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The Killer Shrews (1959)

Passed  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  6 April 1962 (West Germany)
3.7
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Ratings: 3.7/10 from 3,010 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 55 critic

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

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Title: The Killer Shrews (1959)

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Cast

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

All that was left after...THE KILLER SHREWS! (Used in conjunction with a woman's pink pump and splattered blood) 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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This low budget feature is still regarded as one of the most successful "regional films." Unlike other regional films, it not only received national distribution, it also had some foreign sales. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) A shot shows "Rook" rowing his boat to shore accompanied by the sound of the approaching howling hurricane yet the water is absolutely calm. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Killer Shrews (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Finger of Suspicion 1
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not As Bad As All That
20 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having seen any number of bad movies, I can state that this is significantly better than most of them, and even better in part than movies not considered bad at all. However, in those aspects in which this movie is bad it is not merely bad, it is awful.

We have the usual formula of two-fisted hero (James Best), damsel in distress (Swedish Ingrid Goude), the damsel's mad-scientist father (non-Swedish Baruch Lumet), and the villain (Ken Curtis). The formula in this case is less clichéd than usual. The hero is fairly articulate and the mad scientist is actually quite urbane, tossing off his creation of hundreds of giant, poisonous, man-eating shrews with the line "unusual experiments lead to unusual results". The dialog is competently written and the acting is above par (with the exception of the Swedish eye-candy, who is at least good eye candy).

The general concept is compact and dramatically efficient: a group of people are trapped first by a hurricane and then by an outside menace in a stronghold which gets less and less strong as time, ammunition and group cohesion all grow short.

However the execution is at times illogical. One problem is that the stronghold is made out of...adobe. On a rainswept island crawling with usable timber? The thrilling conclusion is also somewhat implausible.

The main reason for the film's abysmal reputation is the legendary and quite obvious use of ordinary dogs in bathmats to play the part of giant shrews. I suppose this just has to be overlooked.

As a sidelight, it is interesting to see Dukes of Hazard sheriff James Best tall and handsome as the hero, and it is apparent that producer/villain Ken Curtis labored long and hard in the trenches before gaining fame as Festus.


36 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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