The Killer Shrews (1959) – Film

“The Killer Shrews”

#23 of the 31 days of horror challenge.  (These reviews will be more raw due to the nature of the challenge.)

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On an small, isolated island, a scientist working on solving overpopulation by making humans smaller, accidentally creates giant shrews.  Now he, his daughter, his assistants, and the captain of a boat are trapped on the island during a hurricane and must survive not only the storm, but the killer shrews.

This is an often underrated, true golden age, b-grade classic gem!  The story features the usual plot and character devices from the period, a mad scientist (in this case, mild mannered, good intentioned, blind to all but his work)  secludes himself along with his work, his assistants (including one ill tempered, cowardly, of questionable morals, who is obsessed and in unrequited love with the doctor’s daughter) and the doctor’s daughter, when something goes horribly awry.  Along comes the hero (boat captain, clever do gooder) who must save them all.

This movie is rather infamous for the fact that it used costumed dogs as the “killer shrews,” and puppets for close ups.  Despite that, I consider it one of the best, most thrilling horror films of it’s time, filled with character profiles which would come to be standard cliche in modern horror,  dramatic music, and actors who give it their all to make the story as plausible as they can.

I gave this 4 cups of cocoa.

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