In 1960 Roger Corman directed a movie that quickly turns into a classic. Anyone who hasn’t seen this movie needs to do so right away. The movie is called The Little Shop of Horrors, and it is a perfect example of what a dark comedy should be. The movie is a perfect blend of spoof, humor, and farce. Some subtle Jewish humor was also blended in, giving the film a cultural feel. The Little Shop of Horrors is such a good movie, that a little more than twenty years after it was first released, it was recreated, this time in the form of a Broadway musical.
The Little Shop of Horrors in the story of Gravis Mushnick. Mushnick owns a struggling little florist shop which he runs with the help of Seymour and Audrey. The story truly starts when Seymour fouls up an order, the result being that he gets fired. Determined to get his old job back, Seymour creates a new plant; the plant is the result of cross-breeding a Venus Fly Trap to a Butterwort. The result is a sad looking, droopy plant that does not inspire Mushnick. After some persuasion, Seymour convinces Mushnick to rehire him on a trial basis. Late one night Seymour discovers that his little plant, which he’s christened Audrey Jr., craves blood. The problem with owning a plant that craves blood quickly becomes apparent. The bigger the plant gets, the more human blood it needs, and finding the blood is not easy. In addition to trying to find food for Audrey Jr. there is an additional problem. Audrey Jr. is an intelligent plant, not only is she capable of rationale thought, she also talks. She is able to use her skills to trick her caretakers, bully people, and is even capable of ventriloquism.
In addition to being made cheaply, The Little Shop of Horrors was also made quickly. Changes in film making rules meant that Corman was no longer going to be able to make movies in the same manner. At the last minute, he decided to make one final movie. Everything about the movie was done in a hurry, making the quality of the movie even more impressive.
Today, one of the movies claims to fame is the casting of Jack Nicholson. At the time, Nicholson was a fairly new actor. Previous to The Little Shop of Horrors, Nicholson had only appeared in two other movies. Although Nicholson’s role in The Little Shop of Horrors is small, it is still easy to see the talent that has made him a cinematic legend.
Additional casting includes Jonathon Haze as Seymour, Mel Welles as Mushnick, and Jackie Joseph as Audrey. The screenwriter Charles B. Griffith gave Audrey Jr. her voice. Griffith also played several other small roles, including one of Audrey Jr.’s meals.