Little Shop of Horrors: a Review and Look to the Future

By Lucas Huss 

April 1, 2024

Starring Rick Moranis, Steve Martin, Ellen Greene, and Levi Stubbs, Little Shop of Horrors is the definition of a cult classic. The 1986 film was based on the 1982 musical, which in turn was based on another movie of the same name, which was released in 1960. 

The plot follows a young and aspiring florist to get out of the sub-area of New York in which he lives, Skid Row. He happens upon a small plant which he names Audrey Two, in honor of his workplace crush Audrey. As he attempts to get the plant to grow by traditional means, he cuts himself accidentally, to which the plant responds by drinking his blood and growing, much to Seymour’s shock and apprehension. 

This sparks the central conflict of the movie: the exponential and dangerous growth of the plant, and the means of feeding it. Eventually, feeding the plant from mere cuts isn’t enough, and Seymour resorts to inadvertently murdering Audrey’s abusive boyfriend to feed the plant. This escalates more and more, causing Seymour to succeed financially and prosper, but eventually the remains of his murder are found by his employer, to which he kills him as well. The film ends with Audrey nearly being eaten by the plant, though Seymour fights back and eventually kills the plant, ending the cycle of murder and tension and landing Seymour the girl which he dreamed of.

The original poster for the musical, much smaller and lesser known, prior to the film adaptation.

The movie is wonderful, and has great vocal performances from its main cast. It also inspired a revitalization of the musical which it was based on, which is one of my favorite musicals. The characters are incredible, with something likable about each of them. Even the minor characters who are played for a joke, like the masochistic dental patient, are wonderful in their delivery and comedy and remain memorable despite their minimal screen time. My personal favorite, in both the musical and the film, is the dentist, Audrey’s (unfortunately) abusive boyfriend and Seymour’s first victim. His fun and kooky demeanor and nonchalance towards the pain he inflicts in combination with his gross misuse of laughing gas make him an easy favorite to pick, in addition to his solo song, which is named after his profession.

Wonderful as the movie is, the musical it is based on and inspired a revival of is also soon to be playing nearby which the Morro Bay High School drama program may view. The equally inspiring musical version, which many of our school’s students prefer, is also seems likely to be the headlining musical that the program will be performing the following year, my senior year, which is an incredible opportunity for acting and fun.