Film: The Little Shop of Horrors

Look at it, it grows like a cold sore from the lip.
Gravis Mushnick, regarding Audrey Jr., the man-eating plant.

Often confused with the 1980s musical that it inspired, The Little Shop of Horrors is a low-budget Comedy Horror movie by Roger Corman, released in 1960. The rather loose plot concerns a bumbling florist's assistant whose plant cross-breeding experiments accidentally create a talking plant with hypnotic powers that feeds on human blood.

It was famously filmed in under 48 hours, using pre-existing sets that were built for a different film. The other thing the film is famous for is a small role by the then-unknown Jack Nicholson as masochistic dental patient Wilbur Force, who consequently tends to get top billing whenever the film is released on home video.

Although the movie was profitable, it wasn't a major hit by any stretch of the imagination, but developed a cult following via drive-in and television screenings, eventually leading to a successful stage musical adapted by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. The musical streamlines the plot, ditching a lot of incidental characters and giving it a proper dramatic arc. It scores about a 2 on the Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification. The film and/or musical also probably served as partial inspiration for the plant in Stephen King's The Plant. Probably the biggest impact this movie had on pop culture? The Piranha Plants in Super Mario Bros..

Since this movie is in the public domain, you can watch it for free or download it from a bunch of sources, including Hulu, Internet Archive and YouTube. The film is also streaming in its original widescreen theatrical screening aspect ratio on the website of independent comic book publisher Horndog Studios here.

The film provides examples of: