Sunday, August 30, 2009

#65 - Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Moderately Trashy

Directed by: Roger Corman. Written by: Charles B. Griffith.

Plot: Recycled from A Bucket of Blood - about a dorky guy (Jonathan Haze) working in a plant store who creates a plant to impress his boss (Mel Welles) and get the attention of his attractive co-worker (Jackie Joseph). The plant grows to massive proportions and becomes an attraction, drawing people to the store. Unfortunately, the plant happens to eat people. Hilarity ensues.

Review: Another movie which probably doesn’t count as a horror film. It’s really a comedy, but we’ll call it a horror comedy and get around the problem.

This movie is not great in any respect - as a horror movie it sucks ass - but I can’t help it. Roger Corman is, like, the shit. This movie was allegedly shot in two days on $30,000 and manages to not look like total shit. That is amazing.

Also, as a horror spoof, it is pretty funny. In a totally bizarre sort of way. There are a lot of scenes of two cops just sitting in a room talking (a la Bloodfeast only unfortunately not punctuated by random acts of gratuitous violence) and a lot of scenes which really have very little to do with anything, seemingly there only to pad the movie out to one hour ten.

For example, any scenes of Jonathan Haze’s home life. I seem to remember a scene where he takes Jackie Joseph to have dinner with his mother which goes absolutely nowhere.

Then there’s the famous Jack Nicholson scene. He usually gets billed next to Jonathan Haze and Mel Welles when this movie is repackaged despite the fact that he is only in the movie for about ten minutes (he’s probably the only person in the movie who anyone’s ever heard of - like Clint Eastwood in Tarantula). In his one scene, he plays ‘The Masochistic Dental Patient’ who (as I remember) gets tortured by Jonathan Haze after the real dentist gets killed.

Yeah, that scene has nothing to do with anything actually.

It’s a weird movie for sure, and kind of a mess, but it’s all these bizarre quirks that make it more interesting than a lot of the stuff getting cranked out in the fifties and sixties, as well as earning it the cult following it has today.

I actually felt like I was getting inducted into a cult when I watched it, it's that kind of movie. But yeah, I'm lovin it.

Favourite Part:
Dick Miller (of Bucket of Blood) as the plant eating man - this guy just sort of shows up at the flower shop and hangs around a lot. Again, he has nothing to do with anything, but goes with the total randomness of this movie. Also, anything that Mel Welles says is totally hilarious despite the fact that the dialogue looks awful on the page (trust me - I was looking on IMDb for a quote to copy-paste here but they all looked sort of lame when written down).

Other versions: The musical remake of ‘86 which, though mind-blowingly awesome and directed by Frank Oz (Frank Oz!!), I decided not to include here because a) I’m an asshole, b) it’s a musical and c) I’m an asshole.

Sequels: None.

Click here to read my original review (May 30th 2008).

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