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Sunday, October 30, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016 - Day 30


Little Shop of Horrors (Director’s Cut)
1986
Frank Oz

Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) introduces the perfect thing to save the ailing Mushnik flower shop, an unusual plant he has dubbed Audrey II, after the co-worker he pines for, Audrey (Ellen Greene). The plant does the trick and starts to attract business, but there is a cost. The plant requires blood and more than that after it begins to grow larger. Audrey II beings to speak (and sing), luring Seymour down a dark path that begins with the death of Audrey’s abusive boyfriend/sadistic dentist, Orin Scrivello, DDS (Steve Martin). As the bodies start to pile up, it becomes evident that Audrey II has more in mind than helping  out a skid row flower shop.

The musical remake of Little Shop of Horrors is well known and well-loved film (deservedly so). For years, there has been discussion of the originally filmed ending, and it wasn’t until a recent Blu-ray release that that ending was available and presented as it was initially intended. In complete opposition to the happy ending of the theatrical release, the new ending is apocalyptic. Much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), there is an encroaching darkness the overwhelms the comedic elements by the end. Tonally, I think it works, but the final demise of two loved characters is absolutely pitch black. It does drive home the ‘horror’ part of the title, which gets a little lost otherwise.  The final doom laden sequence featuring giant Audrey IIs rampaging through New York is wonderful in how well it is staged. It’s over the top, but never played for laughs.

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