Did you hear that some douche bag punched Rick Moranis in the face? I don’t think they have found the guy yet. Maybe and hopefully he is dead. I know we’re all kind of divided by much in this country and many people are against capital punishment. But I for one believe us terminating this monster that hurt Moranis needs to be punished! That is one thing I think we could all be united in.
With Rick Moranis in mind, I feel like honoring a movie he was in that still remains a favorite of mine today. While many modern movies are giving us amazing CGI filled films and blowing us away. I think there is a movie that proves you can make something so real and not use an ounce of digital bull shit! That movie is a personal favorite of mine and proudly presented as day twenty four of my Horror Movie Marathon and it is called Little Shop of Horrors.
Little Shop Of Horrors is a 1986 film adaptation of the broadway musical which is another adaptation of the 1960 film The Little Shop of Horrors. So we have a screen adaptation of a play that was an adaptation of a movie. Sure why not. It was directed by Frank Oz and stars Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin, Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks, Vincent Gardenia and Levi Stubbs as the voice of Audrey II. At the time of its filming it was the highest budgeted movie which was previously awarded to 1979’s Alien.
Little Shop Of Horrors
After Seymour Krelborn discovers a rare and unusual plant. He soon discovers the plant needs fresh blood in order to grow. As the plant grows it makes Seymour more popular and successful. But that success comes with a price as the plant turns out to be an alien monster hellbent on world domination!
I have to be honest with people. I’m not really the biggest musical fan. I have seen a couple horror ones like Sweeney Tod , Anna and the Apocalypse and Repo! The Genetic Opera and they just don’t work for me. For some reason I find musicals to be missing the mark. Everything always feels like you’re in Disney World. Movies like Repo! The Genetic Opera is like a bunch of popular kids are trying to be hard core but think Disturbed is good metal. It’s equivalent to people that make “top horror movie lists” every October but never watch horror the rest of the year. I don’t know if I can explain it anymore and I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but to me there’s a certain “fakeness” that comes with musicals.
But Little Shop Of Horrors is one that I’ve always been very fond of. I would consider Little Shop of Horrors one of the first actual “horror” films I was introduced to as a small child growing up in the eighties. As a kid, to me Audrey II was the kind of “pet” I always wanted. I would be that mad scientist like Dr. Frankenstein roaming the dark alleys of some small town with my giant killer plant. Just lurking in the shadows and waiting for that lone drunk making his way home after a night of drinking and singing with the other town drunks. For each day my plant grows larger, I grow to rule! The town constable comes knocking and my plant will simply eat him up!
But that’s not really what happens in this movie. I loved the idea of a down on your luck kind of guy that gets manipulated into feeding his enemies to a killer plant. Seymour is a perfect character that brakes the mold of the “heroes journey.” He’s poor and doesn’t get any respect from the people around him. So the plant seduces Seymour into doing unspeakable acts. Although Seymour doesn’t really ever kill anyone. The two victims kind of find their own demise through their own means.
He represents us all. I think all of us are wanting to “reach the top” so much that we would lose track of all we know and believe in. The plant is evil and tempts us with promises of success, money and pleasures. To Seymour his pleasure is Audrey and the plant is his ticket in getting her. This is a common theme that culturally we are all aware of. Kind of like King David in 2 Samuel chapter 11. David is out one night and see’s this hot chick named Bathsheba taking a bath or something. He bangs her and gets her pregnant. He then sets it up so Bathsheba’s husband Uriah is killed in battle. All so he can have this woman! What a dick! But stories like this echo in the history of culture and is channelled in Little Shop of Horrors.
Ok, maybe that is a little deep. Little Shop of Horrors may give us these kinds of themes but really it’s meant to be an all around fun film. The movie is full of great songs and amazing performances. Rick Moranis is perfect as the small pathetic Seymour and his love interest Audrey is “busting” with grace and beauty. Steve Martin slays it as Dr. Scrivello. I remember being a kid and singing the dentist song around the house. I may not be a big musical guy but the music is a great deal of fun and Levi Stubbs voice as Audrey is exceptional. I love the period piece setting and how we get a dirty slum city contrasted with the atomic age home and garden vibe. The film is funny and full of great cameos with legends like John Candy and Bill Murray.
I know the ending was much different in the real cut and finally saw it on the DVD release. While the theatrical release has Seymour winning and destroying Audrey II, the directors meant for Seymour dying and the plant going on in world domination. It may not be the most satisfying ending in terms of expectancy, but it is a pretty splendid long scene with amazing set pieces of Audrey II’s taking on common American places like the Statue of Liberty.
Little Shop Of Horrors is a great movie and one I encourage everyone to watch. It may not be a brutal slaughter like many films I’ve done for the marathon. But it’s entertaining and the puppetry and cinematography effects are absolutely brilliant. It’s insane that a movie from 1986 used absolutely zero green screen or CGI, yet is capable of making a movie more believable than anything made today. There were six different Audrey II plants that were used during this movie. Each one different in size and detail which signifies the plants growth. The puppet work of Audrey is also amazing in how the lips move flawlessly for every line Levi Stubbs speaks or sings. It makes you believe Audrey II is actually singing which makes the duo between Seymour and Audrey II one of the best movie scenes in the movie! So watch Little Shop of Horrors and appreciate the greatness of good song and special effects that are lacking in many films today. Lets all give it up for Little Shop of Horrors on day twenty four of Horror Movie Marathon!