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Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 musical comedy directed by Frank Oz, starring Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene, with a special appearance by Steve Martin and cameos by John Candy and Bill Murray.

Plot[]

The film opens with the words read by Stanley Jones: "On the twenty-third day of the month of September, in an early year of a decade not too long before our own, the human race suddenly encountered a deadly threat to its very existence. And this terrifying enemy surfaced, as such enemies often do, in the seemingly most innocent and unlikely of places..." ("Prologue (Little Shop of Horrors)").

Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) and his colleague, Audrey Fulquard (Ellen Greene), work at Mushnik's Flower Shop in a run-down, rough neighborhood in New York City referred to as "Skid Row". They lament that they cannot escape the neighborhood ("Skid Row (Downtown)"). Struggling from a lack of customers, Mr. Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia) decides to close the store, but Audrey suggests he may have more success by displaying an unusual plant that Seymour owns. Immediately attracting a customer, Seymour explains he bought the plant from a Chinese flower shop during a solar eclipse ("Da-Doo").

He names the plant "Audrey II", because of his secret crush on his co-worker Audrey. However, when the shop closes for the day, Seymour discovers that Audrey II is wilting from lack of food. It refuses to eat anything normal plants would feed on, such as soil, water and sunlight. Seymour accidentally cuts his finger and discovers that Audrey II has an appetite for human blood. ("Grow for Me") As the plant thrives, business booms at Mr. Mushnik's failing flower shop, and Seymour becomes a local celebrity all because of his incredible plant.

Meanwhile Audrey suffers at the hands of her abusive sadistic, boyfriend Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. (Steve Martin); however, she has feelings for Seymour and secretly dreams of running off with him to the suburbs ("Somewhere That's Green"). Seymour continues to feed Audrey II his own blood, draining his energy ("Some Fun Now"). Seymour soon attempts to ask Audrey out, but she turns him down because she has a date with Orin, who is revealed to be a dentist ("Dentist!").

Eventually, the now-huge Audrey II (voiced by Levi Stubbs) begins to talk to Seymour, demanding more blood than Seymour can give. It convinces Seymour to kill Audrey's abusive and sadistic boyfriend Orin, and by promising him favors in return for feeding it, such as a new car and other wealthy privileges ("Feed Me (Git It!)"). Seymour books an appointment with Dr. Scrivello and arms himself with a revolver. However, Orin, disappointed with his previous masochistic patient Arthur Denton (Bill Murray), decides to amuse himself by sniffing nitrous oxide. His gas mask malfunctions and Seymour allows him to die laughing hysterically from asphyxiation.

Seymour drags Orin's body back to the flower shop, where he chops it up for the plant. He is in the middle of dismembering the body with an axe when Mr. Mushnik passes by the flower shop and witnesses it. He does not confront him, but runs off scared. Seymour feeds the body parts to the plant.

After Seymour has spent a sleepless night, he discovers two policemen questioning Audrey about Orin's disappearance. She says that she feels guilty about Orin's death, even though she did not cause it, because she always secretly wished that he would die. Seymour tells Audrey that she is beautiful and shouldn't have such low self-esteem, and she realizes that she loves him back ("Suddenly, Seymour").

That night, Mushnik finds Seymour and accuses him of being an axe murderer. Seymour confesses that he chopped Orin up but denies that he killed him. Before leaving the store, Mushnik decides to bargain with Seymour, offering Seymour protection if he allows Mushnik to take care of the plant. Seymour is undecided and stands by while Mushnik investigates Audrey II and gets killed and swallowed whole by the carnivorous plant ("Suppertime"). Seymour's fortune continues to grow, and he becomes a media star, but he is very worried about Audrey II's growth and insatiable appetite ("The Meek Shall Inherit"). Seymour decides to leave town with Audrey, leaving the plant to starve to death. While Seymour momentarily leaves the shop, Audrey II telephones Audrey to eat her ("Suppertime II").

Original Ending[]

Audrey II has finished the phone call to Audrey, and she has come into the shop, not able to believe seeing a talking enormous plant. Soon, Twoey asks Audrey for a cup of water, and after Audrey with the can, the plant grabs her body with vines, and brings her into its mouth, adding that she should join Orin and Mr. Mushnik inside. A loud crushing chomp sound is heard, and Seymour comes back into the shop, trying to rescue Audrey. This is where the original ending's plot begins. Soon, Seymour runs to the alley carrying Audrey, who is still half-alive, but has internal injuries that won't let her keep alive. Seymour begs her not to die, but Audrey instead tells him that if he feeds her to the plant, he will get the fame and fortune from the Meek and they will always be together. She sings to Seymour as if she were a plant, inside of Audrey II ("Somewhere That's Green (Reprise)"). Soon, Audrey faints after shuddering her last breath and dies. Seymour holds her closely one final time, and he decides to do something he wishes never happened.

Little Shop of Horrors - Audrey's Death Ellen Greene

Seymour brings Audrey's body to Twoey's mouth, and sad tragedy music strikes. Seymour is so upset he can't speak, and after Audrey is inside Twoey's mouth, the plant slowly swallows her, & Seymour tries to touch her hand, but her hand disappears for the very last time. Then, he runs out of the shop, nearly gets hit by a car, climbs a ladder on a building, and tries to commit suicide by jumping off a building. However, Patrick Martin (Paul Dooley) shows up and tells Seymour that he will cut samples of Twoey and sell them globally across the country, but first asks Seymour for permission. Staring at the little pod sample cut from the plant, Seymour sees the plant pod grinning wickedly at him. Then, he runs back to the Flower Shop and Patrick Martin angrily complains at him for not answering his question. Martin barks down at the fleeing Seymour that Audrey II is public domain and that the samples of it will be taken, with or without his approval.

After running back into the shop, Seymour complains at Twoey that he was planning to spread offspring-like clones across America all the time, then Seymour says, "You ate the only thing I ever loved!". Twoey laughs evilly to shame Seymour. He remarks "You're monster, and so am I! It's gotta end! It's gotta stop right here!" But then, the plant shoves him and starts the same song as in the real ending, ("Mean Green Mother from Outer Space") Though in this ending, when Seymour tries to shoot the plant with a 6-Shooter, the gun's bullets bounce off of the plant's strong head-pod and fail to damage the plant, and the "movie" ending returns when the plant takes away the gun from Seymour and starts shooting near him. Most of the same version of the real ending's song is used, except the part when Seymour tries to spray Twoey with poison with the end broken was not used. Twoey grows bigger and taller and still causes destruction in the shop, and Seymour is hopelessly attacked trying to avoid death. Twoey removes the support beam to the shop, which crushes Seymour with falling debris. Another thing that greatly separates this part of the ending from the one in the movie is that Seymour still survived the debris falling on him. He breaks out of the rubble, only to be grabbed by the plant's vines. The plant pods sing a humming hymn as a screaming Seymour is slowly lifted and eaten by the plant. Twoey then burps out his glasses, and laughs evilly.

Then, the Chorus Girls show up, and they tell the audience that the plant pods were taken into sale without permission into florist stores. Hundreds of people buy the plant pods, and business runs rapid at the florist stores. Then, a TV shows that Cleveland is being attacked by a giant monster, and it is a giant Audrey II pod! The Chorus Girls tell the audience, no matter what the plants offer you, you should never feed the plants. ("Don't Feed the Plants"), and 2 plants attack New York City in a style of "The War of the Worlds".

Little Shop of Horrors - Audrey II at the Roxy

Buildings are destroyed, people and pets run for their lives to avoid getting eaten or killed by the plants, and the human race becomes more threatened of existence in America. One Twoey blows into the smokestack of an industrial business and blows up the entire building. A train is eaten by one pod, there is massive destruction, and there are several fire explosions in the city. Then, the U.S. Military come and attack an Audrey II pod on the Empire State Building. They soon turn their attention and fire rifle bullets at an Audrey II on top of the Statue of Liberty, and the Chorus Girls with the voices of Seymour, Audrey, Mushnik, and Orin sing to the audience, "Don't Feed the Plants". A big sentence, "THE END?!?" comes in the screen, and one more Audrey II (possibly the original) bursts through the movie screen, cackling with laughter as the camera zooms into its throat.

Theatrical Ending[]

"You ain't in Kansas, neither!"
You ain't in kansas neither.

The Following Information is non-Canon. The theatrical ending of the 1986 film is not canon to the Little Shop of Horrors musical.

Audrey2

Audrey II in "Mean Green Mother from outer space"

Audrey II has finished the phone call to Audrey, and she has come into the shop, not able to believe seeing a talking enormous plant. Soon, Twoey asks Audrey for a cup of water, and after Audrey with the can, the plant grabs her body with vines, and brings her into its mouth, but Seymour manages to save her. They go out of the shop ("Suddenly, Seymour (Reprise)"), and a salesman named Patrick Martin (James Belushi) from World Botanical Enterprises offers to breed Audrey II and make a fortune by selling the plant to families around the world. Seymour, frightened, realizes that Audrey II must be destroyed before more lives are lost. Seymour confronts and fights the gigantic plant, who now has little offspring in tow. Audrey II bursts out of it’s pot and reveals to Seymour that it’s in fact an alien from outer space ("Mean Green Mother from Outer Space"). After brawling with Seymour, Audrey II manages to latch onto the store's support beams and yank the shop to pieces, assuming he's killed Seymour thanks to mass amounts of debris and bricks crushing him. Luckily, Seymour's arms burst through the rubble in which he has been buried and grab two broken exposed electrical wires, which he uses to shock the massive plant, causing Audrey II to blow up.

Seymour and Audrey wed and move to the suburbs, but as the credits start to roll we see a little smiling Audrey III bud in front of their picket fence. The film then ends.

Characters[]

  • Mrs. Shiva (Mentioned only)
  • 1st Customer
  • Chinese Flower Shop Owner
  • Several Customers
  • Several "Skid Row" Residents
  • radio station employees
  • Girl from the dentist office

Songs[]

These songs exist in varying drafts of the script and on demo/unused recordings.

Production[]

Development[]

Rumors of a film version began to circulate soon after the play opened, with Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg producing, Martin Scorsese[1] or Barbara Streisand[2] directing, and it was even rumored that it may be shot in 3-D.[3] Howard Ashman began outlining a screenplay in November 1982, and completed a first draft in December 1983.[4]

Ashman had been partially inspired to write the show based on the then-overwhelming popularity of Muppets' star Miss Piggy,[5] so the man behind the pig, Frank Oz, was approached early on, but he turned it down. "I said no, I couldn’t do it, because I didn’t really have a way in — a cinematic way in," Oz recalled.[6] Soon after, Oz realized that he could use the show's urchins, Crystal, Ronnette and Chiffon, as a Greek chorus to frame the narrative, and he wrote his own revision of the script in November 1984,[4] cutting unnecessary dialogue and dropping the songs Mushnik & Son,[7] Closed for Renovation and Now (It's Just the Gas). Ashman and producer David Geffen were so enamored with Oz's script that Ashman went to work cranking out three more revisions over the next three months.

Casting[]

The role of Seymour was basically handed to Rick Moranis. "Before we had even started the process, I always wanted Rick Moranis for Seymour," producer David Geffen recalled.[8] I ran into him at a concert and said 'You're gonna star in my movie.' He actually was the only person I ever considered." The attraction for Moranis was the opportunity to sing. "Until now, I'd been limited to mostly parody," he said,[9] referring to Tom Monroe, his lounge-singing recurring character on "SCTV."

Ellen Green - Little Shop of Horrors Screen Test 04

Ellen Greene Screen Test

For the role of Audrey, Warner Bros. wanted to cast a celebrity, and some of the names bandied about included Streisand,[8] Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, who reportedly was offered the part but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.[10] Ellen Greene, who'd originated the part Off-Broadway and performed it for a solid two years in New York, Los Angeles and London productions,[11] was told that the part was hers when John Landis was set to direct the movie,[12] but the situation changed when Frank Oz came aboard. Greene's then-boyfriend Marty Robinson, who had worked on Sesame Street and created/puppeteered Audrey II for the original stage version, introduced them[12] and encouraged Oz to give her the part. Although she had a little bit of screen experience, the bulk of her career had been relegated to live stage performance. "They wanted to know how I could handle the lip-syncing," she said. A screen test was set up,[13] and she was so dazzling and performed such perfect lipsync on "Somewhere That's Green" that Oz phoned two weeks later to inform her she had the part. "I just screamed!" she exclaimed.[12] "I was proud of what I had achieved on stage with Audrey, but I was convinced they would go for a name [actress]." Oz later remarked, "I couldn’t imagine any other Audrey."[6]

Nearly 1,000 young women auditioned for the roles of urchins Crytal, Ronnette and Chiffon,[14] with teenagers Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold paired up for several of their auditions[8] and Michelle Weeks replacing the third auditioning actresses a little later. All New York natives, the girls were each roughly a year apart in age, but familiar with one another from school and various performance ventures.[9] "It was really just a coincidence that we already knew each other," Weeks said.[14] Arnold was on the verge of moving to Los Angeles for TV pilot season,[14] but fate had other plans for the young actress, who would soon find herself on the other side of the world shooting a movie.

Rounding out the cast as Mr. Mushnik was Vincent Gardenia, who claimed he got the job because "Frank Oz liked my name,"[9] and Hollywood heavyweight Steve Martin as sadistic dentist Orin. In cameos, popular comedy star John Candy had worked extensively with Moranis on "SCTV," and Moranis had co-starred with and directed Paul Dooley in "Strange Brew" (though Dooley was unavailable for the reshoot and his role was given to James Belushi). Geffen explicitly requested Bill Murray for the masochistic dental patient[15] and Christopher Guest had just completed his one-season run as a regular SNL cast member, and presumably caught Geffen's attention in the modestly-successful future cult classic "This Is Spinal Tap."

Pre-Production[]

During a production meeting with Ashman and Oz, Geffen recounted the tale of "Risky Business," a film which originally ended on a bleak note and scored low with test audiences.[16] He suggested writing a new happy ending in which the boy gets the girl and they live happily ever after, but Ashman countered that letting Seymour survive after feeding humans to the plant would leave him on "morally shaky ground."[16]

Geffen wanted to shoot the movie close to home in Los Angeles, but Oz, who'd worked extensively in England with Jim Henson on various Muppet productions, wanted to shoot there - and in a real-life Fozzie Bear moment, he cowed as if he was about to be fired on the spot for making such an audacious suggestion to Geffen.[16] Oz's instincts were on the mark with the currency exchange rate such as it was at the time, which was supposed to save the company $4 million in production costs.[16]

A budget was set at $18 million, but reports claimed it had doubled by the time initial filming wrapped,[17] and an additional $2 million was spent for reshoots.[12] Coincidentally, $38 million is also what it took in at the box office.[18] Other estimates claim it cost $25[19] and $26 million,[12] and Oz once remarked that it cost $30 million,[20] so a precise budget is difficult to tally.

Some preliminary audio tracks with the cast were recorded in April, but the playback soundtrack was recorded in July under the direction of Robby Merkin (who'd orchestrated the original New York productions[21]) and "Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons" member Bob Gaudio.[12] Ashman had committed himself to a 1986 flop Broadway adaptation of the 1975 film "Smile,"[12] but he frequently corresponded with the crew.[4]

Sets were erected in the world's largest soundstage, the 007 building at Pinewood Studios.[12]

The ending[]

Richard Conway directing Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Richard Conway was hired to direct the FX-laden climax in which the plants conquer the world, at the urging of Audrey II's creature designer, Lyle Conway (no relation), who'd been dazzled by Richard's work on Terry Gilliam's "Brazil." Originally contracted for 6 months, production of the sequence stretched on for 11, as Richard's special effects technicians, designers and cameramen swelled from a tiny crew of 8 to 36 people.[22] Artist Mike Ploog storyboarded 120 shots, which required as many models to be created.[22] Although it's implied that the pods are eating and trampling people, Conway was instructed to keep the tone light, with the plants eating trains, bursting through walls, and causing general mayhem and destruction. Much of the footage was shot from low angles to give the impression that the plants are looming over the panicked citizens.

A dozen building models were made at 1/24 scale, and they were continuously being rearranged and redressed to create the illusion that they were in different locations, plus a 30-foot long duplicate of the Brooklyn Bridge was erected. Only two plants were used for the majority of this sequence, with heads measuring roughly 3 1/2 x 2 feet.[22] Because of general wear-and-tear during the lengthy shoot, the plants were reskinned 4 times, which the crew tried to avoid doing due to the sensitive and temperamental nature of the latex rubber.

Little Shop of Horrors - Audrey II's in Manhattan

Although film plays at 24 frames-per-second, Conway shot at high rates of up to 360 f.p.s. to ensure the miniatures looked realistic, resulting in countless complications. For example, a six-second shot of the giant plants tromping through the streets of Manhattan required the crew to pull off all of the action in little more than a single second. "It's difficult for most people to understand high speed work," Conway remarked. "You blink and it's over."[22] Background plates were created to be matted into a few shots which required actors to be seen at the same time as the FX, but the vast majority of the sequence was created live in-camera.

Initially there were plans to have the oversized pods singing "Don't Feed the Plants," but since Richard Conway's crew was far removed from Frank Oz's more experienced puppeteers and they were working with miniatures, this idea was eventually abandoned.[22] Generally the crew was left alone to create the scenes as they saw fit, though Oz and Lyle Conway wandered in from time-to-time to check in on the progress, and Mike Ploog was a regular visitor to the set, sometimes operating the cables.[22]

Producer “David Geffen said it right off, you can’t kill your lead characters in a movie,” director Frank Oz later stated,[23] however, he gave Oz and writer Howard Ashman free reign to shoot the movie as they intended.[24]

After spending months assembling the film, it received a test preview in Orange County, California, populated by a "family oriented audience"[12] who stomped and cheered and applauded after each song. But the situation changed when Audrey died, "and then the theater became a refrigerator, an ice box," Oz remarked.[25] Unlike the original film and stage play, where Seymour nobly sacrificed himself in an attempt to kill the plant, viewers were horrified when Audrey dies and Audrey II becomes an unabashed monster, devouring Seymour and letting his podlings loose upon the world in the abridged version of the Director's Cut ending.[26]

The way that the test screenings worked is that the studio gave out cards with various questions, concluding with, Would you recommend this movie to a friend? "You have to have a 55% ‘recommend’ to really be released and we got a 13%," Oz noted.[25] The movie received a second test screening in hopes of getting a better reaction from a different audience, but it fared about the same.

Little Shop of Horrors Reshoot - NY Magazine 1986-09-22

New York Magazine, Sept. 1986

Ashman and Oz realized something drastic had to be done to get the film released, and since the initial reaction had been so overtly positive, they chose the moment in which Seymour pulls Audrey from the jaws of the plant to begin their revision. Delaying the film's release, the crew partially reconstructed sets and cast members returned to Pinewood Studios in September 1986 for two weeks of reshoots, at an exorbitant additional cost of $2 million.[12] Unfortunately, two actors were unable to return, so they creatively worked around the absence of Tisha Campbell by hiring a body-double, and Paul Dooley's role was rewritten for Rodney Dangerfield (whom honchos at The Geffen Company wanted in the movie) but ultimately James Belushi got the part.

The new "happy ending" fared better with viewers, so it was ultimately released in theaters and on home video. Unfortunately, it was up to Oz to break the news to Richard Conway. "I had to call Richard, it was the worst phone call... it was awful," Oz remembered.[27] Conway was devastated. "It seemed so indulgent to wipe away $5 million worth of footage because the ending was deemed too relentless," Conway commented at the time, further lamenting that he'd never even had the opportunity to see the footage cut together, and the studio wouldn't allow him to screen it.[22] All that remained of Conway's work in the theatrical version were the background plates that he'd shot for Steve Martin's motorcycle ride during the Dentist song. There was talk that Warner Bros. might utilize the costly footage for a sequel,[22] but that never materialized.

Little Shop of Horrors Topps Trading Card - Rick Moranis and Audrey II on the Brooklyn Bridge

Due to the reshoot and delayed release, a variety of stills from the original ending (as well as from the excised midsection of The Meek Shall Inherit) made their way onto merchandising like the Topps trading card set, and movie buffs got to read all about the blunderful ending in publications like Cinefex, Cinefantastique and The Little Shop of Horrors Book, cementing the film's legendary status as one of Hollywood's costliest test-screening disasters.

Promotion[]

A Story of Little Shop of Horrors[]

Main article: A Story of Little Shop of Horrors

In 1987, The Geffen Film Company released a promotional TV special featuring a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew members. It has been included as an extra on virtually every home video release around the world since 1998.

Galleries[]

On desktop devices, use the tabs to toggle between the various galleries.

Workprint[]

During the film's editing process, several workprints were created to present how the movie could be potentially be cut together. It was not unusual for workrpints of the era to be transferred onto black-and-white film stock, as this was cheaper than color film, and it was only intended as a guide for the production team (a complete B&W print of Oz's previous film, The Dark Crystal, is in circulation in fandom[28]). At least 4 different B&W variations of scenes from the film exist, each with slightly different edits.[29] In 1998, a 23 minute black-and-white copy (beginning during the reprise of Suppertime), which was duplicated from director Frank Oz's personal VHS of the workprint, was issued as a DVD extra - without the knowledge or consent of executive producer David Geffen.[30] Presumably this was from the longest edit, with every shot that could potentially be used. Geffen, who'd planned on someday reissuing the film with its original ending intact, was absolutely incensed, resulting in the world's very first DVD recall - a mere 5 days after the discs hit store shelves.[31] Although the gag reel and documentary were retained, workprint footage was removed and the disc was quickly reissued with a promise that it would be re-released in color. And then nothing else happened for years. Although Geffen initially stated that he possessed a color print of the original ending, he later discovered that he'd made a false claim.[32]

Awareness of the lost footage was boosted with the rise of You Tube and other online video sites, allegedly prompting Warner Bros. reps to state in 2007 that the original negatives were destroyed in a fire in 2002.[33] It's unclear where this rumor originated, but it was repeated ad nauseam across the internet, leaving fans heartbroken and serving to inflate prices for the recalled DVD, which had already been selling on eBay well into the triple-digits for years.

Director's Cut[]

In January 2012, curiosity and excitement swelled when the MPAA Ratings website issued a PG-13 rating for an "edited version" of "Little Shop of Horrors: The Intended Cut," featuring "content different from the" original 1986 release.[34] As the year progressed, Frank Oz signed off on letting them issue it with the subtitle "The Director's Cut," although this was in-name only, as he had no direct involvement with the movie's restoration.[35] However, it did afford him the opportunity to make up for the devastating phone call he'd made to Richard Conway a quarter of a century earlier. "That was my joy!" Oz remarked of his follow-up call informing Conway that his work was finally being restored, completed and officially issued.[27] The director's cut had its debut at the 50th New York Film Festival on September 29, 2012[36] and it was released on Blu-Ray on October 9.[37] Fathom Events later released the Director's Cut on October 2017, but in the credits, instead of saying "Director's Cut" like on home media releases, the final three credits began with the text "The Intended Version", which was shown in the 2012 New York Film Festival screening before Oz endorsed the project for home media.

When Frank Oz attended the 2012 premiere, he was bracing himself for a negative reaction similar to the ones he'd endured during the test screenings,[24] but something unexpected happened: The 2012 Film Festival audience applauded Audrey and Seymour's respective deaths and cheered on the plants during their rampage. “Sadly, I think audiences have gotten more cynical,” he remarked of the modern audience's enthusiasm.[23]

The restoration was carried out under the tutelage of Kurt Galvao, Warner Bros. V.P. of Assets & Technology/Post Production, who had garnered tremendous acclaim for his work on "Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut," "Woodstock: The 40th Anniversary Edition" and the "Final Cut" of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner." Galvao went over Frank Oz's notes to try to stay true to the filmmaker's vision, once joking that, "“Luckily, he has no notes.”[23] Although this was untrue, Oz's notes were minor. For example, upon seeing a plant climbing the Statue of Liberty, a soldier clearly exclaims, "What the f---?!," and Oz had made a specific note saying that the foul language was not to be audible.[29]

Work on the restoration was done by a small team of 12 people[29] and took nearly a year-and-a-half - beginning 25 years after the film's original release, by which point the various elements had been scattered all over the world. 200 boxes of film were found in vaults in Hollywood, Kansas and London,[24] and Galvao's crew had to go through each bit of footage to find the correlating shots.[38] Unfortunately, they kept overlooking the shot of Audrey II bursting into the bar at the disco, which was the final piece of footage found - after the crew had double-and-triple checked all of the film.[27]

The original 24-track music tapes were located, but there were a few sound issues, such as an inexplicable banging noise which had to be filtered out of the final reprise of Somewhere That's Green.[23] Although the music was generally well-preserved and intact, the finale's special effects extravaganza was never completed, so all of the sound effects were newly created for this version of the film.[23][27]

Little Shop of Horrors Director's Cut - Audrey II The End

Digital composite effect in the Director's Cut

The closing shots of the movie, featuring the plants overtaking the statue of liberty and ultimately bursting through the movie screen were never completed (and background plates for the statue were never created) so these few shots had to be finished with the aid of modern-day digital FX. Other instances with the computer being used were digitally recreating the girls in the flag background, three perfected shots of plants going down the street were also used with the first two having taxi cabs being flung properly with one of them bouncing off a building, and then when the Twoey pod comes out of the water, they used a digital plant and giant splash effect.

Some dialog from Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Paul Dooley had to be retouched with ADR for this restoration as the black and white workprint sounded different when compared to the restoration. Additionally, a whole bunch of new voices were recorded to create the screaming people and some Levi Stubbs soundalikes recorded new laughter for the Audrey II plants during the rampage.

Deleted Scenes[]

The Meek Shall Inherit - Workprint

Two months after the release of the Director's Cut, a slew of additional footage surfaced in two videos on Vimeo.[39][40] Duplicated from a color workprint that was shorter than Oz's black-and-white version, it included the missing dream sequence from "The Meek Shall Inherit" and alternate versions of many scenes, such as a different opening to "Grow for Me," an extended version of Orin's dismemberment, and the original version of Seymour's proposal to Audrey in which Mr. Mushnik's abrupt disappearance is finally explained. The second video also includes a severely truncated copy of "Don't Feed the Plants" which runs roughly 3 minutes, and it is this version that was originally screened for despondent test audiences in 1986.[41][22][26]

Subsequently, numerous versions of workprints began to circulate among fans and deleted footage found its way to You Tube, including Audrey's monologue in "Somewhere That's Green"[42] and several comprehensive comparisons of alternate footage.[43]

References[]

  1. Cinefantastique, Volume 14, No 2 (December 1983/January 1984), "Little Shop of Horrors: Corman's now-classic B-Film ends up on stage - and in court" by Dennis Fischer
  2. http://barbra-archives.com/bjs_library/80s/lhj_84.html Ladies' Home Journal August 1984: What's next for Barbra?
  3. People - Jaws 3D is the Great White Hope for a Resurging Fad That May Again Go Belly-Up
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Library of Congress: Howard Ashman papers, 1973-2010
  5. Chicago Tribune: Howard Ashman And `Little Shop`: How A Good Idea Can Grow And Grow
  6. 6.0 6.1 'Little Shop of Horrors: A Q&A with Frank Oz
  7. Collider: Frank Oz on ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Original Ending, ‘The Dark Crystal’ and Jim Henson
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Story of Little Shop of Horrors
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Little Shop of Horrors press kit - Production Information
  10. IMDb: Little Shop of Horrors trivia
  11. Chicago Tribune: Role Enchants 'Little Shop' Star
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 Cinefantastique, Volume 17, No. 1 (January 1987)
  13. eBay: Little Shop of Horrors 35mm screen test Rick Moranis Ellen Greene Frank Oz 1986
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 L.A. Times: 'Little Shop' Turns Into A Delight For Doo-wop Trio
  15. MTV News - Frank Oz Reopens his 'Little Shop of Horrors'
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 NY Times: On the Go with David Geffen
  17. AFI Catalog
  18. Box Office Mojo
  19. Mental Floss: 11 Bloodthirsty Facts About Little Shop of Horrors
  20. YouTube - Frank Oz Introduction And Q&A From "Little Shop Of Horrors Screening" At BAM
  21. Broadway World Credits: Robby Merkin
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 22.7 22.8 Cinfantastique, Volume 17, No. 5 (September 1987)
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 MTV Interview: Film Restoring With Kurt Galvao, From 'Little Shop of Horrors' To 'Blade Runner'
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 The Dissolve - The spectacularly tragic Little Shop Of Horrors that wasn’t
  25. 25.0 25.1 Monster Legacy: Audrey II Conquers the World
  26. 26.0 26.1 Yahoo Entertainment - MVPs of Horror: The 'Little Shop of Horrors' Puppet Master Who Brought the Blood-Thirsty Plant to Life
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 NYFF Q&A: Little Shop of Horrors
  28. The Dark Crystal B&W workrprint
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 AWN - Bringing Horror back to 'Little Shop': WB’s Kurt Galvao on the creation of The Director’s Cut decades in the making
  30. Collider - Frank Oz on ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Original Ending, ‘The Dark Crystal’ and Jim Henson
  31. Entertainment Weekly - Little Shop of Horrors: Rare Footage Recalled
  32. Entertainment Weekly -'Little Shop of Horrors: A Q&A with Frank Oz
  33. Film Buff Online - Don’t Feed The Plants!! LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Original Ending
  34. Coming Soon - Latest MPAA Ratings: BULLETIN NO: 2205
  35. Next Avenue - Happy Halloween: Revisiting ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
  36. Playbill - 50th New York Film Festival Kicks Off Sept. 28; Festival Includes "Little Shop" and Tribute to Nicole Kidman
  37. amazon - Director's Cut Blu-Ray
  38. IFC - How “Little Shop of Horrors” got its ending back
  39. Little Shop of Horrors - Deleted Scenes, Part 1
  40. Little Shop of Horrors - Deleted Scenes, Part 2
  41. Little Shop - FOUND Deleted Scenes
  42. Somewhere That's Green: Early Workprint
  43. You Tube - Little Shop of Horrors Workprint
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