, the movie relies more on the implication that the shrews may be near or inside the building rather than overexposing the viewer to imagery of the shrews. In that respect, the movie works.

Removing the poor effects from consideration for a while, the movie itself plays out nicely. Although the first fifteen minutes of this relatively short film move slowly it is not long before a fairly interesting, multi-narrative film. While the shrews take precedence in the film there is an interesting and on-going clash between Thorne and Jerry (Ken Curtis). In fact, in some ways one could argue that ‘The Killer Shrews' plays out as an early draft of George A. Romero's ‘Night of the Living Dead' (1968). The rather wonderful, ominous musical scoring help to create something of a foreboding atmosphere which, unfortunately, Ray Kellogg's direction fails to capitalise on. Without condemning the direction as bad, there were moments when a stronger director would have been able to turn a potentially unnerving scene into an exhilarating thrill-ride. Sadly, Kellogg's direction was awfully basic and while the potential was there throughout the movie, Kellogg failed to capitalise and regrettably kept ‘The Killer Shrews' in something of a stalemate. Unfortunately, the often wonderful musical score occasionally added to the continual moments of absurdity that were present throughout the movie and generated laughs rather than fear.

Jay Simms, who wrote a number of similar films, was responsible for the somewhat impressive screenplay which, despite featuring sporadic moments of incoherence, was the foremost reason that ‘The Killer Shrews' worked in any way. One would suggest that a more experienced director may have been able to make something more of ‘The Killer Shrews' but as it stands; the movie is still enjoyable for one watch. ‘The Killer Shrews' features generally credible and effective acting performances and a fairly interesting and entertaining story. It sadly lacks in the effects and direction departments. Fifties monster-movie fans should probably check it out although the movie does border on ludicrous. This one is apparently quite popular amongst fans of `bad' films. My rating for ‘The Killer Shrews' – 6/10.


11 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Actually scared me graboidkiller
Very un-PC jmpswann
Stephen King says 'The Killer Shrews' is one of the scariest movies ever LarrupinLou
Sequel Needed! WeNeedKillerShrews2
Did George Romero see this? DMM122
Jurassic Park PhrenicGermal
Discuss The Killer Shrews (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page