Quick Hit: A cult classic for good reason, with amazing effects, catchy tunes, and great performances from its leads.
unknown man named Jack Nicholson). In the early 80s, it then became a smash on Off-Broadway, before moving on to the final product in the film. The director of this was Frank Oz, of Muppets fame. And then, the movie nearly didn’t get released when the original ending (that ends like the musical) was deemed as “too dark” by audiences. After extensive reshooting, it was finally released as the product on DVD. In 2012, Warner released a copy of the original ending, restored to color.
Doesn’t that sound like a long path? But, I guess it’s fitting, because we are talking about a musical that is based about an alien man-eating plant. Sometimes things take a long time to “grow” (Boring a line from Ryan’s humor catalogue). So what do I think about the film? Well frankly, I think it’s fantastic.
Let’s start with the music. It’s fun and catchy and you will often find tunes stuck in your head weeks after watching the movie. Along with that, the dialogue has a rhythm that is musical in nature, even when the songs aren’t being sung. The songs vary, but even when they are allowed to be sweet, they are satirical in nature and delightfully tongue in cheek (“Somewhere that’s Green” – which, as a side note, might be one of the creepiest/best Family guy spoofs ever).
Rick Moranis is also wonderful. I didn’t realize how much I missed him in films until I watched this and realized how long it had been. He toys the line between being the perfect “everyman” and a true loser. Ellen Greene is a lot of fun in the role as Audrey, alternating between blond bimbo and crushed gutter girl. There are times her voice may grate your ears a bit, but when she really opens it up in a few of the
not to be overwhelmed by what is on screen. The plant is lip-syncing, but it is being done so marvelously that it seems the voice is indeed coming from the plant. And the voice is perfect, with that deep velvety sound that is so smooth you can’t even blame Seymour. The laugh is also so unique that you believe how much fun it was to voice it. I once read that it took about forty puppeteers to run Audrey II in her final scenes in the movie, and that level of commitment is one that had to of been brought from Frank Oz after years of working with puppets (and Muppets).
I nearly forgotten to mention what I think is the best part of the movie, and probably the greatest cameo in a film of all time. Steve Martin as a sadistic dentist is superb. You can’t help but laugh at his campy ridiculousness, and love his song. But even his performance is overshadowed by a man that was absolutely at the top of his craft at this time: Bill Murray. Played as the perfect foil to Martin, you love every minute of his marvelous performance. I won’t ruin it here, just enjoy it when you can.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"