Little Shop Of Horrors – Audrey II plants for every home – VideOdyssey vintage film review

Posted on 19 October 2021
By Andy Johnson
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“Does this look inanimate to you, punk?”

The dark moment where a plant inspires it’s owner to murder, through joyous songs and promises of obtaining fame and riches, has to go down as one of the most compelling partnerships in celluloid history.

Seymour discovers this odd looking little pot plant after a total eclipse of the sun, where she has beamed down to Earth, with yet unknown, but nefarious intentions.

Audrey II’s lavish pink lips beguile Seymour and sway him towards providing a steady stream of bloody treats, so she can grow, thrive and continue to enthral the world with her mysterious flytrap beauty.

Seymour sells his soul to this alien invader for a pocketful of dreams and a chance to get the girl. What would you do to make your dreams come true? Would you chop people up and feed them to a plant?

Lying in bed in the Skid Row basement of Mushnik’s, which has been his home since he was rescued from the local orphanage as a boy by flower shop owner Mushnik, Seymour Krelbourne allows himself to fantasise about escaping Skid Row.

Soon the girl of his dreams is dousing him in attention and he is the toast of New York, with people queuing round the block for a glimpse of ‘that strange and unusual plant.’

The on screen chemistry between Rick Moranis and Ellen Green carries the film forward – as you will them to break free, despite the evil lows that Seymour stoops to in order to provide suppertime for Audrey II.

The musicality of the film is a constant delight. Audrey II is voiced by the late great Levi Stubbs, who was a member of the Motown quartet the Four Tops and brings a sultry soulful edge to Audrey’s musings and crooning.

The descent into darkness by Seymour is dizzying. Soon he’s featured on the front cover of Time magazine with Audrey ii and a shrewd businessman is offering to take cuttings and put baby Audreys into every home in America.

This has been the carnivorous plant’s plan all along. To take over the world, one home at a time. But only in the alternate ending is Seymour made to face the music and pay the price for his murderous deal with the demonic seed.

During production, director Frank Oz shot an elaborate 23-minute alternative ending, which features a dramatic Godzilla-like take over by Audrey II’s, who run amok across New York.

But audiences at the preview screenings didn’t react well to it and the ending was rewritten and re-shot for the film’s release with a happier ending.

Seymour gets his girl and there is only a veiled threat of the baby Audreys making their way into Americans homes.

Made by the Muppets supremo Frank Oz, the dexterity and puppetry prowess in this film make this a masterpiece of modern cinema alone.

The scene where Audrey II uses his vines to phone Audrey and tempt her back to the shop to be devoured is a delight to behold.

There are many welcome laughs from a host of comedy supernova cameos including Steve Martin, John Candy and Jim Belushi, which provide a much needed comic relief to the increasingly dark subject matter.

We are also treated to a blistering performance from Bill Murray as a sadomasochistic dentist’s patient. In his first film appearance following a self imposed exile from Hollywood after the success of Ghosbusters.

Bill had been away in Paris studying philosophy, before warming up for a starring role in Scrooged with this strange little turn.

Talking with plants has long been considered a good method for making them grow. Stephen Speilberg embraced the motif in the 80s, for one of his short Amazing Stories TV films.

Featuring a plant called Lucy who writes captivating comedy scripts and makes her owner a star. Sounds familiar.

Little Shop Of Horrors was shot on location at the world-famous Pinewood studios in England. Eagle eyed viewers can spot many famous faces – including Red Dwarf’s own Danny John Jules aka Cat featuring in the Doo Wop group outside Chang’s flower shop, where Seymour first finds Audrey II.

There’s something magical in this film, especially the musical elements and watching them come to life, which we have been thrilled to do in our studio cinema with our immersive Little Shop of Horrors experience, complete with Auderey II photo opp at Mushnik’s Flower Shop and a team of improv actors playing the film’s characters.

VideOdyssey’s very own Auderey II is currently sleeping – awaiting a new audience at the new immersive show dates.

So please stay tuned for when we can have everybody back in the studio cinema safely, for a new celebration of this musical extravaganza.

Meanwhile, want to own a baby Audrey II? You can get your hands on a little beauty from our shop, to plant in your own home. Handmade by master prop maker Nick Molloy, the baby Audreys are available on our VideOdyssey Etsy store.

Want to watch Little Shop Of Horrors the way nature intended? Come and rent a copy from us or watch it with your friends and family in one of our private screening rooms.

“The guy sure looks like plant food to me!”

Top rated on AirBnB experiences in Liverpool, VideOdyssey was also recently listed on Time Out Magazine’s Film Fans must visit bucket list.

Check out the VideOdyssey Studios website for more info