(Above: Jack Nicholson as Wilbur Force in ‘The Little Shop of Horrors.’)
The Little Shop of Horrors – the original 1960 release, that is – is a noteworthy entry in the science fiction/comedy genre.
The movie, about a new plant species with an insatiable appetite for human blood, was directed by Roger Corman. Corman is known for directing such low-budget cult films as House of Usher (1960) and The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), both starring Vincent Price, with screenplays by Twilight Zone writer Richard Matheson based on Edgar Alan Poe stories.
(Corman, who turned 92 on April 5, continues to add writing and production credits to his resume.)
It also marked an early, albeit brief, appearance by a little-known actor named Jack Nicholson. Nicholson played Wilbur Force, a masochistic patient of the dentist Phoebus Farb (John Herman Shaner).
Comet TV, the free science fiction network that you can view over-the-air or online, will air The Little Shop of Horrors this Friday at 8 pm ET.
The plot involves Seymour Krelboin (Jonathan Haze), who “works in the Skid Row flower shop owned by Mr. Mushnik (Mel Welles).” To be filed under the ‘idle hands are the devil’s workshop’ category, Seymour, in his spare time, “creates a new plant species he names Audrey Junior in honor of his girlfriend Audrey (Jackie Joseph).” Soon, “Audrey Junior begins speaking and demands to be fed human blood and flesh, convincing Seymour to kill a railroad detective, a sadistic dentist and a trollop.” This leads to a final confrontation between Seymour and his misbehaving botanical offspring.
To watch Comet online, visit comettv.com.
To see if you’re in one of the 100+ markets that can access Comet on-air, go to comettv.com and enter your zip code.
You can also watch the entire film, right here, on The Savvy Screener:
Little Shop of Horrors, the 1986 film based on the musical based on the original, featured Rick Moranis as Seymour, Ellen Greene as girlfriend Audrey and Vincent Gardenia as Mushnik. Steve Martin is the sadistic dentist, now named Orin Scrivello, and Bill Murray is the pain-loving patient, Arthur Denton.
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