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Mark D. from N DARTMOUTH, MA Reviewed on 9/19/2018...
I absolutely love this movie because it has cheese written all over it and I love all these kind of films because I grew up in the 1960's and this movie was all over those "creature Feature" programs on tv. You couldn't get away from them.. Back in the 1950's, this would have been considered a good to very good sci fi film but it has aged terribly. Inevitably, this is now called the "greyhounds in fur coats" movie because the oversized killer shrews roaming around this island are nothing more than greyhound dogs in shaggy fur coats. Super cheapo not-so-special effects LOL The story involves a boat encountering an incoming hurricane and being forced to take shelter on an island where a mad scientist has conducted experiments which resulted in overgrown killer shrews roaming the island. One bite from a shrew and you are dead. Actor James Best, best known as the sheriff on DUKES OF HAZZARD tv show, is the main character here and he does his best to pull off the character with limited material to work with but this film is enjoyable overall merely as "junk food for the brain.. Best quality version I've found is the LEGEND FILMS remastered and restored version paired on a double DVD with another non-classic GIANT GILA MONSTER.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mama, Don't Let Your Collies Grow Up To Wear Shrew Suits!
Robert I. Hedges | 05/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an oldie but goodie. It is standard black and white drive-in silliness about scientists on a remote island who have created 'giant killer shrews' that have more than a passing resemblance to collies with bad toupees. This movies stars James Best and Ken Curtis (you've seen them in westerns, including 'Gunsmoke') as well as Ingrid Goude (Miss Universe Sweden 1956) as the daughter of the principal nutty scientist of the Shrew Island Nature Preserve. Shrews are the smallest of the insectivores, and world wide there are approximately 314 species, of which 'Giant Killer Shrew' is not one. All shrews have short legs, and a long snout. They also have beady little eyes and are primarily insectivores. Shrews are voracious eaters and are easily prone to starvation, so at least in this one area the movie has it right: in the words of Captain Thorne Sherman (James Best) "it looks like a small rat, and smells like a skunk." I couldn't have said it better. Enough of the biology lesson, back to the film...In this film Captain Sherman and his unlucky sidekick find Shrew Island while hiding out from a hurricane. They are convinced to stay by the sultry Ingrid Goude, who speaks mysteriously with a Swedish accent despite her father evidently being a Texan. Once nightfall arrives everyone is trapped in the compound as the 300 killer shrews try to get in. Somehow the hurricane affects them, and they are starving, too, so pandemonium breaks out. (The science of the movie is a bit hazy about all this.) Turns out that the shrews in question have deadly poisonous saliva, so even a scratch from a shrew tooth is fatal! They also can dig through walls, scale fences, climb trees, open doors, steal shoes, and do algebra. OK, they can't do algebra, but they can do amazing things to get at their captive audience. The survivors eventually construct a 'tank' of 55 gallon drums and wade to the boat unperturbed once in the water, because this species of shrew (unlike the other 314) can't swim. Lucky for them! This is a great film of the genre. It is quick (69 minutes) and fun from start to finish. It was once riffed by the MST3K folks, but I have not seen that version in quite some time, though I recall it being a fun episode. This one is a step back to the monster movies of yesteryear, and it feels great to watch!"
The Killer Shrews
James A Hart | New York, N.Y. | 12/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great black & white picture supplemented with cheap production that makes this a very enjoyable watch. Ingrid Goude (who was born in Sweden and won Miss Universe 1956) is our female star. Her accent is not staged, it is authentically Swedish. Our male star (James Best) went on to become Rosco P. Coaltrain on the Dukes of Hazard in the early 80's. James Best is (((VERY YOUNG))) here---and you probably wouldn't recognize him as "Coaltrain" without the reading of this review. He is a tough talking, no nonsense Captain of a supply boat who is contracted out by a small group of individuals living alone on a remote island. He visits with a cargo of needed supplies to discover the stunning Ingrid Goude standing beachside, with bags packed. Her request for a hasty departure is squashed by adverse weather as high winds commence upon the island. The plot thickens as the Captain is informed of experiments that have been carried out by two over-zealous scientist's. They have ardently devoted their existance to working with biological concoctions and syrums. Science snaps back at those who tamper and horrifying manifestations result. All the squatters on the small island find themselves fighting for their lives against terrible odds. For a movie only 70 minutes in duration, it's simply perfect for a "quicky" with the kids on a rainy weekend or as a scrumptious morsal to savor by yourself. Best at night. You 'must' appreciate low budget productions and have an established embrace for the 1950's horror-show mindset to enjoy this film. If you meet these criteria, my friends.........put yourselves in the front row. You will not be disappointed."
Shrew You Too!
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 01/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE KILLER SHREWS is about a seafaring James Best (later to be immortalized in "The Dukes Of Hazzard") stranded on an island with a group of scientists, a beautiful girl, an alcoholic coward, and a horde of giant, mutated shrews (actually dogs in hairy shrew costumes)! Yep, the shrew mutants are the result of an experiment gone wrong. Best is pretty good in his role, and the rest of the cast are adequate, but the true stars for me are the ravenous rodents themselves! Complete with hauntingly eerie snarls and six-inch fangs, these babies are loose and ready to devour anyone they can get a hold of! Can our hero save these folks from becoming shrew snacks? Watch and see..."
Sandi Strehlau | Seattle, WA USA | 04/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How do you address the issue of an over-populated world?Small Private Island + Wacky Scientists + Gorgeous Blonde Daughter + Handsome Sea Captain + Jealous Drunkard + Hurricane, PLUS...SEVERAL MUTANT GIANT POISONOUS BONE KNAWING SHREWS...Equal one heck of a disaster flick!Pretty remarkable for 1959.=^..^="
Trivia about this movie
John Welsh | CONROE, TX United States | 04/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You wanna know some trivia about this movie? It was written and produced by Gordan MacClendon. If the name doesn't sound familiar you definately will know something he invented. He invented the "Top 40" format that is still used in radio today. (Even more trivia it started out as "Top 60"). Still more trivia, he is also in this movie, he is the scientist who keeps notes until he falls over dead. I saw this movie at the Casa Linda theater in Dallas, TX (owned by none other than Gordan MacClendon) when it came out in 1959 when I was 10. For weeks I couldn't look at a dog without thinking of the killer shrews. Now it is campy humor. If you like B (or C) movies you'll love this one. It belongs on Mystery Science Theater 3000 at least once."