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Here's a movie that's gone from cult classic to just plain classic. For
me, it's one of the few "cult classics" I saw when it was released and
then first shown on television. I loved it then, and I love it now.
Forget the musical re-make made in the 1980s. It couldn't hold a candle to the original.
"Original" is what this is, too. and nowadays, it's great to have it on DVD in which the audio is clear and the picture pretty sharp.
I have always particularly enjoyed the many humorous lines delivered by Mel Welles, who plays the flower shop owner. He is the real comedian of the cast, although the plant does quite well as do the two leads played by Jonathan Haze and Jackie Joseph. The latter two are a little more subtle in their comedy.
All the characters in here are totally whacked, from Haze's hypochondriac mother to Dick Miller's flower-eating character to the Jewish mother who always has a dead relative to moan about and to the dentist and his patient. The latter, of course, is Jack Nicholson, making his movie debut and looking about 16 years old.
In the end, though, what one remembers most is the plant demanding, over and over, to "Feeeeeed me!!"
For that, the plant and the film never fail to make me laugh.
Funny, sexy black comedy shot by "King of the B's" Roger Corman on a
landmark budget of 27 000 and in landmark time of only 2 days! Its the
funniest movie i've seen from 1960 or before, and between this fact, the
fact that it is black comedy, and the fact that it has the charm and lack
of pretension of a cheaply made horror movie, its no wonder it has such a
huge cult following.
It has the incredibly sexy Jackie Joseph, one of the most buxom lasses i've ever seen, and many risque scenes, which, along with the jazzy soundtrack and black humour, give this a much freer feel than any studio picture of the era, or any picture before. Its humour hasn't aged a bit - and feels quite modern compared to most humour of the day.
As an added curio, this features Jack Nicholson in his first ever appearance in a feature film (he was in one short film before it), as the nerdy, masochistic patient who squeals with delight when the dentist is drilling holes in his mouth and pulling teeth. Though its only a five minute part, its a great part.
The movie is filled with an edgy humour that the remakes (including the broadway musical, which the 1986 film was based on) are too conservative for. I thoroughly recommend it to you.
Corman went on to become one of the most important producers of the century, since he provided opportunities to many young filmmakers in the 70's, whose projects the major studios would never have invested in, and so we would have been deprived of the talents of Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now), Martin Scorcese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) and many others. Corman taught them how to just go out and make a good movie, and make it cheaply - and his major qualification to be able to teach them this, in my opinion, is that he made Little Shop of Horrors.
This charming little B-movie tells the story of Seymour (Jonathon Haze), a
good hearted yet rather slow boy, who works at a flower shop owned by Gravis
Mushnick (Mel Welles). During his spare time Seymour develops a new type of
plant, which he names Audrey Junior after a woman he likes (Jackie Joseph).
Unfortunately this particular plant feeds off human blood and when Seymour
can no longer feed it on his blood, the plant itself forces him to look
elsewhere for food.
This delightful horror-comedy was remarkably shot in just two days and was originally intended as a sequel to director Roger Corman's Bucket of Blood' (1959). However, The Little Shop of Horrors' stands out in its own right as a charming and inventive low-budget horror movie. Throughout the movie we meet a whole variety of weird and wonderful characters including a man who eats plants (played by Dick Miller who would also work with Jackie Joseph in Gremlins' (1984)), a sadistic dentist, a masochistic dental patient (an early performance from Jack Nicholson) and a woman who can't go a day without a family member passing on. Despite (or maybe because) of the overall absurdity of the movie, The Little Shop of Horrors' manages to be strangely captivating yet portray an air of darkness in the right places.
Roger Corman directed this movie very well considering his resources and complimented the fairly tight screenplay written by Charles Griffith. The special effects were not of that high a standard but, considering the budget and shooting time one, can hardly have anything negative to say about that. The appearance of the plant as it grows throughout the movie may not be that great but overall it takes nothing away from the viewers enjoyment. Perhaps a little bit more could have been done to represent the plants movement more realistically but, even so, this is just a minor flaw of an otherwise great film. The performance from the three main stars was delightful. Though the acting was hammed up in places the movie never lost its comical charm and some slightly dramatic performances towards the end helped create an unsuspected eeriness in the dying moments.
Surprisingly The Little Shop of Horrors' was virtually ignored on its initial release but eventually attained a cult status due to continuous TV play. For those of you who doubt its classic status The Little Shop of Horrors' has now spawned a Broadway musical, a high-budget musical remake and even a Saturday morning children's TV programme. Short (around 68mins) but very entertaining, I recommend this to fans of quirky horror comedies and general horror fans alike! The movie features good direction, a well written story, interesting and likeable characters and some excellent one-liners. My rating for The Little Shop of Horrors' 8/10.
'The Little Shop Of Horrors' is one of the movies that Roger Corman's reputation as the "king of the quickies" is founded on. Filmed in two days on a budget less than Spielberg's dinner money, this is one of the all-time b-grade camp classics. While the humour is extremely dated the concept is very black and contemporary. Charles B. Griffith probably deserves as much credit for this movie as Corman. Writing this, 'A Bucket Of Blood', 'The Wild Angels' and 'Death Race 2000' has ensured him movie immortality! Corman semi-regular Jonathan Haze may not be as fondly remembered as Dick Miller, but he is well cast as the klutzy Seymour Krelboyne, "father" of the blood thirsty exotic plant Audrey, and Mel Welles hams it up as his tyrannical boss Mushnick. But the show is stolen by Miller as a flower eating hipster, and an astonishingly fresh faced Jack Nicholson as a masochistic dental patient (a classic bit!), as much as Audrey herself. Forget the crappy 80s musical version, stick with this, the real deal. It is pretty creaky in places but still a lot of fun!
If there is ONE movie that made Roger Corman THE king of low-budget
quickies, it's The Little Shop of Horrors!! Practically no budget and shot
in two days this movie still looks very decent now, almost 45 years later.
That's quite an effort if you ask me and it's good to see that this movie
finally received the status of immortal cult movie.
This is a very charming little movie, to say the least. The story is simple but it keeps you alert all the time ( originally, it was meant to be a sequel to Bucket of Blood ) but it's the characters that steal the show. Every character that walks through the screen is exceptional and hilarious. We've got a guy who feeds on flowers, an old lady who loses a family member every day, a mother with a fetish for diseases, a masochistic undertaker who visits the dentist and almost has an orgasm ( legendary appearance by Jack Nicholson in one of his first roles ) and a whole bunch of others...Too much to list, actually. Jonathan Haze is brilliant as the dumb florist assistant in love. He created a new type of plant and that causes a whole lot of trouble...and comedy.
Watch Little Shop of Horrors for it's value in cult cinema, maybe. Or because Roger Corman is an interesting director who deserves to be checked out. Or you could watch it to see where Jack Nicholson started his impressive career a long time ago. But - most of all - watch it because it's an adorable little movie with very funny sequences and a lot of low-budget charm. The 80's musical version by Frank Oz is also worth a look but it doesn't come close to this original version.
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.
I remember seeing this on a weekly television show called Chiller, when I was in high school. It was one of those local celebrity things, with an emcee presiding over whatever horror movies were in the library of that particular station. I realized quickly, what an offbeat flick this was. It was utterly hilarious with its moments of masochism, the man eating plant, Audrey one and two, and all the other things that Seymour must deal with just to keep going. The plant controls him and it is a hilarious plant. The black and white neutral staging of the plant is so much better than the flashiness of the musical (though I do like some of those songs). The smallness of this film is what helps make it work. Everyone is a caricature. Jack Nicholson's proudest moment. No wonder he is such a wack, spending all that time in his formative years with Roger Corman. The acting works because it is a period piece. No matter how much we try to reproduce the fifties, it always falls short of just seeing the fifties. It's like Dragnet without the strange suits and the slang of the time. It's just more honest because they weren't trying to reproduce it. I haven't watched this in some time, so I think I'll leave my computer and sit down and watch it again.
Roger Corman's "The Little Shop of Horrors" is a perfect example of a fun,low budget cult film.It's very inventive black comedy that will keep you entertained.The film was shot on a budget of $27000 in a period of just two days.The direction is amazing,the acting is excellent(Jack Nicholson really steals the show as the world's most masochistic patient Wilbur Force)and there are some wonderful moments.All in all if you like Roger Corman's cheapies give this one a look.A must-see!
Roger Corman made this film in 1960 and was able to produce this film on a shoe string and secured unknown actors like Jack Nicholson (Wilbur Force), " Chinatown",'74, and Jonathan Haze (Seymour Kreilboind), "The Terror", '63, with Boris Karloff and once again Jack Nicholson. Seymour was fantastic in this film, with his Jewish jokes and on going Punch Lines throughout the picture. Jackie Joseph (Audrey Fulguard), "The Split", '68 played a way out good looking gal trying to please everyone, including the Hungry PLANT ! Wilbur Force played a great patient in a Dentist office who just simply LOVED PAIN AND SUFFERING and needed almost every tooth in his mouth PULLED for the JOY of IT ! If you want to see a very young Jack Nicholson starting out in pictures, this is a must see film !
The picture concerns upon a geeky employee (Jonathan Haze) working in a
florist shop called Mushnick (Mel Welles) who brings a carnivorous and
ferocious plant developing a bloodthirsty hunger and is forced to
murder for human eating .
Horror comedy blending black humor , parody , tongue-in-cheek and horror . The comedy is absurd and cheesy but gets its moments here and there . Incredible cheap but effective visual effects . This is a well known terror-comedy , it's a quickie but was shot for two days and is deemed one of Corman's best and funniest movies ever made although with lack budget . The principal actors and technicians will repeat along with Corman in various films ,in fact, the picture belongs to horror-black comedy sub-genre as ¨A bucket of blood¨ and ¨Creature from the haunted sea¨, both of them written by Charles B. Griffith (who is the voice of ¨Audrie the plant¨ and besides plays the thief) . In the film appears the Corman's ordinary actors as Mel Welles, Dick Miller, Haze and a young newcomer Jack Nicholson in a comic interpretation as a sadomasochistic who receives a especial dental intervention . The picture is remade (1986) as an amused musical comedy by Frank Oz with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis . The flick will appeal to classic and cult movies fans.
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