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Classic of the Week: The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)


Little Shop of Horrors is a 1960 American horror comedy film directed by Roger Corman about a florist’s assistant that grows a plant that feeds on human blood. The film stars Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Dick Miller, Mel Welles and Jack Nicholson. The film combines dark humor with Jewish humor, horror and romance.

This film starts out very slow, then instantly gets really silly, a lot of times to the point of stupid. The plot is clever and the effects are good for the time period, but the acting is nothing great. Several scenes are laugh out loud funny and a few are cringingly bad as far as acting and dialogue. This would have been a fun film if there had been more action, more humor or maybe a little song a dance numbers.

The main character Seymour Krelboined (Haze) is dimwitted and shouldn’t be working in a floral shop, especially with a man eating and talking plant. He is illiterate, dumb and unromantic like his mother. Audrey Fulquard (Joseph) who also works at the floral shop falls in love with Seymour for some reason wanting to marry him, the two couldn’t be more polar opposite, she is super smart and pretty and comes from an upper class family and he is not. His mother is a divorced alcoholic, who can’t cook, clean, keep a man or a job. She relies on he really son’s very little income to get by.

Despite this movie being called a horror comedy, there is very little comedy and it isn’t the least bit scary. The effects are almost B movie like, meaning not quite a film that would be featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is one that is so bad, it’s good. It’s cleverly stupid, but not over the top. It is perfect for fans of horror, comedy, classics, or science fiction. It has inspired the 1986 remake and several stage productions.

This is such a bizarre film, but a very well done one of that. It isn’t outstanding but isn’t terrible either, it is only very good. This movie may scare young children, it also deals with alcoholism, death and vandalism, has drinking, smoking and kissing. This is one movie, you either love it or hate it. 13+ 3.5/5

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