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Film: Little Shop of Horrors
"Feed me, Seymour!"

Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 film adaptation of the musical of the same name, which was in turn loosely adapted from the original 1960 film. It starred Rick Moranis in his last singing role, which in turn inspired a revival of the musical. It is Frank Oz's first film as a solo director (he co-directed his previous films with Jim Henson) and his first outside of the Muppet label, and would start his line of subsequent comedy films.

The film follows the stage version fairly closely except for a Focus Group Ending in which Audrey II is defeated and Seymour and Audrey survive to live happily ever after, filmed after the original play's Downer Ending where the plant wins and Audrey and Seymour are eaten did horribly with test audiences. On October 9, 2012, the director's cut was released, featuring the original, darker ending which is closer to that of the musical and digitally remastered.

The film provides examples ofnote :

  • Adaptation Distillation through Pragmatic Adaptation: The subplot about Mr. Mushnik adopting Seymour is dropped, along with a few incidental songs, to make a tight 90-minute narrative. Also worth noting, the scene with Bill Murray as a masochistic dental patient did not appear in the stage version. It derives from a famous scene in the 1960 movie which originally featured Jack Nicholson in this role. Additonally, the Dragnet-parodying cops Joe Fink and Frank Stoolie of the original film are more or less entirely dropped from both musical versions, although they are briefly seen conversing with Audrey before the film's "Suddenly, Seymour" scene.
  • Adult Fear: It's hardly a coincidence that "Skid Row", a song about poverty and working-class depression, features a shot of Seymour slowly backing away in horror from a bunch of homeless alcoholics climbing a fence to get at him.
  • Advertised Extra: The cover for the director's cut features radio announcer Wink Wilkinson besides Audrey and Orin.
  • Apocalypse How: The Audrey II invasion as depicted in the original ending could potentially range anywhere from Class 0 to Class 5.
  • Award Bait Song: "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" is not present in the stage version, although it has been added in some revivals. It was added to the screenplay so the film could receive an Oscar nomination for "Best Original Song." It lost, sadly. (It should be noted that "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" is definitely not your typical Award Bait Song.)
  • Ax-Crazy: Orin Scrivello.
  • Badass Boast: Sung by Audrey II in the original ending just as he eats Seymour:
    Audrey II: And I... AM... BAD!
  • Better Living Through Evil: Audrey II uses this method to convince Seymour to feed it Orin and Mesnick by bringing up the fact that it could make Seymour rich. It eventually works once Seymour realizes what he could buy with the insane amount of money Audrey II is capable of bringing in.
  • Blood-Splattered Wedding Dress: You can tell when the Focus Group Ending kicks in when the dress becomes a lot less blood stained.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Audrey II steals Seymour's tiny pistol during "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" and proceeds to fire about twelve shots at him.
  • Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: Orin's last victim-er, patient, winds up in something out one of the Saw movies.
  • Butt Biter: Averted. Audrey II gets really close to biting an unsuspecting woman in the butt, but Seymour stops him at the last second.
  • Camp Gay: Bill Murray as the masochistic patient shows some inclinations.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Audrey II and Orin.
  • Cow Tools: Orin's medieval-looking dental appliances.
    Seymour: It's rusty!
    Orin: It's an antique.
  • Curse Cut Short: "OH SHI—" It should be noted, though, that elsewhere Audrey II is allowed to curse quite freely.
  • Cut-and-Paste Suburb: "Somewhere That's Green"
  • Cut Song: Most of "The Meek Shall Inherit", the "Somewhere That's Green" reprise, the end of "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space", and "Don't Feed The Plants".
  • Dark Reprise: The "Somewhere That's Green" reprise, where the somewhere in question is inside Audrey II. When Seymour feeds her body to the plant, there's a swelling instrumental version of "Skid Row".
  • Death by Adaptation: Audrey II in the Focus Group Ending.
  • Defeat by Modesty: In both versions of the film, Audrey II thwarts Seymour's attempt to axe it by pantsing him, prompting Seymour to drop the axe and duck behind a counter.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Completely inverted with the Focus Group Ending.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Focus Group Ending closes "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" (wherein Audrey II reveals himself in all his unstoppable glory) with Seymour electrocuting him.
  • Disney Creatures of the Farce: In the "Somewhere That's Green" Imagine Spot.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The closing shot reveals a certain strange and interesting plant outside Seymour and Audrey's garden...
  • Expy: Steve Martin's role in this film has been compared to his feature film debut as Dr Maxwell Edison in 1978's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Bill Murray's role as Arthur Denton is an Expy of Wilbur Force, the Jack Nicholson character from the 1960 movie.
  • Fake Shemp: One of the Greek Chorus Girls wasn't available to shoot the Focus Group Ending, thus the camera abruptly panning down after the other two come into frame.
  • Focus Group Ending: The stage adaptation's Downer Ending with our heroes being eaten and multiple Audrey IIs taking over the world was shot, but focus groups decided to change this in favor of the less confronting The End... Or Is It? ending.
  • Foreshadowing: Seymour names the plant Audrey II! Isn't that cute? She tells Seymour to give her body to the plant after she dies. That way, when he feeds it, he'll be feeding Audrey, too.
  • Gender Equals Breed: In the "Somewhere That's Green" dream sequence, which was one of the inspirations for the trope, Seymour and Audrey's kids are identical to their mother and father.
  • Groin Attack
    I got killer buds, a power stem, nasty pods, and I'm using them!
    So better move 'em out, Nature calls! You got the point?
    I'm gonna bust your balls!
  • Kaiju: In the original, unreleased ending, swarms of 50-foot plant-monsters rampage throughout New York in what may have been a Shout-Out to Godzilla. (And King Kong.)
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Oh yeah. So many gems in these. Especially Steve Martin at about 1:17.
    Vincent Gardenia: So work, Seymour! Nurse this plant back to death! To death...
    Ellen Greene: Oh, Seymour, we gotta geI forgot my line!
    Rick Moranis: (Beat) MY LEGS!!
    Ellen Greene: The vine is coming *into* my dress?
  • Homage Shot: In the Director's Cut, "Don't Feed the Plants" begins with the chorus singing in front of an American flag, evoking Patton.
  • Hypocritical Humor: "Goddamn sicko."
  • "I Am" Song: "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space".
  • Imagine Spot: "Somewhere That's Green".
  • Ironic Echo: In the original ending, Audrey's "Somewhere That's Green", in which she imagines herself as being part of the plant that Seymour takes care of.
  • Karma Houdini: Seymour killed two people (he let Orin die despite making it clear that he could have helped him and he backed Mushnik into the plant) and considered going even further (he signed the contracts in "The Meek Shall Inherit", implicitly agreeing to kill others in the future. This is made clearer in the play where the song is extended, but the actions remain the same in the film.) but he gets away with absolutely no punishment whatsoever-Audrey likely never even learns that he is a murderer. Audrey II is a Karma Houdini in the original ending as well, but that is treated as a Downer Ending rather than a Happily Ever After, so that would be a case of They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste.
    • It can be argued that Seymour finally standing up to and destroying the plant thus preventing the destruction of the human race pretty much makes up for the world being less one sadistic dentist (which WASN'T his fault, despite intentions to the contrary) and one greedy, albeit somewhat kind, shopkeep (which may not have been entirely on purpose whatever the plant said). Both deaths are made a lot more ambiguous in the film than the play, and can be interpreted as due to Seymour's actions or not.
      • The original ending makes it pretty clear that he didn't get away with anything, even if you don't count his death. Orin and Mushnik died only because Seymour doesn't prevent their deaths, and they both would have harmed him (Orin with dental sadism, Mushnik through blackmail) even if he had saved them. Audrey, on the other hand, he consciously fed to the plant, even if it was at her own selfless request. If he hadn't done it, Audrey II almost certainly would not have been strong enough to tear down the building and eat Seymour whole: Seymour is the only human Audrey II eats fully under its own power without having to lure or manipulate its victim to come close enough for it to reach.
  • Karmic Death: Audrey II.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Audrey II.
  • Large Ham: Almost everyone, but Levi Stubbs in particular sounds like he's having an absolute blast.
  • Lighter and Softer: See Darker and Edgier and Dark Reprise in the play version. It manages to contain all these aspects in its songs, but somehow makes it lighthearted simply by changing the ending and some of the songs.
  • Match Cut: At the end of "Dentist!", one of Orin's patients is shown spitting water. The scene cuts and water is shown splashing into a puddle, which turns out to be Seymour dumping a bucket.
  • Meaningful Name: Arthur Denton loves getting painful dental work done...
  • Mouth Cam: During "Dentist".
  • Movie Bonus Song: "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space", and arguably "Some Fun Now" (which is a rewrite of the musical's "Ya Never Know").
  • Musicalis Interruptus
  • Nightmare Sequence: "The Meek Shall Inherit" was going to be this, but the scene was cut down. You can still hear the rest of it on the soundtrack.
  • Oh, Crap: All of the main characters get this one at some point.
  • Paparazzi: Lots of these show up at the shop shortly after the plant eats Mushnik. Seymour doesn't handle them very well.
  • Phrase Catcher: "What a strange and interesting plant..."
  • Public Medium Ignorance: Thanks to this movie, people have mistakenly rented or downloaded Corman's 1960 movie, thinking it was this version.
  • Recut: The Blu-ray reissue includes a version of the movie with the original Kill 'em All ending fully restored.
  • Scary Black Man: Audrey II (he's voiced by Levi Stubbs).
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Played for laughs—Orin has a closet shrine to his dearly departed mom.
  • Silence Is Golden:
    • The scene where Seymour first notices Audrey II craving his blood lacks all the dialogue used in the stage version, which probably would have sounded like Narrating the Obvious by movie standards.
    • When Seymour feeds Audrey's corpse to Audrey II in the Director's Cut, the score doesn't have a chorus, unlike the play.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the Focus Group Ending, Audrey and Seymour. Note that Audrey has a recursive case of this, as she didn't die in the original film that the musical itself was based on.
  • Stepford Suburbia: In the film, they escape Skid Row. But one of the mini-Audrey IIs comes with them!
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: "Wait for me, Audrey—this is between me and the vegetable!"
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Audrey II's "Oh shit !!".
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Arthur Denton.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: The Greek Chorus have a better dresser than Michelle Obama.
  • Villain Song: "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space"
    • Also "I'm A Dentist" and "Feed Me, Seymour" and "Suppertime". This movie has tons of awesome villain songs.

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