Little Shop of Horrors

December 19th, 1986


Little Shop of Horrors

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A nerdish florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 6.6/10 (27,108 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: Frank Oz

Stars: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia

Seymour Krelborn is a nerdy orphan working at Mushnik's, a flower shop in urban Skid Row. He harbors a crush on fellow co-worker Audrey Fulquard, and is berated by Mr. Mushnik daily. One day as Seymour is seeking a new mysterious plant, he finds a very mysterious unidentified plant which he calls Audrey II. The plant seems to have a craving for blood and soon begins to sing for his supper. Soon enough, Seymour feeds Audrey's sadistic dentist boyfriend to the plant and later, Mushnik for witnessing the death of Audrey's ex. Will Audrey II take over the world or will Seymour and Audrey defeat it?

Writers: Charles B. Griffith, Howard Ashman

Rick Moranis - Seymour Krelborn
Ellen Greene - Audrey
Vincent Gardenia - Mr. Mushnik
Steve Martin - Orin Scrivello, DDS
Tichina Arnold - Crystal
Michelle Weeks - Ronette
Tisha Campbell-Martin - Chiffon (as Tisha Campbell)
Levi Stubbs - Audrey II (voice)
James Belushi - Patrick Martin
John Candy - Wink Wilkinson
Christopher Guest - Customer #1
Bill Murray - Arthur Denton
Stan Jones - Narrator (voice) (as Stanley Jones)
Bertice Reading - 'Downtown' Old Woman
Ed Wiley - 'Downtown' Bum #1

Taglines: Don't feed the plants.

Release Date: 19 December 1986

Filming Locations: Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage, Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $3,659,884 (USA) (21 December 1986) (866 Screens)

Gross: $38,748,395 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (original version)

Did You Know?

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.

Revealing mistakes: When Audrey II fires the gun through the glass, sparks are visible from the pyrotechnic charges.

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!

User Review


Rating: 9/10

Failing florist Mr. Mushnik is down on his luck on Skid Row. He isn't selling a single stem, his employee's are either turning up at closing time or breaking everything. But young Seymour Krelborn has discovered a plant. A very unusual plant indeed. Sort of like a Venus fly trap, only with a personality. He names it Audrey II, after his helium-voiced, pneumatic colleague Audrey, who Seymour harbours a serious crush on. Yet Audrey is in a relationship with sadistic dentist Orin, who likes nothing more than torturing her and his patients. Audrey II picks up business like never before, and the money rolls in. But Audrey II doesn't need water to grow. No, he needs something with a kick. He needs blood. Seymour reluctantly complies, and soon enough, Audrey II is a gargantuan, talking plant with a taste for human flesh, and nothing will stop him from getting it. But he also has some hidden plans up his thorny sleeve.

Little Shop Of Horrors is a fabulous musical, proving that the spark and he magic is still there in the genre. It's quality all the way. What did surprise me most about it was how dark the whole affair was. Orin is beating up Audrey on a regular basis, Audrey II wants Seymour to go on a killing spree so he can get some lunch, Orin delights in ripping the back teeth out of his patients like there's no tomorrow. What's even more surprising is the contrast between these and the quite brilliant songs in the film (Classic numbers include "Suddenly Seymour", "Somewhere That's Green" and the show-stopping title theme). This rather strange mix works excellently, resulting in an irresistible film.

The cast are all a revelation in their roles, blending the right mix of camp behaviour and pathos to great effect. Rick Moranis is very good as down-trodden Seymour, whilst Ellen Greene is amazing as Audrey, squeaky and ditzy one minute, then belting out a song with uncompromising power. Vincent Gardenia is suitably slimy as Mr. Mushnik and Steve Martin is brilliant as evil dentist Orin. His big musical number is comedy genius. Also, Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks and Tisha Campbell are gloriously glitzy as the narrative chorus. But the real star is Audrey II, with Levi Stubbs providing an excellent vocal performance. The plant seems so real, right down to his evil grin. The one problem with the film is the seemingly unnecessary cameo's that pop up every now and again. Sometimes they work (Bill Murray), sometimes they don't (James Belushi, John Candy). It's the only tiny problem in an otherwise fantastic film. I guarantee that Little Shop Of Horrors will stay with you for a long time after you've seen it. It really is a brilliant film. Addictive doesn't even begin to describe.


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