I’m a sucker for old Roger Corman flicks and other such “D-Movie” shenanigans, but this movie was just a really lazy and rushed affair. I’m not one to normally harp on the superiority of remakes, but the 1986 musical version of this story is superior in just about every way.
I found this flick as part of a big collection of horror movies in the five dollar bin at Walmart. It tells the story of poor put-upon Seymour, who works in a flower shop run by a petty cheapskate, and who is in love with his daughter, Audrey.
Seymour buys a plant which he names Audrey Junior, and said plant has the potential to make both Seymour and the shop a ton of money. Only trouble is, the only way to keep Audrey Junior healthy is by feeding her a steady diet of human body parts. There are moments of good dark humor here and there, but I found Jonathon Haze’s rendition of Seymour to be too much of a poor man’s Jerry Lewis routine—while in the 1986 version Rick Moranis played a far more likable Seymour who was more of a poor man’s Woody Allen.
This movie had some great back and forth snappy dialogue, typical of the hard boiled noir films of the 40s and 50s. There’s also many colorful background characters such as a detective duo that cracks a few funny quips, and Seymour’s mother, an over protective recluse who has one of the best scenes of the movie where she cooks a meal for Seymour and Audrey (the girl, not the plant…)
All in all though, this movie is below par. The plant looks like a bad third grade art project, and the main character is more annoying than sympathetic. Perhaps the best reason to see it today is for a glorious cameo appearance by a not yet famous Jack Nicholson, who plays the sadist dentist patient role that Bill Murray took over in the remake.
The Little Shop of Horrors gets a two out of five: FORGETTABLE.