The Scoop: 1986 PG-13, directed by Frank Oz and starring Levi Stubbs, Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, and Steve Martin
Tagline: A singing plant. A daring hero. A sweet girl. A demented dentist.
Summary Capsule: A stirring musical that deals with love, loss, and ritualistic murder at the behest of a talking plant.
Heather’s Rating: In honor of the musical nature of this…er…musical, I’ve done the following review in rhyme. Read it to the tune of “Grow For Me” from Little Shop of Horrors and enjoy!
So there was this movie
Way back in the day
About a strange plant and
The blood that it craved.
It became a big hit
Through reruns on TV
It soon found new life as
An Off-Broadway show
That de-liv-ered more laughs
More blood and more woe.
This show spawned a movie
Starring Rick, Ellen, Steve…
Alsooo Bill Muuryyyy!
The music’s ama-zing and catchy
You must sing a long.
The cast is outra-geously funny,
The story’s engrossing and tragic,
Ends happily, but
That really depends on which version you have, the
Theatrical or Oz’s cut
Ugh! Damn test audiences. Damn ratings.
The editing’s tight, and
I noticed no flubs.
I con-tin-ually re-wind
Just to hear Levi Stubbs
I wouldn’t mislead you
My gents and ladies
Oh please! Please won’t you see! This movie!
- The scenes in which the two largest Audrey II puppets are performing with the actors are filmed at a lower speed. First at 16 frames per second, then at 12 frames per second for the final number. This means that the actors had to move and lip sync in slow motion.
- The puppeteers who designed and operated Audrey II were veterans of the Jim Henson company. One of the operators was Brian Henson, Jim’s son.
- Ellen Greene as Audrey (I) is the only member of the Off-Broadway cast to appear in this film.
- The members of the film’s “Greek Chorus” are all named after ’50s/’60s girl groups: The Ronettes, The Chiffons and The Crystals.
- Steve Martin’s performance of “Dentist!” is the best thing the man has done or will ever do. This is not my opinion. It is fact.
- SPOILERS below
- The original ending featured extensive model shots of Audrey 2 wreaking havoc on the city to the song “Don’t Feed the Plants”. The ending was reshot after bad preview audience reaction. That ending is now available for the first time in years on the Blu-Ray Director’s Cut version of the movie that came out last month (October 2012). This ending also has Audrey and Seymour getting eaten by Audrey II. END SPOILERS
Audrey II: If you wanna be profound/ If you really gotta justify/ Take a breath and look around/ A lot of folks deserve to die!
Arthur Denton: I think I need a root canal. I definitely need a long, slow root canal.
Orin: I thrill when I drill a bicuspid / It’s swell though they tell me I’m mal-ad-just-ed.
Audrey II: I got killer buds / A power stem / Nasty pods / And I’m using them! / So better move ’em out / Nature calls / You got my pun? / I’m gonna bust your balls!
Audrey: Seymour’s first radio broadcast! I wanted to hear it so bad. I tried to be on time, but…
Mr. Mushnik: Don’t tell me. You got tied up.
Audrey: No. Just handcuffed a little.
Orin: [holding a dentist’s tool] Let me ask you something! Does this scare you? Would you like if I took this and headed right for your damn incisors?
Seymour: [looks terrified]
Orin: It’d hurt, right?
Seymour: Uh huh.
Orin: You’d scream, right?
Seymour: Uh huh.
Orin: Well get your ass in here!
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