FiLM REViEW: Little Shop of Horrors, 1986

I’m not a big fan of musicals. But this one is bonkers. Based on a film made by Roger Corman, which in turn was made into a musical, and directed by Muppeteer Frank Oz, it’s truly gonzo.

Audrey II is an amazing piece of work (requiring a team of twenty-two puppeteers!), voiced wonderfully by head honcho of The Four Tops, Levi Stubbs.

Levi Stubbs, bottom left.
Audrey II menaces his namesake, Audrey.

And not only is Audrey II a mighty (pre-CGI) achievement, so too is the entire Skid Row set, which was constructed as an indoor studio environment, at Pinewood Studios, in England.

There are some terrific cameos. My favourites being Steve Martin’s sadistic rockabilly biker dentist, Orin Scrivello (DDS!), addicted to laughing gas, and his Planes Trains & Automobiles co-star, John Candy, as manic DJ ‘Weird’ Wink Wilkinson.

Steve Martin as Orin Scrivello, DDS.

The movie was produced by music mogul David Geffen, subject of Joni Mitchell’s terrific song Free Man Paris.

A bonkers thing, and one of the few musicals I can bear – though enduring the ‘numbers’ is an issue – to watch all the way through.

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