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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Little Shop Of Horrors (1986)

A nerd (Rick Moranis) working in a florist shop has a crush on a co-worker (Ellen Greene) who is dating a sadistic dentist (Steve Martin). But things change when an odd little plant he's named Audrey II that he bought after a total eclipse of the sun starts developing and attracting national attention. The only problem is the plant needs human blood to survive. Based on the 1982 off Broadway musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (THE LITTLE MERMAID) which was based on the 1960 Roger Corman horror film comedy. Directed by Frank Oz, it's a delirious and silly musical with catchy songs and a playful attitude that's infectious. Audrey II is a spectacular creation with a lewd sinister grin and as voiced by Levi Stubbs (of the Four Tops), he roars! The movie is briefly stolen by Bill Murray in a priceless performance as a masochistic dental patient (played by Jack Nicholson in the 1960 version). It's an irresistible film and even if you don't like musicals, this one will win you over. I watched the director's cut which has the darker apocalyptic ending rather than the "happy" ending foisted on the original release. With Vincent Gardenia, John Candy, Christopher Guest, Miriam Margolyes, Paul Dooley (original cut) and replaced by James Belushi in the altered version. Plus Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell and Michelle Weeks who are marvelous as a Motown style singing Greek chorus.   

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