Tonight on MeTV- it’s time to bring back a 1950s low-budget favorite- as a seemingly simple visit to deliver supplies to a remote island turns into a battle to survive the onslaught of mutated carnivorous creatures- yes, it’s the “Killer Shrews”!
This 1959 film, famous for its laughable special effects (and for the amount of alcohol consumption), begins aboard the boat of Captain Thorne Sherman, who, along with his first mate Rook, has been assigned to bring supplies to a scientific outpost on the aforementioned island. Leaving the boat anchored offshore, they use a rowboat to transport the supplies to the island itself- where they meet its only inhabitants-scientist Marlowe Craigis, his beautiful daughter Ann, research assistant Dr. Baines, Ann’s boozy supposed fiancé Jerry, and their servant, Mario. Thorne is surprised when Craigis tells him he should leave immediately and take Ann with him- especially in view of the fact that a hurricane is heading for the island, and leaving now is not an option! Thorne plans to stay overnight in the scientist’s compound, while his associate Rook goes back out to their boat and batten it down to weather the storm.
Still unsure why he was being pressured to leave, Thorne is told about the research being done at the compound-Craigis wants to find a way to genetically shrink humans, in order to make the world’s food supply last longer! He has been experimenting with some small creatures with very short life spans, so he can trace his progress over multiple generations. These smelly little creatures- shrews-must consume multiple times their weight in food to survive- and therein lies the problem Craigis has not revealed to Thorne.
That problem is- the genetically altered shrews, instead of shrinking, have mutated and grown to enormous size! They originally escaped the compound due to soused Jerry’s ineptitude- have multiplied rapidly- and now present a danger to that makes the hurricane the least of their worries.
Things only get worse- when tragedy befalls Rook- and the shrews, having devoured all the small animal life on the island, have the compound under siege every night in search of humans for their nocturnal feeding frenzies! We see first hand how Jerry is a scheming coward, only worried about his own survival- as the shrews’ attacks become more frightening, with them willing to do anything to get at the people. Craigis had the theory that, having no other food, the shrews would turn on each other and devour each other- but the storms effect on the compound has made it even more vulnerable to the shrews being able to break in. Adding to the problem- due to consuming poison bait that the scientist had hoped would kill them off, the mutated shrews have adapted to the poison- and now their bite is lethal!
Thorne must try to protect the group from both the shrews and the devilish lowlife Jerry- if they can escape the terrifying onslaught of the hungry beasts!
As I mentioned, this film is known for the somewhat laughable appearance of the shrews (played by disguised dogs and/or puppets) and for the fact that the cast is constantly downing martinis and other alcohol. We’ll tell you about the production and cast (including “Dukes of Hazzard” star James Best and “Gunsmoke” notable Ken Curtis) and bring you a commercial very suitable to the imbibing in this film, as well as a song, and- since the movie is a little short- a heaping assortment of Sven shtick from the past!
“Killer Shrews” will begin eating up your time tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time. MeTV again invites you to join the many viewers who are live-Tweeting during the show on Twitter, using the hashtag #svengoolie . This morning, Chicago area fans know they can watch an encore of “The Land Unknown” at 11 am on our man local station, CW26.
We have already locked in some appearances for the Halloween season- keep watching the “appearances” tab here on our website for them to be revealed- and there are some exciting plans for MeTV for our favorite month! Keep watching for more information.
Join us tonight when somebody has to pay their dues for creating mutant shrews!