The Killer Shrews (1959)

Booze: Pink Squirrel
1.5 oz Crème de Noyaux
1.5 oz Crème de Cocoa
Vanilla ice cream

Mix in blender and serve. Top with whipped cream and another splash of Noyaux if desired.

B-Movie: The Killer Shrews

On a remote island, a couple of doctors have been conducting experiments on the local fauna, eventually producing a race of giant shrews who will eat anything and everything to avoid starvation—even humans! None of this would be a problem, except good old drunk Jerry accidentally left a cage door open, and, well, you can probably guess where this is heading. Enter Captain Thorne Sherman and his mate, Rook Griswold (these characters have the best names), who show up just before a hurricane hits, and just in time to set up both a love triangle and the uncomfortable realization that the token minority characters are going to die first. In case we didn’t think the situation was dire enough, we’re told that shrews are voracious eaters, consuming bone and marrow, and that the now cage-free giant shrews weigh upwards of fifty pounds and number in the hundreds. In reality, we never see more than a couple on screen at a time, but in the film-makers’ defense, it’s probably hard to command that many dogs (I mean, shrews) at once. Even worse, the hurricane knocks out the electricity, so they’ll have to battle the shrews without power, and—once someone smashes the mini-bar—without liquor. It’s going to be a rough night.

Best Line: “I’ll take a dull alive girl any time.” As opposed to an exciting dead one, I guess?

Biggest Laugh: The shrews themselves, which are clearly dogs covered with carpet remnants.

Best Time to Freshen Your Drink: You may not need to. This one clocks in at 68 minutes, so just mix a double to begin with and you’ll be fine.

Take a Drink Whenever:

  • Thorne spouts sailor gibberish
  • One of the doctors makes up scientific jargon
  • The shrews shriek
  • Jerry gets drunk
  • Ann sounds like she’s reciting poetry rather than trying to have a conversation
  • Thorne asks a question. It’s just not in his nature to be curious!
  • Someone lights a cigarette

Finish Your Drink When: Thorne gives us his final thoughts on overpopulation. Careful. These drinks go down easy, but the line is gag-inducing.

Cocktail Rating:  1/2
Love these! Not as potent as some cocktails, but a great treat on a hot weekend.

Movie Rating: 🐝🐝🐝
Classic B-movie fun! James Best (Thorne Sherman) is best known for his role as Roscoe P. Coltrane on the Dukes of Hazzard, but he’s the straight-man here, with the rest of the cast turning in pretty humorous performances as the drunken ex-boyfriend and a couple of mad scientists obsessed with their experiments. But the dogs–I mean, shrews–are the real stars here. It’s no wonder the folks over at MST3K wrote a song about them. Google it at your own ear-worm peril.