If you’re looking for a fun, kooky musical with a taste for blood, Little Shop of Horrors might be exactly what you need. Based off an off Broadway musical, the film stars Rick Moranis as the poor, nerdy Seymour, and Ellen Greene as Audrey his coworker-crush, this story of a strange plant at a flower shop on Skid Row quickly wormed its way into my heart and has become a staple for my family, especially during the Halloween season.
When Seymour finds a unique plant and brings it back to the flower shop he works at, it begins to draw in new customers. But while the money flows, Seymour learns that the plant, he names Audrey II, needs something special to grow healthy and strong: blood. With a few drops from a pricked finger, Audrey II grows and grows, but soon the plant needs more, driving sweet Seymour to find fresh blood. But no one would miss that jerk sadistic dentist (Steve Martin) dating Audrey, right?
The absolute best part of this movie is seeing Audrey II in action. Some of the designers and puppeteers who brought Audrey II to life were members of the Jim Henson company. The plant puppets range from small enough to fit in the actors’ hands to so gigantic they take up most of the room in the flower shop. And they amp up the personality with each growth. The huge Audrey II (voiced by Levi Stubbs) singing and scaring Seymour is one of the best treats of the film.
This film is toe tapping fun from start to finish. Boasting some comedic genius from Steve Martin and Bill Murray (their only film together), they make the most out of one unforgettable scene. The film earned 2 Oscar nominations, best visual effects and best original song for Mean Green Mother from Outer Space. Keep an eye out whether you’re watching the theatrical version or Frank Oz’s director’s cut, the endings are wildly different but both so fun and perfect in their own ways.
“I’m just a mean green mother from outer space and I’m bad!”
I grew up on this movie and it is the only musical that I can tolerate… maybe that and South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut. Most of my childhood, I just liked the idea of an alien plant being fed pieces of Steve Martin. It was hilarious. But as an adult, this movie is absolutely amazing in production. Audrey II is one of the best props ever made in horror cinema. The fact that the lips move to reflect vocal sounds is out of this world.
Good job mentioning the ending. The one where Seymour kills Audrey II and goes on to live a great Howdy Doody life with Audrey is my favorite. I think it was the theatrical release. From what I heard on the DVD commentary, the ending where all the audrey’s take over the planet wasn’t well received. So they scrapped it. But it is on par with how the original theatrical version was done.
Thanks for commenting, I like your taste in musicals! Audrey II is truly an amazing prop, so lifelike. You’re right about the endings, the happy ending made it to theaters since the other didn’t test well. My local drive-in theater recently showed the director’s cut, I imagine that ending is fun at a drive-in.