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The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Unrated | | Comedy, Horror | 5 August 1960 (USA)
A clumsy young man nurtures a plant and discovers that it's carnivorous, forcing him to kill to feed it.

Directors:

, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writer:

(screenplay)
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An exotic plant in a downtown flower shop convinces the storekeeper's meek apprentice to resort to gruesome measures to keep it alive and make it grow.

Director: Greg Berlanti
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jonathan Haze ...
Jackie Joseph ...
Mel Welles ...
...
Myrtle Vail ...
...
Shirley (as Tammy Windsor)
...
Shirley's Friend
Leola Wendorff ...
Mrs. Siddie Shiva
Lynn Storey ...
Mrs. Hortense Fishtwanger
Wally Campo ...
Jack Warford ...
Meri Welles ...
Leonora Clyde (as Merri Welles)
John Herman Shaner ...
Dr. Phoebus Farb (as John Shaner)
...
Dodie Drake ...
Waitress
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Storyline

When the clumsy Seymour Krelboyne spoils two flowers of a client, the owner of a small florist shop Gravis Mushnick is ready to fire him. However Seymour tells that he has mixed two plants of different breeds at home and created a hybrid named Audrey Jr. and Mushnick decides to give another chance to his employee. On the next day, Seymour brings Audrey Jr. that becomes the pride and joy of Mushnick, his other employee Audrey Fulquard and clients. Out of the blue, the flower seems to be dying and Seymour accidentally learns that she likes blood. One day, Seymour is upset since he does not know how to feed the flower and he walks along a railroad. When he throws a stone near a railroad track, he accidentally hits the head of a man that falls on the track and is a train runs over him. Seymour brings the pieces of the man to the shop and finds that the plant likes flesh. On the next morning, Audrey Jr. has grown and become the attraction of the shop. But how will Seymour feed his plant ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The flowers that kill in the Spring TRA-LA See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Passionate People Eater  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally released on a double feature with Mario Bava's Black Sunday (1960) and later on a double bill with Last Woman on Earth (1960). See more »

Goofs

Jackie Joseph's character name appears to be spelled incorrectly as "Audry" in the end credits. On the sign outside of Mushnick's shop advertising the new plant, the name appears as "Audrey" Junior, the spelling most often used for this name. See more »

Quotes

Gravis Mushnik: Oh, here are your carnations. Wait, I'll wrap them for you.
Burson Fouch: No, that's all right, I'll eat 'em here.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Screaming Skull (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Deck the Halls
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Jonathan Haze
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A surprisingly funny piece of b-movie entertainment from Corman
25 July 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Mushnick's is a small florists in skid row – a dead end part of town that everyone knows about but nobody wants to know about. Business is not great, in fact it is awful – nobody wants to buy flowers when they can't be sure where their next meal is coming from. However the cleaning boy has nurtured a strange new plant up from seed and it seems to be getting interest. When he discovers it needs a few drops of blood to make it grow Seymour is the toast of the town with his employer very grateful for the increased revenue the visitors bring. However as it grows it begins to need more than a few drops and soon he is heading down a terrible, dark road.

Like many viewers I suspect, I came to this film after seeing the musical remake; as such I assumed that this would be a straight film in the b-movie genre that Corman is famous for. However I was taken by how amusing this film was because really this is as much a horror comedy as the musical is. From Seymour's alcoholic mother to the cop so hard that even the death of his son is met with a shrug, the whole film is full of darkly comic touches that drew some nice laughs from me. This comic approach helps the film because really it is a silly plot and the fact that the script was tongue-in-cheek meant it was easier to swallow, if you pardon the choice of words. As a horror it doesn't really work but it does have a slocky property that Corman films tend to have – not high quality but low budget, b-movie fun.

The cast match the material and all buy into the joke, watching them also shows that the cast in the musical are really pretty much just impersonate the actors here. Haze is enjoyably geeky and convinces throughout. Welles is funny and plays up to his ethnic caricature well. Corman regular Miller hasn't really got much to do but his face is always a ruggedly familiar and welcome sight. Joseph is not great but her performance suits the b-movie genre – likewise Campo and Warford (who are very funny as Dragnet style cops). Nicholson is pretty funny and was a curious find in a small cameo.

Overall this is not a great film but it is a great b-movie horror. Never taking itself seriously means that it can be darkly funny and take the audience along for the ride. To me it is just as funny as the musical even it is a different type of humour and it is worth checking out.


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