So now I move on to 1986 with the voted for reviews as I cover two films from every year that I’ve existed for. The 1986 winners were two films I remember loving as a youngster The Fly which I’ll most likely review early next week because of it’s gore obviously and this Little Shop of Horrors because it was damn fun. So here’s my first 1986 poll winner review.
Director – Frank Oz
Writers – Howard Ashman
Stars – Levi Stubbs, Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve MArtin, John Candy, Christopher Guest and Bill Murray.
Run Time – 92 minutes/104 minutes original
Budget – $25 million estimated
Tagline – A Singing Plant. A Daring Hero. A Sweet Girl. A Demented Dentist.
Trivia – As part of the film’s promotion, the “Audrey II” plant was occasionally interviewed, in character, by the press. On at least one occasion, the interview concluded with Audrey II “eating” the interviewer.
Trivia – “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space” (written for this film) is the first Oscar-nominated song to contain profanity. As a result, the song was edited, replacing the more risqué lyrics with lyrics cut from the final film (though included on the film soundtrack).
I was so pleased when this was nominated by the good people of Twitter as a film for me to review, my missus had never seen it and I knew she’d love it and I hadn’t seen it since I was a kid. Despite some films not living up to the childhood memories and massively disappointing me (I’m looking at you original turtles films) I was pretty confident with this being a musical that it would still be an enjoyable watch.
The story for those of you that haven’t seen it is a pretty simple one, bumbling idiot Seymour played to perfection by Rick Moranis works in a flower shop. He’s pretty much a slave to the owner Mushnik who helped him when he was younger, gave him a place to live and a job but expects a lot from poor Seymour.
Seymour is also in love with Audrey who is dating a sadistic dentist who is also played perfectly cheesily by Steve Martin. Audrey is a victim, her lover beats her and she doubts herself capable of finding a new man that’ll treat her right.
One day Seymour finds a plant that turns out to be some sort of alien life form. The plant is tiny to start with and gets sick, it’s here that Seymour realises the plant gets better with blood. As the plant grows it needs more blood to survive. Soon the plant becomes the center of attention at the flower shop and business starts to boom.
Seymour face a moral dilemma, is it okay for the plant to eat bad people? For anyone that has seen this and those that might be guessing will know and will guess rightly otherwise we wouldn’t have a film. All these scenes of Seymour finding the plant, feeding it, trying to get the girl, the plant named Audrey II growing quick, are all interspersed with great catchy songs.
I’m not really a fan of musical films but this one is perfect for it. The thing I liked most as well was as I watched I started to remember parts of it. Then the ending came along and I couldn’t remember it at all, turns out that before 1998 the ending was a happy one and after it was a darker but still amusing ending. I had no knowledge of this!
- Obviously the thing that matters in a musical are the songs, in this they’re absolutely spot on every single time.
- Rick Moranis is perfect as Seymour.
- I don’t think a better voice could have been picked for Audrey II, deep and powerful his songs are probably the best in the film.
- The whole concept of an alien plant needing blood and wanting to take over the world is as fun as it sounds.
- The cameos were great, Steve Martin has a big part so can’t be classed as a cameo but the brilliant John Candy is great as a radio host interviewing Seymour about the plant. Then enter Bill Murray as someone who gets turned on by sadistic dentists, I read most of his lined were down to him and it shows in what is one of my favourite cameos of all time.
- The three girls that are involved as backing singers in nearly all the songs are really good and it’s a nice touch that they are also characters in the film.
- Steve Martin deserves a lot of credit, I must admit I’m not a fan of his but this part was made for him.
- The effects, even today I love the way Audrey II looks.
- As I mentioned the ending, if you have never seen this I suggest you make sure you watch both endings.
- Maybe needed a couple more comic deaths to show Audrey II feeding but that’s being very picky.
- Does the fact that I will now have to pay out hundreds of pounds to see the stage musical count as a bad?
There’s honestly nothing else I can think of that’s bad about this film, it’s a great ride from start to finish. It’s got likeable characters and it’s got characters you want to see “get it” The songs are catchy and all very good, as I mentioned I don’t really like musical films but this one is great viewing. If you’ve not seen it at all you need to get it watched, if you’ve not seen it for a long time then you need to find a copy and give it another watch.
This is simply put one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen in a long time. Go watch it!!
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
Other films I’ve review for the My Life in Horror series are as follows