Little Shop of Horrors

Critics Consensus

Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 51

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 181,538
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Movie Info

It started as a 1960 Roger Corman horror comedy, filmed in two days; it then inspired a lavish 1982 Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Finally in 1986, Little Shop of Horrors (1960) graduated into a multimillion-dollar, all-star film musical. Rick Moranis plays nebbishy Seymour Krelborn, who works in a rundown flower shop on Skid Row. While his boss (Vincent Gardenia) bemoans the lack of business, Seymour seeks a way of bringing the shop -- and himself -- fame and fortune. He purchases a strange plant from an even stranger oriental street vendor (Vincent Wong), naming the plant after his girlfriend Audrey (Ellen Greene, one of the few carry-overs from the Broadway version). Gradually, Seymour learns to his horror that "Audrey II" (given the voice of R&B performer Levi Stubbs) craves blood and flesh. With each of Audrey II's "FEEED MEEE"s, Seymour must scare up human food to satisfy the plant's appetite. One such victim is dentist Steve Martin, a leather-jacketed Elvis type (the dentist's ultra-masochistic patient played by Jack Nicholson in the 1960 original is here impersonated by Bill Murray). The lighthearted tone of the film darkens as Audrey II grows in monstrosity, but the unhappy ending of the Broadway version is avoided herein. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Rick Moranis
as Seymour Krelborn
Steve Martin
as Orin Scrivello
Jim Belushi
as Patrick Martin
John Candy
as Wink Wilkinson
Christopher Guest
as 1st Customer
Bill Murray
as Arthur Denton
Stanley Jones
as Narrator
Stan Jones
as Narrator
Bertice Reading
as `Downtown' Old Woman
Vincent Wong
as Chinese Florist
Adeen Fogle
as Radio Station Assistant
Kelly Huntley
as Audrey & Seymour's Kid
Paul Reynolds
as Audrey & Seymour's Kid
Mak Wilson
as Doo Wop Street Singer
Miriam Margolyes
as Dental Nurse
Abbie Dabner
as Boy Patient
Danny Cunningham
as Doo Wop Street Singer
Danny John-Jules
as Doo Wop Street Singer
Frank Dux
as 2nd Patient
Gary Palmer
as Doo Wop Street Singer
Peter Whitman
as Patient on Ceiling
Paul Swaby
as Doo Wop Street Singer
Heather Henson
as Girl Patient
Judith Morse
as Girl's Mother
Doreen Hermitage
as Magazine Lady
Kerry Shale
as Her Assistant
Robert Arden
as Network Executive
Stephen Hoye
as Network Executive
Bob Sessions
as Network Executive
Michael J. Shannon
as Television Reporter
Barbara Rosenblat
as 5th Customer
Kevin Scott
as 4th Customer
Melissa Wiltsie
as 3rd Customer
Mildred Shay
as 2nd Customer
John Scott Martin
as Downtown bum #3
Alan Tilvern
as "Downtown" Bum
Ed Wiley
as "Downtown" Bum
View All

Critic Reviews for Little Shop of Horrors

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Little Shop of Horrors

  • Feb 28, 2013
    Wicked funny! It's a mixture of screwball comedy and musical! Delightful fun and little wrong! ;-)
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer
  • May 05, 2012
    I know when I think of giant venus fly trap aliens eating people, especially when they're in a film with a title like this, I think of comedy-musicals. I suppose after "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", we decided that horror films probably could use a few added chuckles, because lord knows Ed Wood wasn't gonna live forever; why do you think Freddy Krueger kept popping out snappy one-liners? Yeah, everyone was talking about how "Scream" broke ground with its tongue-in-cheeck sensibilities, but no, they were just ripping off "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". It would appear as though Wes Craven was a big fan of horror-comedies, or rather, still is, because although I don't keep up with the guy too much, I'm hearing that plenty of his horror movies nowadays are pretty laughable. Okay, now, I'm sure that all of the Wes Craven fans are glad that someone is at least trying to make up excuses for his recent work being so hilariously bad, but I am very much exaggeratedly looking too far into things, because even with its subject matter and title, this film is anything but a horror film, or if it is, then it was doomed when they decided to make the director the guy who is also very notorious for playing Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster, Bert, Grover and, of course, Yoda, the least serious of all. Don't worry fanboys, I'm kidding, "Star Wars" has some depth, though not quite enough for it to not earn the label of "overrated" from me, and with this film having even less, if any depth, then it, for all extents and purposes, shouldn't stand a chance of avoiding the label of "overrated". Well, ladies and gentlemen, worry not, as this film accomplishes just enough of what it sets out to do for it to slip under the radar and come out as more rewarding than not, yet it still goes tainted by quite a few missteps, all the same. The film runs just a little over an hour-and-a-half, and you would think that's enough to get this story over and done with pretty comfortably, yet there are points in the film that feel a touch glossed over. Sure, the rushing isn't that severe, and even if it was, this isn't at all a film that needs a whole lot of meditation on its story, yet the glossing over some pieces of exposition feels a touch offputting here and there. Of course, it's pretty clear as day why there is so much rushing in the film, yet the reason isn't so much a reasonable excuse, as much as it's actually an intensifier on the problem, for the reason why the storytelling gets to be a bit spotty is because of this, and simply this: they want to hurry up to the next musical number. It's a problem found in a lot of musicals of this film's time and type, where storytelling, while still very prominent, sometimes finds itself battling off against the musical style of the production, leaving storytelling to fault in a few ways to make room for the next musical set piece. The film often finds itself gearing up for the next piece on the soundtrack, and when it's not doing that, then its storytelling loses some inspiration and goes rather slow, making the film's pacing all over the place. The film's missteps aren't terribly glaring, yet they definately take some knocks at a unique concept, rendering the film not much more than the same-old-same-old, or at least that's what I would say if this film wasn't above that. Even without its handful of minor missteps, the film was never written to be terribly slam-bang, yet, as I said, the film accomplishes what it sets out to do, and does it with style, notably when it comes to the musical aspects that are often a little too overly focused upon. Sure, maybe director Frank Oz focuses on the musical aspects a little too much, but hey, I guess I can't blame him too much, because it's hard to get enough of these catchy, lively musical numbers. The musical aspects follow a certain formula, yet there's a surprising amount of versatility in each tune, with each number being different enough from the last, yet still never at the cost of what's so good about the musical formula, from the lively dynamicity in storytelling tone to top-notch quality in the music, in general. Musically, the film really delivers with plenty of catchy, memorable fun, which isn't to say that the aspects outside of the musicality, while not always terrible comfortably done, don't still have enough inspiration behind them to keep you charmed. The film's humor is clever and unique, with subtlety that appeals to the more witty audience member, as well as enough broadness to catch anyone and everyone offguard, and really hit, thus creating a powerful aura of charm that lasts throughout the film, even with its missteps, yet couldn't have stayed so charged without being supplemented by the charm of the performers. Whether it be the inspired and fun cameos by John Candy and Bill Murray (And so begins Bill Murray's new fallback career of being "that guy" to get as a cameo in your comedy) or a comes-and-go, yet still delightfully hammy Steve Martin, everyone charms, with leading man charisma coming from two people you wouldn't expect to deliver so well: dorky character actor Rick Moranis and a plant. Seriously though, Levi Stubbs' slick voice comes in handy when it's behind such a charmingly sleazy and dangerous being, and with that sharp vocal work going backed up by a pretty excellent giant talking plant special effect, you've got yourself a villain that's as unexpectedly effective as he is charming. As for Moranis, he's play, well, Rick Moranis, yet doing so in a way that gives him a surprising amount of presence, charisma and, shockingly, even some layers that we always knew was there, yet never knew could be used so well to well Moranis could carry a film all but by himself, something that really isn't done, for although Moranis is a surprisingly engaging lead, he's not the only sharp aspect in this film that helps in making it sharper than you'd expect, and much more entertaining than not. In closing, the film's moments of over inspiration towards style leaves storytelling to suffer, moving either too fast or a little too slow, yet the film has every right to focus so much on the style, as the musical numbers really pop and dazzle with surprisingly versatility and high quality, which isn't to say that the substance doesn't deliver more often than not, as the film boasts consistently witty and lively humor to power consistent charm, really brought to life by the colorful cast of fiery charmers that help in making Frank Oz's musical take on "Little Shop of Horrors" to resonate on as a generally thoroughly entertaining classic number that is very likely to charm musical-lovers, the clever, the general audience and all around moviegoers. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2012
    "Feed me, Seymour!" From director Frank Oz comes Little Shop of Horrors, an outrageous musical comedy. Based on the off-Broadway musical, the film follows a little flower shop on Skid Row that is taken over by an alien planet from outer space. Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene give great performances and are supported by the terrific comedic talents of Steve Martin, John Candy, and Bill Murray. The music is outstanding, with wonderfully choreographed dance numbers; which really brings the audience into the musical aesthetic of the film. Little Shop of Horror is a wildly entertaining comedy that's a lot of fun.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2011
    Audrey II: Does this look "inanimate" to you, punk? If I can move and I can talk, who's to say I can't do anything I want?  "A Singing Plant. A Daring Hero. A Sweet Girl. A Demented Dentist." Little Shop of Horrors isn't a horrible musical by any means. It is just an extremely annoying one. I found all the songs to be annoying that weren't sung by the trio of girls who followed the events of the story around. Ellen Greene's voice irritated the shit out of me. She talks in a raspy, soft spoken way that just makes you want to kill yourself. Then when she sings, good Lord when she sings. Rick Moranis's singing tunes are just as bad. He plays his usual character and that character just doesn't translate well to singing. A flower shop in the ghetto isn't doing very well. No one comes in and the owner is looking at shutting the place down. This is when Seymour shows his new plant and puts it in the window to attract new customers. It works and the business begins to thrive and Seymour becomes an overnight success. Soon he figures out that in order for the plant to grow and not die, it needs human blood. For a while, he is able to feed it with drips from his fingers, but eventually the plant grows to big for that to do any good.  My favorite thing about this movie are the cameos. There are great cameos from Steve Martin as a sadistic dentist and also from Bill Murray as a pain loving patient of that dentist. Also the songs from the three women who follow the events around are awesome. I wish I could have sold after the initial credits because that was awesome. The movie is just too dull and actually quite boring. Songs can only go so far, there has to be characters and a plot that can support those songs and in Little Shop of Horrors, the characters cannot. I guess it is still worth one watch for Steve Martin' scenes alone. 
    Melvin W Super Reviewer

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