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The Killer Shrews (1959)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 1959 (UK)
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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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(original story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Thorne Sherman
Ingrid Goude ... Ann Craigis
... Jerry Farrell
Gordon McLendon ... Dr. Radford Baines
... Dr. Marlowe Craigis
Judge Henry Dupree ... 'Rook' Griswold
Alfredo de Soto ... Mario (as 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:

"Your skin will crawl with fear at their nearness" See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Attack of the Killer Shrews  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$123,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The man playing Dr. Baines is Gordon McLendon. He was the uncredited executive producer and financier of this and its companion feature The Giant Gila Monster (1959). He owned radio stations and a chain of theaters in Texas. See more »

Goofs

At one point the camera pans across the interior of the house and reveals the top of the set walls. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Featured in Elvira's Movie Macabre: Untamed Women (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Cliffhanger 1
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Bluestone and Emil Cadkin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best film about killer shrews ever!
20 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

James Best (Rosco P. Coltrane from TV's The Dukes of Hazzard) plays Thorne Sherman, captain of a boat delivering supplies to a group of scientists working on a remote island. When a hurricane whips up, Sherman is forced to wait out the storm at the boffins' abode, which is laid siege during the night by a pack of over-sized man-eating mutant shrews, the unfortunate result of the scientists' experiments.

With the possible exception of the giant rabbits from cult classic Night of the Lepus, shrews have got to be the most ridiculous choice ever for a killer animal in a cheesy B-movie horror film, even if they are over-sized, poisonous shrews. It's this patently ridiculous concept, along with the terrible realisation of the creatures themselves (dogs dressed in rodent costumes and a manky model shrew head for close-ups) and some cheesy dialogue, that helps make The Killer Shrews one of the most entertaining 50s monster movies I've seen.

But although it is undoubtedly good for a laugh, believe it or not there is more to the film than just scientific hogwash, doggies in disguise, and clumsy conversation: the film's basic siege set-up proves to be extremely effective (so much so that it most likely provided inspiration for George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead), Best puts in a pretty good performance as the film's hero, and director Ray Kellogg somehow manages a fair amount of tension and one or two decent scares, the shrew in the kitchen being an absolute corker!

7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for Thorne's ingenious escape plan, the likes of which wouldn't have been out of place in an episode of The A-Team.


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