Once in a blue moon a remake does that rare feat of being better than the original, and Frank Oz’s version of Little Shop Of Horrors is one of those rare films.
I don’t mind the odd musical, but a musical comic horror about a man eating singing plant is a unique combination that has stood the test of time. Rick Moranis stars as Seymour Krelborn, the nerdy florist who is desperately in love with his co-worker Audrey (Ellen Greene). After he discovers a odd looking plant that seems to feed on blood, the little flower shop grows in popularity as does the hunger for human flesh from Seymour’s now giant man eating all singing Audrey 2.
The film is a love letter to B Movie horror, and the songs are all infectiously catchy. Steve Martin gives a near career best comedic performance as Audrey’s unhinged dentist boyfriend Orin Scrivello – D.D.S. There are few actors that could bring a rock n roll flair to dentistry, but Martin is more than up to the task.
Being a Frank Oz movie there are cameos galore, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, John Candy and James Belushi all pop up and look out for Red Dwarf’s ‘Cat’ Danny John-Jules as one of the street singers.
I watched this film a fair bit growing up, the mixture of comedy and light horror was an eye opening experience. There’s something oddly comforting about this movie, it reminds me of simpler times, but it does re-open the case of “What Happened to Rick Moranis?”
The actor retired a few years after the tragic death of his wife Anne, he’s made the occasional return to acting and doing some voice over work. In 2005 he released an album called The Agoraphobic Cowboy, the country record received a Grammy nomination for best Comedy album.
Sadly he couldn’t be tempted back to voice Louis Tully for the 2008 Ghostbusters Video Game, and currently he’s not expected to reprise the role in the long delayed Ghostbusters 3.
Little Shop of Horrors is perfect for a Sunday Afternoon Movie, it’s a great musical and one of Frank Oz’s best movies, which means something considering he’s directed The Dark Crystal, Bowfinger, The Muppets Take Manhattan and another remake that better it’s original Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
To some he’s the voice of Yoda, to others he’s the voice of Miss Piggy but to me Frank Oz is the director of some of the greatest Sunday Afternoon Movies of all time. Although In & Out, The Stepford Wives and The Score were all a load of old bobbins, so even Yoda gets it wrong sometimes, or rather “wrong does Yoda sometimes get it”.