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Little Shop of Horrors Reviews

This is the multimillion-dollar movie version of the off-Broadway musical, which was based in turn on an old movie conceived and shot in a matter of days by Roger Corman. Although the plots (in which a carnivorous plant feeds on human flesh, causing its creator to kill to satisfy it) are virtually identical, much of the edge was taken off of the material in its transition from screen to stage to screen. The killer plant has been transformed into a being from outer space (rather than a warped hybrid created by the dimwitted Seymour in his basement). Big-budget and bloated, the film has none of the shabby charm of Corman's effort and is memorable only for a couple of decent tunes, a parade of star cameos, some impressive special effects, and a wonderful performance from Greene as Audrey. Conway's special effects involved several generations of Audrey II, from a potted plant to a mammoth 12.5-foot-tall creature that takes over the entire florist shop. It weighed, at the close, more than 2,000 pounds and used almost 12 miles of cable. The most remarkable aspect of the device were the lips, perfectly in sync with the singing and dialogue. Although an impressive technical achievement, the film itself is a rather overblown and overhyped affair--which, for all its expensive excess, fails to recapture the spirit of the original.