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|Index||123 reviews in total|
I just HAD to write a review of this classic little Corman pic. It's one of
my very favorites, and goes to show that you don't need a big budget to make
an entertaining film. In this, case, the budget is almost non-existant and
yet the story of Seymour Krelbourne and his potted plant monstrosity Audrey
Jr. sings to you, and without the songs of the musical.
Now, I probably shouldn't do this, but I have to compare at least some of the elements of this one and the film version of the Broadway musical. The excising of characters, like Seymour's hypochondriac mother who makes soup out of cough medicine, is one reason you should see this film BEFORE you see the musical Frank Oz film.
The other thing is that Rick Moranis's stereotypical nerd version of our Stanley is totally unnecessary. Just watch the Jonathan Haze nebbish at work and you can see that horn-rimmed glasses are no substitute for pure characterization.
Okay, so maybe the Dragnet-style cops are dated, but what possessed the writer of the musical effort to make the plant some outer-space visitor? It really isn't necessary and it adds nothing to the proceedings.
I even like the Supreme-type girl group choir addition which in a musical makes narrative sense, but I really hated the outer space angle and the loss of a truly memorable character like Seymour's Mom.
And this one has Jack Nicholson in an inspired black comedy performance which Bill Murray does okay but not nearly as well.
But then the musical did have Steve Martin which is cool.
Anyhoo, this is the one that is a keeper. The cheesiness and even the grainy black and white works for the picture and not against it.
Oh, one more thing. Was it really necessary to go so broad for the Jackie Joseph character? Simplicity is still the key here. As wonderful as the performance of the Audrey in the later film musical was (she is an amazing singer to be sure and did a lot with the character) I could have done without the bouffant blonde wig and pink dress with over-sized bows. Less is more, people!
One of the best of Corman's pics and a damned funny comedy. It fed me just the right amount of everything and it's music is the praises I sing. No note is flat here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film has undergone a reboot and has even been made into a musical. Seymour's (Jonathan Haze) plant has a taste for humans. The film spoofs "Dragnet" with Det. Sgt .Joe Fink (Wally Campo) and Det. Frank Stoolie (Jack Warford). Jack Nicholson has a minor role as a creepy masochistic character. Jackie Joseph who played Audrey would later appear in "Gremlins" 1 and 2 and "Police Academy" 2 and 4. She was also the voice for Melody in "Josie and the Pussycats" TV cartoon series. Dick Miller, the man eating carnations would make a living out of playing a character named "Walter Paisley" in a half dozen films or episodes. I enjoyed it, and I can see where the remakes would appeal more to a younger crowd.
"Hi, I'm Burson Fouch." "Gravis Mushnik." "Oh, that's a good one."
'The Little Shop of Horrors' might be the best looking movie ever filmed in two days and one night. That said, it is also funniest movie Roger Corman ever directed. Some of the camp and slapstick might seem mostly outdated now, but you cannot go without appreciating the genius banter and wordplay the dialogue and narrations are filled with (My name is Fink, sergeant Joe Fink, I'm the fink.). And these witty remarks never grow tiresome. The acting is mostly delightfully hammy and sometimes over the top (Jack Nicholson's sadomasochistic Wilbur Force), but without becoming irritating unlike some modern comedic 'geniouses' (ehem, Adam Sandler, ehem). Add wonderfully serious performance by Dick Miller as a balance and you have nice ensemble of oddballs.
'The Little Shop of Horrors' although inferior in many aspects to the musical with similar title, is aged rather well (not counting the special effects), compared to other horror comedies from that era. Not horrifying anymore, but remains darkly humorous thanks to smartly written screenplay filled with fantastic puns.
In a struggling skid row florists, clumsy shop assistant Seymour
Krelboyne (Jonathan Haze) manages to draw in the customers by
showcasing a most unusual plant, Audrey Junior (named after his pretty
co-worker Audrey, played by Jackie Joseph), unaware that successfully
nurturing the plant requires a constant supply of human flesh and
Even though it's far from perfect, having been thrown together in a mere two days on a minuscule budget, I cannot help but have great affection for Roger Corman's dark comedy horror The Little Shop of Horrors: without it, I wouldn't have one of my favourite 'alternative' musicals, Frank Oz's superb 1986 remake (of which the Director's Cut is a 10/10 movie, IMHO).
Although Corman's film doesn't come close to Oz's version in terms of cast (Jack Nicholson is the only 'recognisable' actorDick Miller doesn't count), production values, or special effects, it more than delivers in terms of sheer invention and boasts a quirky nature that makes it fun from start to finish. If like me, you're a huge fan of the musical, check out the original to see where it all beganyou won't be disappointed.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is another one of the Roger Corman quickies made
on the cheap. This one was shot in just two days and it shows. It's got
a one-trick storyline, takes place for the most part in a single set,
and with a small group of actors involved, many of whom were Corman
regulars. It could have been a load of old rubbish but it works and the
major reason for that is down to the interesting, original storyline.
Griffith's idea is about a sort-of Venus flytrap plant that feeds on
human blood rather than flies; in essence this is a vampire story, but
with a plant rather than a human. There were lots of 'killer plant'
type stories being churned out in the pulp age of weird fiction and
this is just like one of them. Corman chooses to play things for laughs
and the result is a quirky comedy with lots of surreal humour involved.
Many of the laughs come from the bizarre characters in the film. Jonathan Haze is very good as the dim-witted Seymour and Jackie Joseph shines as the beautiful object of his obsession, Audrey. Mel Welles has fun as the larger-than-life flower shop owner and there are great, minor roles for Corman regulars Jack Nicholson (hilarious as a sado-masochist) and Dick Miller (as a guy who loves eating flowers). The special effects of the killer plant are VERY limited but the ending, with the faces of the victims appearing in the blossoms, is imaginative and slightly disturbing. It's not a film that you'll want to watch more than once, and the musical remake vastly outclassed it in terms of budget and technical proficiency, but the skewed, off-kilter comedy and bizarre storyline make it worth a watch.
Before it became a hit musical which was later adapted into the popular 1986 musical film, Little Shop of Horrors was this, a B-movie at it's best. For a film that was shot over the course of a few days, I was impressed by. The cinematography isn't daring because of this, but the film's best asset is in it's style. It's dark and farce at the same time, strangely, the two go well together in this universe. The plot is simple, a boy working in a florist's shop creates a strange plant that feeds on human flesh and blood. The more it eats, the stronger and larger it becomes, it even develops the ability to talk and hypnotize people to do it's bidding. I personally am more of a fan of the musical film version, but it's nice to see it's roots. Director Roger Corman does a good job at tying all of it together for it's short production schedule. Hats off to Jack Nicholson, who manages to make a cameo in the film.
The opening credits of this movie were very interesting in my opinion. The sketched buildings were very appealing since that is a different approach to introducing a movie. The music is very entertaining and flows along very well with the movie. I liked the voice over in the beginning as the credits were rolling. Seymore is a very funny character who in a way kind of reminds me of Charlie Chaplin. He is very clumsy and it works for his character. The mallet music is in a way Seymore's theme song when he is on a mission. I think it is goofy which matches his personality. It is very strange that the movie is based around a plant, and also that the plant can talk, but the plot is effective and very funny. Some scenes were were a little off synchronized with the camera angles and elements like that. But overall, it was a pretty good movie in respects to it being a B-list movie, which explains the cheesy plot and non synchronized shots.
so i went into this movie expecting the frank oz 80s film i had some vague knowledge of... instead i had stumbled upon a 1960s roger corman film that was a touch darker much cheesier and ultimately more streamlined because it didn't have to bend over backward to accommodate musical numbers... this movie was made for $20,000 if i remember right and it shows... the effects are extremely cheesy the actors are all wonderfully cartoony and the whole affair is so hilariously campy and messed up its begging for viewing at movie nerd parties everywhere... the ridiculous action in the film keeps it interesting and its all very fun... the film itself looks about 30 years older than it is... the perils of low budget i guess... its an essential for movie buffs... pure popcorn and cheese... there is a reason corman is a legend and this is some good evidence
"The Little Shop of Horrors" is an odd finding in the black comedy barrel. It's a movie that has about as much structure as a Jenga tower; It seems that with every over-the-top moment in the plot and overreaction of the characters, the film gets to the point where you're not certain whether or not it will fall over by the next scene. I'm aware of its B-movie charm, and I've even heard that it took only two days to shoot all the footage, so it's understandable to see actors often rushing and forcing dialogue. It does make for great entertainment, however. The overall goofiness of the entire situation makes it comical in a sense. The script drops a lot of great jokes and lines, too. Jonathan Haze plays a fantastic main character, because it's fitting for him to be two-dimensional.
I thought this comedy-horror, was done pretty well, i know it could
have been a lot better but for use of there time i thought it was good.
I thought the overall plot was good and the lighting of the film made
me like it more.
The weird evil dentist kind of made me laugh, it was just random but i loved it.
The acting was'nt brilliant in the movie, but it was good enough for me. The only thing that kind of annoyed me about the movie was the odd music beats that would play in the background a lot. I think i could watch this movie a few more time and still enjoy it. i recommend
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