Return of the Killer Shrews – USA, 2012 – review

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‘After 50 years, they’re back… and they’re pissed off!’

Return of the Killer Shrews is a 2012 American horror film, and a belated sequel to the 1959 release The Killer Shrews. It was directed and co-scripted by Steve Latshaw (Biohazard: The Alien ForceDeath Mask; Jack-O; Dark Universe; Vampire Trailer Park).

The movie stars three actors who formerly worked on the television series The Dukes of Hazzard: John Schneider, James Best (also co-scripter), Rick Hurst. Bruce Davison – best known to horror fans playing the title character in Willard (1971) also stars.


A TV reality show hires Captain Thorne Sherman (James Best) and his boat to cargo supplies to the deserted offshore island they’re using as a filming location. Thorne would have normally refused the job because he’s been to that island before and stills sees it in his nightmares.

Unfortunately, Thorne needs money. Together with his first mate Rook (Rick Hurst), they sail to a place Thorne Sherman never wanted to see again as long as he lived; the island of the killer shrews.

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As the TV crew and two-fisted animal expert Johnny Reno (John Schneider) shoot their reality show, some of the cast and crew go missing, attacked and eaten in a bloody feeding frenzy by strange creatures. But tough as nails producer Stella, sleazy director Willard and manipulative writer Lenora couldn’t care less about the human cost. They are ruthlessly focused on getting their show in the can, regardless of the body count.

Only cute young camera operator Mickey (Jennifer Lyons) and her boyfriend Sam grow concerned about their vanished friends. And Captain Thorne grows uneasy. Only he knows that the island holds hidden danger. Only he knows why people are dying…


The Killer Shrews (1959) is an infamously bad film, yet it has a certain kitsch value and hence a minor fan following. So, the concept of making an extremely belated tongue-in-cheek sequel isn’t too hard to comprehend.

Unfortunately, what is difficult to stomach is the sheer inanity of this would-be satire of reality TV and ‘snuff films’, plus the truly dreadful CGI killer shrews that make their cheapo 50s incarnations seem positively welcome. This would-be ‘knowing’ sequel is an insult to its cast and audience. Like killer shrews, it’s best avoided.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA

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