Get ready to be the happiest you’ve ever been about sadomasochistic dentists, and carnivorous plants, it’s time for Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s look back on the great science fiction of the past.
‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is a camp sci-fi in only the good ways sci-fi can be camp. It follows Seymour, a hapless and unlucky-in-love guy who is trying to make it in Skid Row. He acquires a plant which, unbeknownst to him, is a bloodthirsty alien. He also names it Aubrey II, after his crush. Unfortunately, the real Aubrey is dating a dentist who enjoys inflicting pain and is all around a big jerk. “The Jerk” being a particularly appropriate title since the dentist is played by Steven Martin… you know… the lead from ‘The Jerk’… and also the most ageless man to live aside from Patrick Stewart. Anyway, Seymour tries to continue to feed his bloodthirsty plant while wooing Aubrey to hilarious, and sometimes murderous results.
Many of us know ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, even if we’ve never seen it. We’ve heard the line “Feed me, Seymour”, and had people laugh about it. For those who have loved it, we associate it with the lovable, and dorky Rick Moranis in his heyday of playing very lovable and dorky role possible. But there are more things about ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ that permeate our culture even to this day. For example, the composer was none other than Alan Menken, the man who wrote most of the soundtracks to any Disney movies you can remember and love. You know, before Elton John came along. Also, he wrote most of the music for ‘Galavant’, so he’s pretty legit.
But ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ has even more cred than that. In fact, it was based off an 1960 independent film by Roger Corman, and it even has a small role played by a very young John Nicholson.
This is not the first time something related to Roger Corman has appeared in Throwback Thursday. Indeed, we took a look at his Scifi take on ‘The Seven Samurai’ with ‘Battle Beyond the Stars‘, and deemed it pretty dang awesome, if campy. Which, really, is the only way you can describe the original ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. Truly, the 1960 film and the 1986 musical are probably the most ingenious, darkly comedic, and self-reflective pieces of B-movies ever created. Don’t believe me? They got 92 and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes respectively.
So if you haven’t seen the musical, or the original film, get to it! We all need singing, man-eating plants from outer space in our lives.