Little Shop of Horrors
Release year: 1986
Director: Frank Oz
Screenwriter: Howard Ashman, Howard Ashman (Musical Play), Roger Corman (Based on the Film by)
Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin, Levi Stubbs (voice), Vincent Gardenia, Tichina Arnold, James Belushi, Bill Murray, John Candy
Ratings: 2 Oscar nominations: Best Visual Effects, Best Original Song. 1 Saturn Award: Best Music
Seymour (Rick Moranis) works in an unsuccesful flowershop while secretly longing for co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). His hobby is strange plants and one day while looking through the florists for new plants there is a total eclipse of the sun. As the sun returns the strangest plant he has ever seen has appeared. Seymour brings the flower home and places it in the shop window leading to an instant increase in the shop’s popularity. But as the flower starts drooping its head he is told by the shop’s owner Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia) to find out what the flower eats, and the result is not what anyone expected: it wants blood.
Based on the Broadway show based on the 1960 movie The Little Shop of Horrors, this little gem of a movie is more fun than horror and accompagnied by an excellent soundtrack. Rick Moranis (Ghost busters 1984) plays the nerdy and quiet geek, as he has often done, though a few scenes gets him to show some of his darker sides. Ellen Greene (Léon 1994) is so wonderful that when watching the movie I always wonder why she has not been more used as an actress, but she has mostly used her skills on stage, which is also where she first played Audrey before reprising the role for this 1986 adaption of the story. Though being a horror comedy this can be watched by all ages, if in the company of an adult.The songs are a pure delight, leaving you humming and even singing them out loud several days after watching it. Without the songs this would still be a great comedy, though the music, especially Greene who speaks with a crisp tenderness, sings with force and power in her duet Suddenly Seymour with Moranis, adds a star in itself. The movie does, however, have a lot to offer apart from the music, with an exceptionally excellent supporting casting including great comedians like Steve Martin (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 1988), Bill Murray (Charlie’s Angels 2000), John Candy (Planes, Trains & Automobiles 1987), and more. The plant, Audrey 2, is a star in itself, designed and controlled by veterans from the Jim Henson Company and voiced by Levi Stubbs from The Four Tops.
In the scenes in which Audrey 2 (the plant) is at its biggest and second biggest, the scenes in which it performs with the actors are filmed at a lower speed, which meant the actors had to move and lip sync in slow motion.