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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Oct 4: Little Shop of Horrors


Oct 4: Little Shop of Horrors

"A nerdish florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed."
Directed by: Frank Oz, Rated: PG-13, 94 minutes

I think that this month I'm finally going to track down and watch a bunch of movies I haven't seen that a lot of people love. Of course, it being October and all, I'm looking to have these movies be of the horror/thriller persuasion. While Little Shop of Horrors is far from a horror movie, it has its creepy moments and can easily be a thing of terror for a kid or those weak in the imagination department. The movie is a great little comedy that has an incredibly catchy soundtrack (yes folks, it's a musical) and has great performances from a ton of comedians you've grown to love. 


Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) is a shy, nerdy little worker in Mr. Mushnik's florist shop. He can't muster up the courage to talk to the love of his life, Audrey (Ellen Green), who also works with him, and struggles to find a way to grab her attention. After Seymour finds a Venus-fly-trap-like-plant at his usual plants-dealsman (that's a profession, right?) that magically appears during a solar eclipse, he takes it back to the shop to much surprise of Mushnik and Audrey. After putting the plant on display in the window, the store's sales skyrocket. Seymour keeps care of the plant, whom he has named Audrey II, and comes to discover that the plant demands to be fed human blood. After a few droplets of blood from Seymour's finger make Audrey II grow even larger, the plant gets greedier and hungrier, demanding more blood and bigger meals. 

Not only will this plant eat you whole, it'll sing beforehand, luring you in with it's deep, Motown voice (the only right way to die)

Little Shop of Horrors is its own little masterpiece. The special effects used to create Audrey II are incredible, and as the plant gets larger, it gets more impressive. Directed by Frank Oz, you can imagine the master puppetry at hand, and seeing that the plant is a practical, real creation, as opposed to CGI and green screen techniques, makes you love it even more. Along with a catchy soundtrack, featuring songs like "Suddenly Seymour" and "Dentist!", the film has even more to love. The performers of the song, mostly actors you'd never expect could sing as well as they do, are also fun to watch, and the movie packs in a bunch of stars you know from everywhere, including Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, John Candy, and even Jim Belushi. All have their moments on screen, from the Elvis-impersonating dentist played by Steve Martin (obsessed with inflicting pain on his patients) to the pain-obsessed Bill Murray, who gets off on the hurt. 

This scene makes you cringe, grabbing your mouth and hating your dentist even more.

I would highly recommend tracking this little gem down. It's on Netflix, so it's easy to watch. In a month when many people are packing in the horror, from Halloween to Hellraiser, this film's a nice little change of pace if you're still looking for a scare (or more of a chuckle at a creepy bit). Rick Moranis is amazing as Seymour, in a role he was clearly born to play, and seeing him fight a giant plant is both entertaining and even heart-warming (before it goes crazy). Watch the movie for the performances and the special effects, remember the movie for its songs, as Little Shop of Horrors is worth it. 

The Good:
great performances from the entire cast, with even the tiniest of roles being great from the big time actors in them
The Better:
great special effects that leave you in awe, wondering what it would be like to stand face to face with a ten foot man-eating fly-trap
The Best:
a soundtrack that is instantly memorable, with the songs ingraining (nay, implanting... hehe get it?) themselves into your mind

Overall: 8.5/10


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At October 4, 2012 at 9:10 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Even better... if you weren't aware, this film has a bit of an interesting history. The original ending for practically any other version besides this film version ends up with everybody dying. And they actually filmed that ending where not only did everybody die, but the plants took over the world. It was an incredibly expensive shoot to pull off everything. But then test audiences loathed the ending and demanded a happy one. So they scrapped the downer ending and spent a few million dollars to shoot the ending you have in the movie.

Now, when it came to DVD, there was the original ending in the deleted scenes. Of course, it wasn't totally finished. It was in black-and-white and sound, etc., was unfinished. This DVD was pulled off the shelves after a week and it became a collector's item.

However, the director's cut DVD/Blu-Ray comes out in a couple weeks that not only has the original ending fully restored (colored and everything), but also attached to the film.

Needless to say... I preordered that puppy ages ago. :P

At October 4, 2012 at 9:11 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Ooh! I need to check it out. Thanks for the little history lesson! I know you love the film. May have to borrow your Blu-ray copy lol.

At October 5, 2012 at 6:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might need to get a copy of that special order DVD -- I need to see the plants take over the world. Sounds like spectacularly campy goodness.

I saw this movie when it first came out, back in the day, and I thought it was a lot of fun. I used to walk around singing Steve Martin's "Be a Dentist" song. And the scene with him as the sadistic dentist and Bill Murray as the masochistic patient was kind of classic. "I need a long ... slow ... root canal." Funny that I remember that stuff over 25 years later. :-P

At October 5, 2012 at 6:31 PM , Blogger Nick said...

They're comedy icons in great roles! Of course it's memorable lol


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