Plot: Seymour (Rick Moranis) pushes a broom at a flower shop that teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, but he has hope for a better future. In the basement of the shop, he tinkers with unusual plants and his latest acquisition is quite a find, a venus fly trap type plant, but a kind he has never seen before. He purchased the plant during a total eclipse of the sun and when his boss threatens to close the shop, Seymour decides it is time to unveil his newest curio. He calls the plant Audrey II, after his coworker Audrey (Ellen Greene), who he harbors a severe crush on. The boss is hesitant to let Seymour display his plant, but as soon as Audrey II is placed in the front window, customers pour in to see the unique plant up close. As business booms, Seymour finds himself on the way up, though his plant seems to be on an opposite trend. Audrey II is failing to grow and seems lifeless, as no plant food, soil, or water seems to nourish it. But when Seymour pricks his finger on a rose thorn, Audrey II perks to life and it becomes clear that blood might be the plant’s food of choice. But if Seymour gives in and provides a few drops of blood, how far will he go to make sure Audrey II remains healthy?
Entertainment Value: This review covers the director’s cut of the movie, which is mostly the same as the theatrical version, but takes a hard turn toward the finale and offers a much darker, wild conclusion. I don’t watch a lot of musicals, but Little Shop of Horrors is one that never fails to entertain and has a sharp, often dark sense of humor that really shines. The songs are creative and immense fun, with a natural flow that makes them an organic part of the movie, unlike some movies that seem to force in the songs without much finesse. You can tell a great deal of care went into making sure the musical side of this movie was perfectly handled. As good as the songs are, the dialogue also holds up well and is an almost constant source of humor. Of course, having a loaded cast like this one helps in that area, with Rick Moranis, Ellen Green, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, John Candy, Bill Murray, and Levi Stubbs as the voice of Audrey II, not to mention some hilarious cameos. Christopher Guest has only a few lines, but he is outlandish here and adds so much with his brief appearance. The scene between Martin and Murray is an all time classic, without question. Also crucial is the chemistry between Moranis and Greene, as that relationship is a pivotal part of the narrative. Great songs, fun dialogue, and a stellar cast, Little Shop of Horrors has remained a popular movie for good reason, so it is highly recommended.
No nakedness. The movie has some romance at times, but it is more dreams of a better life than lurid encounters. A little blood, as in a few drops, but there is some off screen violence, such as when we see the shadow of Seymour as he chops up a corpse with his ax. And while it isn’t blood related, anyone with a fear of dentists will be on edge here, as Martin goes all in as the sadistic dentist. He tortures his patients, punches his nurse, and his scene with Murray is outrageous and hilarious. Of course, Audrey II devours a good number of folks, but it is always bloodless and non graphic. The dialogue is excellent here, with every scene packed with dark humor and memorable lines. The cast runs with the material too, so they really make sure the material is wrung out for all the potential comic payoffs. The songs are also a lot of fun and cleverly written, including Martin’s wild and outrageous song about his sadistic side. And without a doubt, “feed me, Seymour” is part of pop culture lore. As for craziness, this one has a comic tone, but deals in some dark topics and never flinches, so that bold comic approach certainly creates some wild moments. The performances embrace that boldness as well, so they are all so much fun to watch. Just a strange, often dark trip that always entertains and provides consistent laughs.
Overall Insanity: 5/10