18 November 2014

RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS

RETURN OF THE KILLER SHREWS

German Titles:
Return of the Killershrews - Die blutgierigen Bestien kehren zurück / Mega Rats - Angriff der Riesenratten

USA, 2013
Director: Steve Latshaw

5/10






53 years after director Ray Kellogg took a bunch of dogs and dressed them up as murderous "Killer Shrews" (Review here), b-movie filmmaker and regular Fred Olen Ray / Jim Wynorski collaborator Steve Latshaw ("Jack-O", "Biohazard: The Alien Force", "Curse of the Komodo") dared to shoot a sequel to this
bad-movie cult-classic and return to the isolated island that is overrun with these super-silly-looking, but *erm* merciless beasts.


To my huge surprise, "Return of the Killer Shrews" is not just a cheap in-name-only cash-in sequel, it's actually a direct sequel that pays massive homage to the 1959 movie by starting out with a prologue scene that is basically a reenactment of the very first kill scene in "The Killer Shrews", by including several black-and-white scenes from the original in a flashback-kinda way, and by bringing back James Best, main actor in "The Killer Shrews" who returns to play the role of Captain Thorne Sherman a second time! At the age of 86, Best delivers a fun
still-alive-and-kicking performance that entertained me a lot!

Next to Best, there's also great veteran actors like Bruce Davison ("X-Men 1&2") or the "Dukes of Hazzard" stars John Schneider and Rick Hurst, as well as wonderful youngsters like Sean Flynn ("Zoey 101"), Jennifer Lyons ("Dorm Daze") or Jason-Shane Scott ("The Pit and The Pendulum"),
all delivering fun acting and amusing lines:
("Your ass is grass now, and I am the weed whacker." /

"We need a bigger goat." / "I love to chase women, but, you know, at my age it has to be downhill." / "Come look what I found! (...) It's bones!" - "Bones? As in 'spare rib bones'? 'Cause if it's got barbecue sauce on it, bring it on!" / "Let's get this crap over here." - "I am not crap. I am the sponsor of a major network TV series..." - "While you're on my boat, you're crap!")


Alas, there's also lots of bad stuff here. You thought the shrew costumes in the original looked bad? You should take a look at the awful, awful, awful CGI that's going on here. Christ goddammit, this was pure eye-rape. The basic shrew design looks okay, but the way they move, jump, run... *sigh* Remember the cheaply animated "Langoliers" from the 1995 movie of the same name? Well, they actually look and move so much more realistic than the 2012 shrews.
There's also gallons of horrid CGI blood, a terrible CGI snake straight outta "Snakes on a Train" (nope, not the one with the plane, I mean the one with the train...) and some other computer-generated garbage. In addition, the shrews' screeching sounds were a pain in my ass and my ears, the few dead-boring folk-pop-country songs are dull as hell, the pacing is a bit too slow, and even though the movie is only about 80 minutes long, it's definitely
10-15 minutes too long.


At least, it's better than the original and that's what counts. "Return of the Killer Shrews" isn't exactly a classic, but it's fun and entertaining, and just like Jim Wynorski's great "Gila" reboot, it proves what a bad filmmaker Ray Kellogg was ;-)


Thanks to director Steve Latshaw for the Screener!

4 comments:

  1. I thought they did a marvelous job - and Steve Latshaw is a very nice guy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Latshaw is a really nice guy, but the movie is just so-so. That said, I'm not a fan of the original either.

      Delete

Total Pageviews

:-)

:-)