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


Ray Kellogg


Jay Simms (original story), Jay Simms (screenplay)





Complete credited cast:
James Best ... Thorne Sherman
Ingrid Goude ... Ann Craigis
Ken Curtis ... Jerry Farrell
Gordon McLendon Gordon McLendon ... Dr. Radford Baines
Baruch Lumet ... Dr. Marlowe Craigis
Judge Henry Dupree Judge Henry Dupree ... 'Rook' Griswold
Alfredo de Soto Alfredo de Soto ... Mario (as Alfredo deSoto)


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


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


Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Now in the public domain, the film has been released on DVD and was featured/spoofed in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Killer Shrews (1992). See more »


As Thorne and Jerry are fighting at the gate, Ann and Radford look out the window to see what's going on. In the close-up, Ann is wearing a black top, even though she had just changed into a white blouse. When Thorne comes back into the house after the fight, Ann is again wearing the white blouse. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: Those who hunt by night will tell you that the wildest and most vicious of all animals is the tiny shrew. The shrew feeds only by the dark of the moon. He *must* eat his own body weight every few hours - or starve. And the shrew devours *everything*: bones, flesh, marrow... everything. In March, first in Alaska, and then invading steadily southward, there were reports of a new species: the giant, *killer* shrew.
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Alternate Versions

The original uncut version contains a brief prologue explaining what a shrew is. In the most common public domain print, this prologue has been completely removed except for the final line of narration ("There were reports of a new species...the giant killer shrew.") which introduces the main title. See more »


Referenced in Fright Night Theater: Teenagers from Outer Space (2012) See more »


Death of the Alien 2
Music by Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin
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User Reviews

Better Than Expected
31 May 2017 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Okay, I'll risk it— for a 50's drive-in flick, the movie's rather competently made, even on a severe budget. On the whole, it's well-acted, colorfully photographed, and briskly directed. On the other hand, the waggy-tail shrews are too doggy-like to frighten, unless you're a kitty cat. Fortunately, they're mostly photographed in quick shrouded fashion. Also, the "tank' makes for a funny and cleverly motivated appearance. At the same time, the plot itself is formula familiar— a scientific experiment gone wrong, along with a hero, a shapely blonde, and a bad guy, all trapped on an island with killer monsters at the door. To me, the formula works, even if about as familiar as my old shoes.

A couple of nice touches. The primitive "tank" may look silly, especially with its underpowered three person motor, but is an imaginative one-of-a-kind. Just don't look for it at a Nascar speedway. Note too, how the professor's boring exposition on the nature of shrews is enlivened by Ann's (Goude) fearful background behavior. Thus a dull pill gets some fizz.

As a 50's drive-in vet, I'm a bit puzzled how so many folks find the 69-minutes a camp classic. Sure, it's got amusingly goofy aspects. But frankly, I found it more entertaining than funny, even if forgettable.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Killer Shrews See more »


Box Office


$123,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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