Monday, October 17, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016 - Day 17

Little Shop of Horrors
Roger Corman

Seymour Krelboyne (Jonathan Haze), in an effort to save his job, has created a hybrid plant that he names Audrey Jr. in honor of a co-worker he has a crush on, Audrey Fulquard (Jackie Joseph). The plant is a big hit with his boss, Mr. Mushnick (Mel Welles) and the weirdo clientele of Mushnick’s flower shop. Audrey Jr. starts dying and Krelboyne, panics unsure how to save it. After accidentally cutting his finger and learning Audrey Jr. has a taste for blood, Seymour faces a problem, to keep his job and potentially woo Audrey, he’s going to have find a way to keep Audrey Jr. alive. That is going to require bodies and lots of them.

Although I do like the 1986 musical version, it’s a shame that it has overshadowed the original so much. I can see people who come to this film, after seeing the Frank Oz directed version, and having a hard time getting in to it. It's black and white, there are no musical numbers, and it’s obviously a threadbare production (Corman reportedly shot it in two days). However, it is a wonderful black comedy filled with some great humor, and outstanding performances. Two stand-out performances are Dick Miller, as a man who eats flowers, and a brief cameo by Jack Nicholson as a masochistic dental patient. Normally cheapness in a production doesn’t bother me much, but the final moment in this film is undercut by the crude special effects. However, it’s the only dropped moment in 72 minutes of a top notch horror-comedy.

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