Attack of the Killer Shrews: A Heartfelt Memoir to 1950's Creature Features

"We're gonna cover this place in shrew blood! It's gonna be BIBLICAL!"

By Joe Antonucci

Editor's note: Welcome to "Awesome Reviews," a column dedicated to the most ridiculous, over-the-top, and amazing films we can find. Note that this review contains spoilers, but that won't make you want to watch this classic any less, I assure you.

This one is a journey. A journey that takes the viewer from a classy novel release party all the way to the brink of nuclear destruction. Simply stated, this film is a masterpiece. A shrew, defined, is a small mouse-like animal. NOT THESE FUCKING SHREWS. They come in all forms. They multiply. They heed no direction. They only have one goal: to feed.

Our story follows two sets of characters: Louis, who is some sort of publishing agent, his “better half” Cassandra, Sherriff Blake, and Fiona Ray, an actress. Needless to say the shrews pose a HUGE issue for the town they start in, the town they go to, and whatever town they end up in. KILLER SHREWS are not to be taken lightly. Below I will list out a few key components to the plot of the film.

  1. Louis is Professor Perry’s agent for his novel release. He just represents him because he is rich and plans on robbing him. No brainer.
  2. Fiona Ray, an actress, is somehow dragged into the party at the professor’s. Her car breaks down and we get introduced to Sherriff Badass, ehm, Blake.
  3. Crazy scientist Murdoch accidentally creates 30 Giant Killer Shrews while trying to create a cure for rabies and proceeds to barge in on the professor’s party uninvited, you know, to let them all know about the shrews. Standard.
  4. Deputy Wayne shows up (he is the Sherriff’s cousin) and he saves the day. Also, he’s fucking insane, see below.
  5. The shrews migrate from the original town to the next town, as shrews do, where our protagonists also show up. They attack a hair salon and a café. A lady in the café gets scared and runs out the door only to get hit by an ice cream truck. Priceless.
  6. Product. Placement. Well done, Fat Bob’s, well done.
  7. We meet up with some random Scottish guy, Wilkins, at a saw mill. The professor sacrifices himself to ensure Louis, Cassandra, and Wilkins escape. Cassandra gets scared and runs into a mine shaft. Wilkins tells the story of his village in Scotland being overrun by Giant Killer Shrews and proceeds to blow himself up with TNT to kill the shrews, letting Louis and Cassandra escape. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The Professor and Wilkins are bad motherfuckers, honestly.
  8. At this point, the Sherriff tells Fiona that the Mayor has called in the National Guard.
  9. Turns out it was actually the Army and Captain Frost. Eye patch. YES.
  10. The shrews prove to be a bit overwhelming and Captain Frost calls the President of the U.S.A. to NUKE THE TOWN. Amazing.
  11. Most of the Army guys don’t know what a shrew is, even after seeing them. They pretty much all die.
  12. Cassandra is still running, with Louis still following, and they meet their end in some club that is reminiscent of Lee’s Hawaiian in Lyndhurst, NJ. Gave me the feels. Loved it.
  13. The NUKE is imminent. Deputy Wayne shows up on a dirt bike. He takes it off a gnarly dirt jump and CATCHES THE NUKE IN HIS HAND AND DRIVES IT INTO THE SUNSET. WHAT A BAD ASS MOTHERFUCKER.
  14. It explodes. Wayne is somehow unharmed. The nuke also had Fat Bob’s logo on it.

The Good

Storyline that is easy to follow. Classic gags and throwback acting that makes you really feel like you’re in the moment. This film has it all. The cast and crew did a phenomenal job with what they were given. The creativity, dedication, and downright fun that it must’ve been to be in this film is something that I would think anyone is after. I am proud to say that Attack of the Killer Shrews receives a solid AWESOME in my book.

The Not-So-Good

This film really pushes the boundaries of reality. It really puts you in the moment and creates a sense of underlying terror and fear as you view it. Maybe this film is too scary, or maybe it’s a motherfucking joy ride of epic proportions. Put on some big boy trousers, grab some Fat Bob’s and your Harrah’s Casino coffee mug, and get ready for some badass fun. One thing I wish I could’ve seen was a snowmobile disguised as a police jet ski going up a really shallow river. Wait, this one had that too. Thanks Deputy Wayne. MIC. DROP.

Our Score

11/10

Attack of the Killer Shrews has it all. Romance, Action, Emotion, Killer Shrews. If you’ve got about 1 hour and 20 minutes to watch an amazing homage to the 1950’s creature feature genre, do yourself a favor and give this one a shot. There is nothing at all bad about this film. From the shrews (one of them was German Shepherd dog in a cape!) to the classic 4th wall breaks, this is one wild fuckin’ ride. Well done.

About the Author

Joe Antonucci

Joe’s love for “terrible” B-horror/sci-fi films started way back when he was young. When he isn’t watching the classics like Chopping Mall, Ice Spiders, or Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf, he spends his time gaming, playing with his Yorkie-Poo, and traveling with his wife. Joe always tackles life in the way that a grizzly bear, his favorite animal, would: with a loud roar, a raging charge, and a good night’s sleep.

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