The Killer Shrews (1959)
The Attack of the Killer Shrews
Nomination Year: 2009
SYNOPSIS: The nice thing about by-the-numbers movies is that they're by the numbers. The drawback to by-the-numbers movies is that you don't need to watch them, because you already know what's going to happen.
Although one person survived the film who I thought would die, I was able to determine (well in advance) the order that the cast of The Killer Shrews would bite it. First was Rook (the black guy). Then Mario (the Spanish guy - who actually looks a lot like Super Mario). Radford (the geeky scientist who sits down at the typewriter to record his fatal symptoms). ...and finally Jerry (the bad guy scientist).
The theme of the movie is overpopulation. The scientists are experimenting on shrews because they reproduce a litter every 14 days. They're trying to shrink (yes, shrink) the shrews so that (in theory) when resources become scarce in the future, mankind might be able to shrink and thus use fewer resources.
Already you can tell what's going to happen. A mutant batch of shrews is accidentally let out of their cage by (drunken) Jerry. Of course, they grow to the size of wolves. The scientists try to kill them by leaving out a hemotoxin, but (wouldn't you know it?) the shrews ingest the poison, and metabolize the thing so that it becomes a weapon for them (one bite -- one scratch -- and you die). A very potent weapon indeed for a film with seven characters.
The plot? The plot can be summarized thus: Captain Thorne Sherman arrives at an isolated Caribbean island with supplies. Due to an oncoming hurricane, he has to spend the night at the island. During the night, shrews attack. After daybreak, he devises a clever method to escape to the boat.
The pain? The pain cannot be summarized.
- Stupidest-Looking Monster
Another Shrew(e)d Move
The kitchen door is opened, and a suspiciously-stiff-looking shrew moves through it, and catches Bradford with its claws. Then we get another look at the head with its goofy snout and saber-like teeth when Thorne shoots it dead.
- Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame James Best "Roscoe P. Coltrane" on The Dukes of Hazzard (kyeuh-kyeuh-kyeuh!) Ingrid Goude Miss Universe, 1957 Ken Curtis "Don Daredevil"; "Festus Haggen" from Gunsmoke Gordon McLendon he founded the Liberty Radio Network; this is his only acting credit Baruch Lumet father of director Sidney Lumet
Director Claim to Fame Ray Kellogg primarily a special photographic effects man, although he did come up with the story for The Giant Gila Monster
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