The Killer Shrews
A companion piece to the 1959 low-budget film, "The Giant Gila Monsters", "The Killer Shrews" was directed by Ray Kellogg, who maintained a fairly small cast for the film. Thorne Sherman is played by James Best, an American actor and teacher who is still involved in the entertainment industry today. Born Jules Guy, Best is recognized as a familiar face in movies and television in a wide range of roles. Though he has been involved in a variety of projects, Best earned his greatest fame from his role as Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane in the 1979 television series, "The Dukes of Hazzard".
Sweden native, Ingrid Goude plays the role of Ann Craigis, the daughter of the Swedish scientist, Dr. Marlowe Craigis. Goude’s involvement with the entertainment industry was limited to television appearances and small roles in film during the fifties. As a result, she is perhaps best remembered for obtaining the Miss Universe crown in 1957.
Ken Curtis was cast to play Jerry Farrell, the jealous admirer of Ann. Curtis, whose birth name is Curtis Wain Gates, was born and raised in Las Animas, Colorado, and began his business career as a singer during the big-band era, where he was a vocalist in the legendary Tommy Dorsey orchestra. Curtis entered the film industry in the late forties, and primarily worked in low-budget westerns. As the popularity of the western genre began to die out, Curtis turned to dramatic and comedic roles. Curtis is best known for his long-running role as Festus Hagen, the deputy in the television series, "Gunsmoke".
Gordon McLendon plays Dr. Radford Baines, the geeky scientist who is sure to capture every detail of the attacking shrews throughout the film. Though McLendon was involved in television and film, he is most celebrated for his work in radio. The Texas native owned and operated several radio stations throughout the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas. Regarded as the inventor of top-40 radio in America, McLendon was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame eight years after his death in 1994.
Eric A. RickartEric A. Rickart, Curator of Vertebrates at the Utah Museum of Natural History, discusses shrews and the film “The Killer Shrews.”
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