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The Killer Shrews (1959)

4.2 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A scientist on an island is working on a project, to help with the world population problem, accidentally creates giant shrews that escape his lab and devour every animal on the island. With nothing else to eat, the giant shrews set their sights on the compound of scientists and their guests. Led by Captain Thorne Sherman (James Best), the group must make a break for his ship to escape from the ravenous shrews.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: James Best, Ingrid Goude
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: April 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 69 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PC72PE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,946 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Killer Shrews (1959)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
MST3K Volume 7 has some truly terrific and hilarious episodes that are among some of my personal favorites. The movies themselves are some of the more entertaining ones used on the show. Each one is described in turn below. The first three are from the Comedy Central years and the last is from the Sci-Fi Channel episodes:


Killer Shrews is a classic B-grade b/w SF film from 1959 with James Best (Dukes of Hazard) and Ken Curtis (Gunsmoke). The melodrama and the endless drinking and standing around punctuated by panic as the main characters are preyed upon by small dogs dressed up as "killer shrews" is hysterically funny all on it's own. Then, the MST3K crew raises the level of humor several notches more. The short, Junior Rodeo Daredevils, is a classic MST3K bit that is referred to in many later episodes of the show (e.g., "old timer Billy Slater" is mentioned for years after this episode was made). Don't miss this!


The 1959 Italian classic sequel to Hercules, also with Steve Reeves, the first and in some ways best muscleman-turned-actor, opened the door for endless "sword and sandal" epics with his two Hercules films. This sequel is slower and inferior to the first Reeves film, but the crew of the SOL makes it a special treat. The host segment where the 'Bots try and get Joel to explain what Hercules and the "nice lady" do all day as if they were kids asking a parent about a sexual situation is drop-dead hilarious, yet as always it is handled so that kids can watch the show, enjoy it, and yet have no idea what they've missed in the way of adult-level jokes.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: DVD
This is a perfect collection. Joel, Mike, the Bots, with songs about pants and host segments about how to make a Killer Shrew, a drink. The movies, Hercules Unchained and Hercules Against the Moon Men, are both great examples on why MST3K has such a huge following. Truly great bad movies, with hunky Heros, sexy evil Queens, lots of short skirts and lots of napping. And Deep Hurting. You thought rocking climbing was bad - Sand storm! Sand storm!

Prince of Space is a good example of a bad Japanese movie, which even the kids can watch. Giants, spaceships, lasers that don't seem to hurt anybody (but do clean your teeth)and bad guys who seem as threatening as my nephews.

Then there is Killer Skrews, also known as doggies in puppet outfits. This movie has lots of people drinking and talking and fighting each other - which seems weird when you remember that death is waiting outside the house with long pointy teeth.

Along with this last movie is 3 bonus shorts: Assignment Venezuela, Century 21 Calling...,A Case Of Spring Fever. This makes the last disc over 135 minutes of MST3K goodness! This shorts were only available on VHS via the MST3K website.

None of the movies were available before (at least not in this MST3K version) so the collection is a great gift for a friend or for yourself.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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