What IS that strange and interesting plant in the window?
Running Time: 94 minutes
UK Certificate: PG
Country: United States
I've never been much of a fan of musicals. I've never quite gotten how or why people would randomly start belting out apparently improvised songs to which everyone surrounding them somehow know all the words. But even I am completely captivated by "Little Shop of Horrors", with its Motown-esque numbers, stellar cast, and dark yet hilarious brand of humour.
Rick Moranis showing off a surprisingly competent singing voice takes the lead as down-on-his-luck uber-nerd Seymour Krelborn, the plant store assistant whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of a "mean green mother from outer-space". The newcomer in Seymour's life who he names "Audrey II" after workmate and love-of-his-life Audrey (Ellen Greene) attracts a sudden barrage of customers to the shop, but there's a catch. Audrey II has developed a taste for blood, and before too long Seymour's gonna have to feed him.
On top form is Steve Martin as the floppy-fringed dentist who, when not exercising his particularly painful line in tooth-extraction, is squeaky-voiced Audrey's less-than-doting boyfriend. Also popping up along the way are the late great John Candy as a wacko radio DJ, James Belushi as an advertising executive, Christopher Guest as an inquisitive customer, and Bill Murray in a riotous role as a masochistic dental patient.
Unfortunately, this current DVD edition doesn't contain the legendary alternate ending, which was pulled from the movie after horrifying test audiences with its' decidedly morbid outcome. An earlier edition of the DVD carried this rare conclusion as an extra feature, only to be pulled from the shelves after a copyright spat with producer David Geffen. The ending eventually used does work, however, and doesn't detract from what is a fantastic movie.
It's Got: Levi Stubbs, of "Four Tops" fame, as the jive-talkin voice of Audrey II.
It Needs: To have that alternate ending included on the DVD its well worth seeing, but unfortunately very few people have.
DVD Extras Commentary with director Frank Oz, out-takes, music track, "Making of" featurette, TV spots, theatrical trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
Alternatives:Little Shop of Horrors (1960 non-musical B-horror version featuring a young Jack Nicholson)
A great musical, a fantastic comedy and a darkly satirical sci-fi and make sure you pay attention to the lyrics of the songs or youll miss out on some of the best laughs of the lot.