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Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother Director's Cut)
Genres:
Comedy, Horror, Horror Comedy, Musical, Musical Comedy, Natural Horror
Director:
Frank Oz Frank Oz
Starring:
Levi Stubbs Levi Stubbs
Rick Moranis Rick Moranis
Ellen Greene Ellen Greene
Vincent Gardenia Vincent Gardenia
Steve Martin Steve Martin

6.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: November 21, 2011
When I was a kid, the local library had a very nice VHS collection, and my mom was kind enough to take us on a weekly basis. While I'd grab stuff I haven't seen every here and there, I took out Little Shop of Horrors at least once a month, and would watch it at least three or four times in the week I had it. Being such a huge part of my childhood, the fact that my girlfriend has never seen it wasn't going to stand.

Skid Row: you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. It's the downtown ghetto where the impoverished call home after grinding through their 9 to 5 jobs just to stay broke. It's also the home to Mushnik's Flower Shop, a small store that employs the physically abused Audrey and the timid Seymour. The company is on the verge of bankruptcy, and in a last ditch effort, Seymour puts a strange flytrap, named the Audrey II in honor of his coworker, in the window to attract business. It works like a charm, and soon the money is pouring in. Unfortunately, the Audrey II is wilting despite his best efforts to keep it healthy. Quickly growing frustrated with the stubborn plant, he stumbles upon its secret when he pricks his finger on the thorn of a rose and "Two-y" reaches out for the bloody hand. Soon, Seymour's feeling a little anemic, but both business and plant are booming and blooming. Obviously, Seymour can only keep up the ever increasing need for blood for so long, and when the plant gets particularly pushy, he's going to have to look elsewhere to get it.

I'm not even going to sugar coat it. This review is going to be me unashamedly gushing like a little fanboy. For me, this is one of those movies you loved as a kid, and when you watch as an adult, you do so with a cheesy, excited grin on your face and unadulterated happiness. This movie is all about a fun ride from the word, "go," and it's the Audrey II character that sells it the whole time. It's sarcastic, crude and manipulative, and plays the nerdy Seymour for a sap without breaking a sweet. Sure, he comes off as a genie-esque "your-wish-is-my-command" miracle, but everybody knows there's darker intentions beneath it all. And watching them play out to Seymour's horror is an absolute joy.

And the songs. Oh, the songs. They're upbeat, catchy as hell, and the lyrics are a blast. Since I've watched this, I've had one of about four or five of them stuck in my head at any given moment. Most of them are in a fifty's doo-wop style, a style that I've always adored; but even if you don't, there's a few other numbers that might suit you. For example, the slower ballads, "Somewhere That's Green" and "Suddenly Seymour" or the rocking "Mean Green Mother" and "Feed Me".

Topping it all off, we've got some beautiful acting on display to bring it all home. Not that this should come as any surprise with Rick Moranis in the starring role, who's never had any trouble proving his worth in front of a camera. On the secondary level, Vincent Gardenia wasn't bad as Seymour's antagonistic boss, and Ellen Greene carries the love interest role nicely, even if her voice can be a little grating by movie's end. And then there's Audrey II himself. Levi Stubbs, of Four Tops fame, handles the manipulative plant as beautifully as the effects used to bring it to life. I sure do miss the days where puppetry was the go-to option, instead of CGI. Plus, in a background chorus/quasi-narrator role is the incredibly talented trio of Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks, and Tisha Campbell. Finally, just in case that's not enough, you're treated to cameos by the likes of Bill Muray, John Candy, Steve Martin, and James Belushi. Nice.

Little Shop of Horrors is an insanely good time. I love the movie, I love the songs, just as much at twenty-five as when I was eight. A movie like this is ripe for the remaking in today's age, and I hope it never comes to pass. I can't bear to imagine Zac Efron or Justin Bieber singing along with a big computer glitch. It's already been made perfectly. Don't even waste your time; just look right here. 9.5/10.
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