Little Shop Of Horrors

Little Shop Of Horrors

****

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

1986. Over a quarter of a century has gone by since Mel Welles opened the doors of The Little Shop Of Horrors for the first time. Howard Ashman's musical adaptation has proved quite a success. Now some of the biggest comedy stars of the Eighties are queuing up to get involved.

Heading the cast is Rick Moranis, essentially reprising the character which made him a star in Ghostbusters - nerdy, timid, and hopelessly besotted with a woman he sees every day but scarcely dares to speak to. This time he's Seymour Krelborn, a florist's assistant on Skid Row, and the woman is his co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene), but she's dating a dentist (Steve Martin) with a reputation for violence.

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Seymour keeps his head down until one day he discovers a mysterious plant which proves so popular that he inadvertently becomes a media darling. Fame, money, and the life he's always wanted beckon to him. But Seymour is uneasy. The plant he depends on will thrive only if fed on human blood. Now that it's getting bigger, and wanting more, he faces a terrible dilemma.

Shot in vivid colour and interspersed with some terrific songs, this is a formulaic story but a hell of a ride. It benefits from pitch-perfect performances all round and a great villain in the form of the ever more elaborate plant. This is a film which the whole family can enjoy, but little ones may hide their eyes towards the end, when the plant resorts to violence. More graphic but without the darkness of the original, it's a tale whose power is in the telling. After seeing it, you won't look at your flowerbeds the same way again.



Editor's note: Look on YouTube for the original ending, never formally released, in which events take a still darker turn.

Reviewed on: 05 Apr 2008
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A shy young man finds his life transformed when he discovers an unusual plant - but at what cost?
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Director: Frank Oz

Writer: Howard Ashman

Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Levi Stubbs, James Belushi, John Candy, Christopher Guest, Bill Murray

Year: 1986

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

Festivals:

New York 2012

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The Little Shop Of Horrors