|Page 4 of 15:||             |
|Index||146 reviews in total|
Based on the off-Broadway musical by Howard Ashman, which was based on
Roger Corman's 1960 film that was apparently shot in two days, Little
Shop of Horrors sees lonely plant shop worker Seymour Krelborn (Rick
Moranis) discovers a strange venus fly-trap-alike plant while wandering
uptown. With the shop failing and facing a possible sacking from owner
Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia), Seymour tries the plant in the shop window
to instant success. He names the plant Audrey II, a dedication to his
squeaky-voiced love Audrey (Ellen Greene) who is in an abusive
relationship with sadistic dentist Orin (Steve Martin). Not knowing how
to feed his new sensation, Seymour accidentally cuts his finger one
day, and discovers that Audrey II has a lust for blood. With his
fingers drying up, and Audrey II becoming bigger every day, Seymour
must resort to other means to find fresh blood.
Like most straight men of my age, I don't tend to warm to musicals. There are, of course, some greats in the genre - Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), Singin' in the Rain (1952), West Side Story (1959) - but I usually find them to be three hours of singing and dancing based around a simple concept or plot. The genre has seen its fair share of oddball productions, and Little Shop of Horrors is one of these - one part a lovable homage to B-movies and the work of the likes of Roger Corman, and one part an impressive musical, featuring some very catchy numbers and staying true to the ideals and traditions of the genre. The film is also surprisingly (and therefore pleasantly) dark, featuring axe mutilation, domestic violence, dental torture, and a sadomasochistic patient.
Of all the cameos that pop up, Bill Murray's (as you would expect) is the most memorable. Taking over from Jack Nicholson's baby-faced role in Corman's original, he becomes visibly sexually aroused while Orin ploughs through his draw of many horrific-looking dental instruments to create a hilarious and quite edgy scene, given its PG rating. John Candy, James Belushi (taking over from an unfortunately axed Paul Dooley after the climax had to be-shot due to negative test screenings while Dooley was unavailable), and Christopher Guest are less successful. But Steve Martin manages to steal the film even from the fantastic Levi Stubbs, who voices Audrey II, playing the ridiculously over-the-top, motorbike-riding, gas-addicted Orin, whose musical number is the best in the film (the part in which he punches the nurse in the face had me giggling). It's a nice reminder of how Martin used to be one the most watchable comedians of his day. This is the Martin of The Man With two Brains (1983) and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982), before he became the go-to guy for middle-class suburban dads in those wretched American family movies.
I've yet to see the original ending (also the ending of the off-Broadway musical), which was seen as too nihilistic and satirical for test screening audiences. I have read what the other ending is though, and sounds far more memorable than the rather simplistic one that was re- shot (it was preferred by director Frank Oz and practically everyone else involved in making the film), but it isn't the first, and certainly won't be the last time a mainstream audience would hide behind their hands in the wake of watching something a bit different. This film was one of my favourites as a kid (my brother said that I used to sing and dance around the house to the opening song - a claim I staunchly deny!), and watching it as a 27 year old, I can appreciate it as a B-movie fan, something that obviously flew over my head as a child. It eclipses Corman's cheap-as-chips original, and is ultimately a rather trashy, silly, but undeniably fun experience.
I myself am not well-versed on great musicals. I've been trying to
watch as many as I could. South Pacific, Sweeney Todd, and now Little
Shop of Horrors(although I actually watched Little Shop of horrors
first) are some of the many great musicals I've watched to try and get
a feel for the genre.
The beginning of the movie just slams you with an awesome opening song, featuring the Greek-chorus of the three teenage girls, who'll be popping up throughout the rest of the movie. It's insanely catchy, has a great beat, and gets you psyched for the rest of the film. The movie stars Rick Morranis, as Seymour Krelbourn, a nerdy, clumsy, but well-meaning employee of Mr.Mushnick's(greatest name ever!) flower shop. He's also in love with Audrey, a gorgeous, sweet girl, played by the original stage actress, Ellen Greene, also working at the shop, who's in an abusive relationship with her insane dentist boyfriend, played extremely well by Steve Martin.
The plant comes into play as a means of attracting business for the store. However, it turns out the plant is alive and requires human blood in order to grow. The Audrey II, as it is referred to, is played magnificently by Levi Stubb, who has a great villain voice, both speaking and singing. The special effects are magnificent, as the plant has tons of life and personality. You're often wondering how they pulled it all off.
There's also a few really funny guest cameos, from legends John Candy and Bill Murray. They only have one scene, but the humor and effort is felt and works very well. Lastly, the songs are all excellent. They were written by the legendary Allan Menken, and probably assisted in some way by the equally great Howard Ashman, both of which you may recognize from Disney's Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. My favorites would have to be Down on Skid Row and Mean Green Mother from Outer Space. Also, special mention goes to Somewhere That's Green, which is so tender and sweet, that it's sort of played for laughs, but there is genuine heart in it, that truly gets you invested in the characters. The songs are all performed very well, with a surprisingly amazing tenor from Mr. Rick Morranis himself.
There's not much else I can say, but go see this movie. It's not for kids, as there is mild swearing, adult themes such as sadism, massochism, abuse, drug use, and murder.However, it's not really overly graphic. It's alright for ages 10 and up, probably. The music is excellent, the characters are excellent, the performances are excellent, and the special effects are excellent. It's just a great movie. By it wherever you can(probably online nowadays) and enjoyable, well-constructed film and musical. 9/10 for sure!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Based upon the 1982 Off-Broadway production, Little Shop is my favorite
musical of all time! It has an all star cast of names such as Rick
Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin, and even a cameo by Bill Murray
and John Candy. The film became a cult classic and still remains one to
Enter Skid Row of New York. Seymour Krelborn is a poor young man living with Mushnik, who took him in and gave him a job at the flower shop with the beautiful Audrey. However, the store isn't doing so good, and Seymour appears to have a new plant that he calls "Audrey II" after Audrey, whom he adores and loves so much. However, Audrey is dating a sadistic and abusive boyfriend named Orin, a sadistic dentist who lives to cause pain. Back to Audrey II, one night Seymour discovers that Audrey II can talk, and is a plant from outer space, who can only survive if fed human flesh! This leads Seymour onto a hilarious adventure with gruesome results! This is my favorite movie ever. It has a rock musical score, has amazingly talented cast of actors and boy, Rick Moranis sure can sing! Plus Levi Stubbs, who played Audrey II's voice is part of what adds to the fun! So overall, this is the best musical ever, and if you like a twisted movie with great music and loads of laughs as much as I do, go buy this!
As far as non-Disney movie-musicals from the 80's go, Little Shop of Horrors is probably about as good as you can get, although since its sharing a category with disasters like Earth Girls are Easy and Xanadu, that's not saying much. In this adaptation of Roger Corman's schlocky monster flick, Rick Moranis (remember him?) plays Seymour Krelborn, a poor doofus of a kid working as a lackey for a downtown flower shop on its last legs. One day he comes across a "strange and unusual plant" he affectionately names "Audrey II" after his co-worker and girl of his desires, Audrey (Ellen Greene). As Seymour's discovery rapidly grows, so does the store's business; alas the catch is the plant won't grow unless it is regularly fed blood, which Seymour does with a poke and squeeze of his fingers. When Audrey II lets Seymour in on the secret that she can talk (and sing with soul thanks to the vocal talent of The Four Tops' Levi Stubbs), the evil manipulative plant talks Seymour into something a tad more chewy than blood in exchange for empty promises. All of the songs are catchy - standout musical numbers include "Skid Row" (Moranis, though nasal, is shockingly talented at singing), "Feed Me," and my favorite scene, "Dentist!" with classic doll-decapitating Steve Martin appropriately miscast as Audrey's rebel D.D.S. boyfriend. The movie can come off as painfully campy at times (especially if your high school is one of the millions to do the stage production), but through the astounding puppetry of the Jim Henson Creature Shop (Frank "Fozzie" Oz directed) and some memorable funny cameos by the likes of Bill Murray and Christopher Guest among others, Little Shop gets the passing grade, even if the ending does a complete 180 from the original stage musical's.
Let's not beat around the bush-- I *loved* this movie! I mean, a musical about a man-eating plant, with a cameo by Bill Murray as a masochistic dental patient ("I'm sure I need a long, slow root canal")? Sign me up! Of course, I couldn't help but make comparisons between this and "Rocky Horror Picture Show", the latter being my favorite movie musical ever. That being said, this movie was a bit odd in the discovery of a few overly Disney-ish songs ("Skid Row," "Somewhere That's Green," and "Suddenly Seymour") I now must skip through in future viewings. But the film is well handled for a sci-fi horror musical comedy, and Frank Oz knows what he's doing with talented comic actors such as Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, and Steve Martin. And the Audrey II is excellently realized! Come on-- what's not to like?
This is a classic example of a hollywood musical. Good songs, funny, sincere acting, a bit dark, romantic, and the plant is amazing. Ellen Greene is heartbreakingly sweet and vulnerable, and she can sing. Steve Martin is point on funny as always and you have to love Rick Moranis. I was a fan of the B&W Roger Corman original, but this is a totally different creature and a worthwhile pick up from the video/DVD store. I own the DVD and director Frank Oz's commentary is very enlightening and it has a music soundtrack only feature.
Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed this movie immensely. I enjoyed it almost
much as I enjoyed the play that it's adapted from. Yes, the PLAY, on
Broadway in the early `80's, not the MOVIE, made in 1960 by Roger Corman,
which is also a gem. The 1960 movie inspired the play, inspiring the 1986
movie by Frank Oz. And this is where Hollywood took over.
In truth, I have not seen the Corman film, so I don't know if the viewer comes away from that film with a sense of the common man as a hero, as with the 1986 film. But the PLAY ends on a decidedly tragic, menacing, unusual note, while the ending of the 1986 film has been tremendously happied up. Both endings have merits, and standing alone, the Frank Oz film certainly is enjoyable and one of my favorites - ending and all. My only resentment is that Holllywood saw fit to end the movie on a happy note with only a hint of menace, as opposed to the full-blown menace of the play's ending, which, even if it were not true to the Corman film, was a unique treatment of the "alien invasion" subtype of the SF genre.
An enjoyable, well made film none the less.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't really care for this movie that much. I think the singing ruined it for me. I do like the idea of the movie, just not as a musical. I think if this movie wasn't a musical, I might have enjoyed it better. What I did like about the movie was its plot, which I thought was original, funny and dark at times. It's a scifi / musical/ dark comedy about a large, carnivorous plant with a mind of its own that begins to take over the life of Seymour, a nerdy flower shop employee. In addition to the plot, I also liked the acting of Rick Moranis. I think he was good as Seymour. I got the sense that if Seymour had just been braver in life, he wouldn't have needed a plant telling him what to do. I also enjoyed the performance of Vincent Gardenia as the flower shop owner. However, I didn't care for Steven Martian in the role of the sadistic dentist. I didn't find him very threatening or convincing. Also I though Ellen Green as Audrey, the object of Seymour's affections, was annoying.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of my favorite films.
This semi-cult musical tells the story of nerdy Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), his crush, the ditzy Audrey (Ellen Greene), and a giant flytrap-like plant from outer space, who lives on blood.
It's a comedy, to be sure, but it has some of the best, most awesome music I have ever heard. I own both the original off-Broadway cast recording and the new Broadway cast recording.
I've seen the original 60's Roger Corman movie, and it doesn't even hold a candle to this great film. The music is so catchy, and the lyrics are well-written and amazing. This movie is just great. i can watch it over and over again.
Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia and Steve Martin. special
appearances by Christopher Guest, Bill Murray, John Candy and Jim
Belushi. Levi Stubbs(voice). Introducing Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks
and Tisha Campbell.
Excellent musical-comedy that actually has great music and is geniunly funny. It's about down on his luck nerd Seymour (Moranis). He works for mean bossman Muschnik (Gardenia) along with his co-worker Audrey (Greene) who he has a major crush on. She meanwhile has a greasey boyfriend that happens to be a dentist named Orin Schrivello (Martin). Everything is going bad until he puts a strange plant he found in the store window. Soon the plant (named Audrey 2) comes to life and needs blood. Every performance in this film was top notch. Rick Moranis is excellent as nerd Seymour and even sings well. Ellen Greene, who played Audrey on stage, obviously has the character down and gives a flawless performance. Vincent Gardenia is great as the blowhard flower shop owner. And of course, the one remembered most from this film is Steve Martin, who gives his best performance to date as an evil dentist who enjoys others pain. Even with the amount of screen time he was given he manages to give a stellar performance. Excellent acting and great music. Direction is great too, by Frank Oz (of the Muppets). I highly recommend it!!!!!
My rating- A minus. rated PG-13 for violence/gore and some language.
|Page 4 of 15:||             |
|Plot summary||Plot synopsis||Ratings|
|Awards||Newsgroup reviews||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|