Little Shop of Horrors
Updated: Oct 30
Growing up, where I lived in west Toledo was always hopping on Halloween. Every house had its light on and kids were everywhere, but as I got older it was a shock how different it became. One year I went to my parents to help them pass out candy and it was sad how few kids showed up. It's a completely different story here in Tampa. Last year was a struggle maneuvering our wagon and Penny around because it was a sea of humanity. If I get back to Toledo or the surrounding area, I'm going to be so disappointed if Halloween isn't full of people. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves, first, we need to talk about...
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Earlier this month I said I wanted to hit some of the more classic movies in the genre that I had never seen before. That's why I was so pleased when I came across this while looking for something to watch on Max that wouldn't be too intense for Lincoln.
Rick Moranis plays Seymour, a nerdy florist working in a shop on "Skid Row." It's a very poor, rough-and-tumble section of New York City. During an eclipse, he finds a unique plant and decides to buy it. To drum up business, he puts the plant on display and it's a huge hit. A man immediately walks in to view the plant and then buys 100-money worth of flowers. The movie is ambiguous about when the exact date is, but by the style of clothing, it's somewhere in the 60's. For fun, I checked how much 100-money would be worth in today's climate and he bought $1,016.35 worth of flowers! It's not a bad haul!
When they get an unexpected windfall, the plant starts dying and Seymour can't figure out why. He's trying different things while doing a musical number when he accidentally cuts his finger on a rose thorn. The plant comes to life and Seymour realizes the plant feeds on blood. The plant keeps growing and their fame grows along with it. Seymour eventually realizes he can't keep pricking his finger forever and this plant is starting to want more and more, demanding Seymour get him some people to eat.
That's the gist of the movie. I'm going to be honest, I had no idea this was a musical. I was a little taken aback when they all started singing. Still, I liked it and I think it makes this particular movie better. The premise is ridiculous as the plant ends up growing to massive heights and can talk. The movie was also a stage production and the overacting and overemoting works in this movie because it fits the world they're inhabiting.. Another thing I liked was the cast. The main group is solid, but they have big names playing small roles. It has Jim Belushi, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, and John Candy as essentially cameos.
My favorite small role is Steve Martin's Orrin. He's a sadist dentist who is dating, and abusing Seymour's love interest. He is so over the top and ridiculous, that you can tell Martin is having an absolute blast playing the role. His hair is also jet black which took me a minute to get used to. He's such a cartoonish asshole that it's so much fun watching him chow down on the scenery. He has a whole song and dance about how he liked torturing people while he was younger so he became a dentist. At one point you see him come up on his motorcycle while his girlfriend, Audrey, tries to catch up with him. Once she makes it to him, he berates and blames her for falling off the motorcycle. He's the perfect 80s asshole that we need to see more of in movies today.
It's a fun, silly movie that I enjoyed. The characters are all entertaining and some of the songs are good too! I've been humming Steve Martin's song in my head while writing this and the song "Feed Me" is really good in a different way. First off, it's a good song, and it perfectly builds the tension for what's happening on the screen. Plus, after watching it, President Baby started saying, "I like that plant." He also really liked when the plant sang.
A sequel was announced but it never actually happened. The movie ended on a bit of a cliffhanger but they never picked it back up. If this movie were released today and was as big of a hit as it was, can you imagine how many sequels this would have spawned? How soon do we get the prequel showing the origin of the alien plant? And how soon do we get a Little Shop of Horror Universe of movies? I don't know where I'm going with this, outside of taking shots at movie studios. Oh well, the movie is a lot of fun and definitely worth a watch!
7.5 Dr. Chainsaws!
Check out the original ending of Little Shop of Horrors