• Mike Burdge

Little Shop of Horrors: Suddenly See More

Little Shop of Horrors is one of the greatest musical-films of all time. Period. The campiness, humor, look, tone and its execution of most musical tropes are unparalleled, even with the tongue-firmly-in-cheek world of off-branded musicals like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sweeney Todd and Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Its power is almost limitless, from the opening title crawl, to the final wink at the audience; Little Shop of Horrors performs above and beyond expectations of a musical that is generally referred to as, “the story of a boy, a girl and a man-eating plant.”

Based on the 1960 film, The Little Shop of Horrors and an Off-Off-Broadway play, which shared the dropping of the word “The” from its title, the 1986 film blended aspects from both mediums to form its story about a hapless flower shop assistant, the girl he adores, his boss, a demented sadist who works as a dentist and the mysterious plant that brings them all together or eats them. (Fun fact: the original 1960 film is considered a huge joke in the film world as it was made on the basis of a dare to see if a film could be shot in 2 days. It was. And that fact is gloriously apparent when you watch it). Howard Ashman, the writer of the original play, penned the script that Frank Oz brought to the screen. With a supporting cast of awesome cameos including: John Candy, Bill Murray and Christopher Guest (!!!), it almost feels more like a sketch comedy show with an overarching story that connects all the gags together. I would watch an entire movie of just Steve Martin’s sadistic, Orin Scrivello, DDS and Bill Murray’s masochistic Arthur Denton. Christopher Guest’s short appearance is almost too funny to watch and Jim Belushi’s late turn-up as licensing schmuck Patrick Martin, is the very definition of forced climax, but done with enough charm and bravado that it still plays honestly with the setting and characters involved.