The Grant Museum’s giant jars and containers filled with sometimes alarming zoological specimens supply a rather fine atmosphere for its B-movie film nights, particularly when the film is as appropriate as this week’s offering. The rarely screened (1959) ‘The Killer Shrews’ is director Ray Kellogg’s tall tale of a mad boffin who, in a secret facility on a remote island, is attempting to solve world hunger by shrinking people to half their size. Seems so obvious when you think about it. Yet, inevitably, things go wrong. The inadvertent creation of giant shrews with a penchant for human flesh, for example.
UCL historian of biology and film buff Professor Joe Cain introduces the film in the JZ Young Theatre, and the screening is followed by a drinks reception in the museum and a chance to explore its collections after hours. For those who have yet to discover this gem, housed in an elegant Edwardian former library in the UCL complex, it’s a treasure trove of taxidermy, skeletons and specimens in jars which combines a wonderfully nostalgic appeal with thoroughly contemporary investigations into issues in life sciences. The evening’s completely free and there’s no need to book. Just watch out for those jars.