Sunday, June 6, 2010

Carniverous plant life has never been funnier

Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Starring: Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles, Dick Miller, Tammy Windsor, Toby Michaels, and Jack Nicholson
Director: Roger Corman
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

When the nebbish flowershop employee Seymore (Haze) creates a brand-new kind of plant as an expression of his love for fellow employee Audrey (Joseph), their boss Mushnik (Welles) is delighted that business starts booming after curious passer-bys stop in to see the plant. However, it soon becomes apparent that Seymore has created a monster--a talking plant with telepathic powers and a taste for human flesh!

"The Little Shop of Horrors" is a bizarre, chaotic, strange, and thorougly entertaining comedy. The jokes, nonsensical situations, and oddball characters keep coming non-stop, and along the way, Corman and crew mananges to parody cop dramas, monster movies, romance films, and even swashbuckler movies. The film unfolds almost like a dream, so random are some of the characters and dialogue exchanges, yet it all comes together in a film that exudes a great surreal atmosphere.

This may look like the low-budget movie that it is, but it was made with a crew that understood the limitations they were working under. It's also blessed with a fun script, and a cast of entergitic actors with fine comedic timing--I particularly love the three leads (Haze, Welles, and Joseph), Miller (as the "flower eater"), and the two girls buying flowers for a parade float. This is one of Corman's very best, and I think it's a flm worth seeing for anyone who loves kooky comedies... because this is one of the kookiest!