Saturday, November 12, 2011

Turkey Day Part 7- The Killer Shrews (with Junior Rodeo Daredevils)

And now we come to The Killer Shrews, with it's accompanying short Junior Rodeo Daredevils. I have a fondness for this episode, so much so that I named a super-villain after it in my smash hit story Can't Fake Gravity. Anyway, let's look at the episode.

First, we have the rodeo short. Some old guy catches two hooligans messing around on his property, so he catches them and forces them to organize a Junior Rodeo. What follows is a combination of two questionable activities- child endangerment and animal exploitation. It's a recipe for hilarity. The riffing on this is great, and I'd easily put it in the top ten shorts they've done.

Next comes the film and oh boy does it hurt. Hunky sea captain Roscoe P. Coltrane arrives on an island populated by a German scientist, his hot daughter, and a band of incompetent assistants. The scientist's project? Do something with shrews to combat overpopulation. As a result, the shrews have grown to enormous size and possess a venomous bite; the reason for this mutation is never adequately explained.

"Don't ask me, folks; I'm just a shrew."

People stand around and drink. And drink. And drink. Martinis, wine, vodka- you name it, it's drunk. I briefly toyed with the idea of making a Killer Shrews drinking game where you take a shot every time you see a character take a drink, but then quickly realized that would result in severe alcohol poisoning, even if I just used a Diet Coke.

Anyway, asides from the drinking, the cast gets eaten by the shrews until Roscoe, German guy, and Hot Daughter escape to the beach in trash cans and make a break for the boat.

That's a very sparse plot synopsis, but it's really hard to tell what the hell's going on in this film. The sound is awful, and half the characters speak with accents or just plain mumble. When the Sheriff of Hazzard County is the most erudite person in your film, there's a problem.

The sketches are great fun, particularly the final sketch, as it's representative of the "cow town puppet show" dynamic MST3K had going on, particularly in the early days- the bots, dressed as shrews, gibber incoherently as dying scientist Joel reads a fan letter. It's a hoot.

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