Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

little shop of horrors poster 1986 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun play on musicals and horror sci-fi

Not for everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Little Shop of Horrors

Studio:  The Geffen Company

Genre(s):  Musical/Horror/Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  December 18, 1986

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

little-shop-of-horrors-seymour-audrey-ii

Feed me Seymour!

A lowly shopboy named Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) finds a mysterious plant on the day of the unexplained solar eclipse. Naming the plant Audrey II (voiced by Levi Stubbs) after his co-worker and secret crush Audrey (Ellen Greene) Seymour finds Audrey II bringing lots of attention to the Skid Row flower shop of Mr. Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia). When Seymour finds Audrey II has a quest for blood, Seymour must find a way to serve it…and Audrey’s abusive boyfriend Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. (Steve Martin) might just be what Audrey II needs. Audrey II has different plans, and Seymour might be standing in his way.

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It’s…bizarre!

Directed by Frank Oz, Little Shop of Horrors adapted the stage play which adapted notoriously low budget 1960 film The Little Shop of Horrors by Roger Corman (which also was an early role for Jack Nicholson). The path from film, to off-broadway stage play, and back to the screen is a strange one, but the movie was relatively well received.  Little Shop of Horrors was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects (for the awesome Audrey II with multiple versions) and Best Original Song (“Mean, Green Mother from Outer Space”).

My mom, my friend, and I saw Little Shop of Horrors in the theater.  I can remember liking it as a kid, and we had a copy of the soundtrack.  With the fun and light nature of the movie, Little Shop of Horrors wins the audience.

When Little Shop of Horrors was released, the musical was essentially dead and to have a big screen musical put out was strange. At this point, even Disney had backed off from musicals and Little Shop of Horrors was a throwback. The music was fun and the ’60s setting provided a means for the film to be really stylized and give it an evergreen timeless appeal.

little-shop-of-horrors-steve-martin

Be a dentist!

The movie was based on the play but made major changes especially to the ending. The movie condensed, combined, and rewrote a lot of the music and changed the ending. The original ending has Audrey II winning, killing Audrey and Seymour, and taking over the world. Test audiences hated it and the much happier ending (with the hint of Audrey III) was added. An early DVD release had the footage as bonus material, but the DVD was recalled.  For years fans have wanted the original ending, and a recent Blu-Ray has restored it.

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I’m a mean green mother from outer space!

The cast of Little Shop of Horrors is also fun. Rick Moranis was just making the movie scene and this is an early lead role. Ellen Greene was the only stage show holdover, but originally Cyndi Lauper was considered for the role (along with allegedly Madonna and Barbra Streisand). Steve Martin’s role as the dentist provides a lot of fun. Bill Murray adlibbed most of his lines as the masochist dental patient (the role originally held by Jack Nicholson in the 1960 movie). Other cameos include John Candy (as Wink Wilkinson), James Belushi (who replaced Paul Dooley due to the ending’s reshoot), and Christopher Guest as a customer.

Little Shop of Horrors is a fun movie and also fits among other odd musicals like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Sweeney Todd. It is definitely a fun goofy. With a great plant design and with some pretty amazing puppetry, Little Shop of Horrors is a musical that might even catch a few people who don’t like musicals…check it out!

Related Links:

The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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