Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
How do you take a 72 minute early Roger Corman picture turned off-Broadway musical about a love-clumsy florist who raises a carnivorous plant from outer space, and adapt it for a new generation? You turn the dialogue into lyrics, crank the black comedy to eleven, and amplify the special effects with puppetry, creating one of the most bizarrely resonant horror musicals in cinematic history.
Stepping behind the camera is legendary puppet master Frank Oz, who brings Skid Row from Los Angeles to New York City, capturing the melancholy of poverty with such toe-tapping energy that you’d swear the grit and grime of its city streets were alive with the sound of music. Watching our carnivorous plant beg, whine, devour, prosper, and defeat in all of its glorious greens, yellows, blues and purples is akin to witnessing one of the most whimsically terrifying rags to riches stories ever sung. There’s a brutalism behind the mic that captures the struggle of life, but it’s constructed with such harmony that it never overshadows just how much fun this green thumb is.
Combining near pitch-black humor, growing terror and lyrics that will turn you into one mean green mother from outer space, Little Shop of Horrors is a rarity that works as gracefully and colorfully as a painter, taking dabs from both its sources. The end product is a remake that needs to be seen, felt, and ultimately sung on the streets, because in the end, everything is suddenly Seymour.
What are your favourite cult film remakes? Do you agree with our choices? Flatliners is on general release in cinemas from Friday 28th.