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Little Shop Of Horrors

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Little Shop Of Horrors

Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene
Director: Frank Oz
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: December 1986
Genres: Music, Comedy, Horror

*Also starring: Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, John Candy, Bill Murray, James Belushi, Christopher Guest

Review by Brian Koller
3½ stars out of 4

"Little Shop of Horrors" is a surprisingly good movie. Not much could be expected of a musical comedy based on a Roger Corman movie about a man-eating plant, heavily seeded with comic alumni of SCTV and Saturday Night Live.

But it certainly works. The songs are pretty good. "Skid Row" is my favorite, with its downtrodden characters and fine cinematography. Steve Martin has a number as a sadistic dentist that is a hoot (Bill Murray has a great cameo as his patient). And "Suddenly Seymour", with its parody of Kennedy-era middle-class aspirations, is so good it is reprised again.

Rick Moranis, Hollywood's nerd stereotype, turns in a fine performance as a harried lower class florist assistant, whose life improves for the better after discovering an unusual plant. Unfortunately, the plant needs blood to survive, and survive it does, growing huge and ultimately talking. Moranis must choose between a better life and serving the evil intentions of this despicable plant. Moranis' ditzy love interest (Ellen Greene) also does well. Even her affected voice and stilted walk suits the character perfectly.

Minor trivia: one of three muses is Tisha Campbell. The muses are named after early sixties' girl groups. Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops provides the plant's voice.

Almost as dark as the Corman original, the film doesn't take the easy way out until its ending. The special effects are good too. The script is loaded with gags that succeed. It isn't recommended for kids though, with its language, violence and adult themes.

Copyright 1999 Brian Koller

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