Stars: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, John Candy, Vincent Gardenia, Levi Stubbs | Written by Howard Ashman | Directed by Frank Oz
When I was a kid, I had a few movies that were my “go-to” films to watch on a rainy day when it was too wet to ride a bike outside. One of them was Flight of the Navigator, then there were a couple of Disney classics, and then there was this. Frank Oz’s musical horror comedy, Little Shop of Horrors.
I am a fan of Frank Oz as a director, I mean, the guy was behind the lens for flicks such as The Dark Crystal, What About Bob?, The Muppets Take Manhattan and this little story about a killer plant. Little Shop of Horrors was released in 1986 (or 1987 in the UK) and had an all star cast of 1980’s performers, like Rick Moranis (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), Steve Martin (The Jerk), Bill Murray (Stripes) and John Candy (Uncle Buck).
The film tells the tale of a nerdy and lonely employee of a florist’s, named Seymour, in the “Skid Row” district, a decrepit and downtrodden village where people are depressed and tired and poor. He buys a weird plant one day and begins to nurture what looks like a type of fly-trap. The tale takes a macabre turn as we find that the plant, taking on the name “Audrey II” after Seymour’s co-worker that he has a crush on (played brilliantly by Ellen Greene), will only accept nourishment in the form of blood.
The songs here are all exceptional, hilarious and catchy and the film itself is never dull. The tongue-in-cheek aspect of the film makes it all the more funny, with nods to great b-movies such as “invasion of the body snatchers” and other invasion films from the science-fiction genre. This should appeal to those who love musicals as well as those who don’t usually give them the light of day.
The Little Shop of Horrors blu-ray looks great, the transfer and the sound quality is better than it’s ever been and the special features are top notch. One of the biggest selling points to this blu-ray release though, is the fact that we get the extended directors ending, an ending that Frank Oz and the creators of the film wanted as the actual end but was cut for various reasons and re-shot into what would become the theatrical cut. The directors’ ending is such a different thing to behold, a sharp contrast to what was seen in theatres, and having seen the theatrical version so many times, it was an incredible experience seeing what the original plan was.
This is well worth picking up for people who have never seen it before, and a must-buy for fans. Just head into your local movie shop and yell “feed me”, I’m sure they’ll know what you mean.
Little Shop of Horrors is available on Blu-ray now at all good BD stockists.