This exuberant 1986 sci-fi musical film version of Little Shop Of Horrors came from an off-Broadway stage hit based, in turn, on Roger Corman’s 1960 film.
Poor orphaned, nerdy Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) works in the failing flower shop belonging to old Mr Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia) on the Lower East Side of New York City – as does Audrey (Ellen Greene, reprising her Broadway role), with whom Seymour is in love.
Audrey, however, has a boyfriend, Orin Scrivello (Steve Martin), an obnoxious and sadistic motorbike-riding, nitrous oxide-abusing dentist.
One day, just after an eclipse of the moon, Seymour finds a strange plant. He names it Audrey II.
The plant starts to grow and grow, and soon it is enormous. Seymour becomes famous and popular but is beginning to think he must give up his new-found fame because the plant – with the voice of Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops – feeds on blood, and now it’s big enough to eat whole corpses.
The songs – a gloriously infectious mish-mash of 50s doo-wop, 80s pop-rock and Broadway balladry – keep things moving along at a breathless pace.
While some of the big names of American comedy – Bill Murray, John Candy, James Belushi – make guest appearances and Steve Martin threatens to steal the show, the real star of Little Shop was definitely Audrey II, who was ‘puppeted’ by Jim Henson’s workshop. The Muppets were never like this!
The film was shot on the largest soundstage in Western Europe – the 007 stage at England’s Pinewood Studios.