NOVEMBER 15, 2007
One of my favorite movies growing up was the musical version of Little Shop Of Horrors. I had the film taped off of HBO (complete with the “Feature Presentation” music, which I still “miss” when I watch the film on DVD), as well as the soundtrack, which used to bug me because some of the songs were different. I even went to a stage production in Massachusetts a few years back. Yet, it took me like 20 years to finally see the source film.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed the 1960 version. Notoriously shot in only 2 days, I think the movie’s pretty well done, considering. I miss the songs (the dentist just isn’t as hilarious without “You’ll be a DENNNNNNNNTIST!”), and obviously the climax isn’t as exciting, but it more than makes up for it in black humor and just plain weird nonsense that finds its way into the film.
Principal among the film’s strange highlights is Dick Miller’s character. He plays a guy who eats flowers as if it was the most natural thing in the world. When Seymour brings up his new project plant, Miller tries to entice Mushnick to let Seymour display the plant in the shop, beginning his argument with “I’ve eaten in flower shops all over the world...”. Then, a bit later, he exits a scene by claiming he has to get home, for his wife “is making gardenias for dinner.” Hahahah what? Awesome.
The film is very similar in structure to A Bucket of Blood, complete with an ending in which our “hero” is chased for a bit before becoming part of the very thing he became known for in the first place. But what do you expect from Corman? It’s a wonder he didn’t use the same set.
MST3k fans might like to know that Mike Nelson has recorded a commentary for this film, on the DVD released via Legend Films. I have bought a few of his other releases (Plan 9, Night of the Living Dead, Reefer Madness, etc) and for whatever reason, they aren’t nearly as funny as his Rifftrax commentaries. So I haven’t checked this one out yet, but I am sure I will someday. If anyone reading this has already done so, let me know how it is, maybe I’ll fast-track it.
Also, I’d like to mention that I do a damn good rendition of “Suddenly Seymour” if I do say so my damn self.
What say you?