film The Little Shop of Horrors

Theatrical release poster for The Little Shop of Horrors.
Theatrical release poster for The Little Shop of Horrors.

The Little Shop of Horrors is a 1960 American black comedy film directed by Roger Corman. Written by Charles B. Griffith, the film is a farce about an inadequate florist’s assistant who cultivates a plant that feeds on human flesh and blood. The film’s concept is thought to be based on a 1932 story called “Green Thoughts”, by John Collier, about a man-eating plant.[1] However, Dennis McDougal suggests that Griffith may have been influenced by Arthur C. Clarke‘s sci-fi short story from 1956, “The Reluctant Orchid[2] (which was in turn inspired by the 1905 H. G. Wells story “The Flowering of the Strange Orchid”). Mythology about man-eating plants dates back to at least the 1800s, and probably much earlier.[3]

The film stars Jonathan HazeJackie JosephMel Welles, and Dick Miller, all of whom had worked for Corman on previous films. Produced under the title The Passionate People Eater,[4][5] the film employs an original style of humor, combining black comedy with farce[6] and incorporating Jewish humor and elements of spoof.[6] The Little Shop of Horrors was shot on a budget of $28,000, with interiors being shot in two days utilizing sets that had been left standing from A Bucket of Blood.[7][8][9][10]

The film slowly gained a cult following through word of mouth when it was distributed as the B movie in a double feature with Mario Bava‘s Black Sunday[9][8] and later with Last Woman on Earth.[10] The film’s popularity increased with local television broadcasts,[8] in addition to the presence of a young Jack Nicholson, whose small role in the film has been prominently promoted on home video releases of the film.[9] The film was the basis for an Off Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors, which was notably made into a 1986 feature film and enjoyed a 2003 Broadway revival, all of which have attracted attention to the 1960 film.

  1. a b Graham, Aaron W. “Little Shop of Genres: An interview with Charles B. Griffith”. Senses of Cinema. Archived from the originalon October 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  2.  Weaver, James B.; Tamborini, Ronald C., eds. (1996). Horror Films: Current Research on Audience Preferences and Reactions. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 59.
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Ray, Fred Olen (1991). The New Poverty Row: Independent Filmmakers As Distributors. McFarland & Company. pp. 28–30. ISBN 0-89950-628-3.
  4. a b “Fun Facts”. A Bucket of Blood (Media notes). MGM Home Entertainment. 2000. UPC:027616852847.
  5. a b c d e Peary, Danny (1981). Cult Movies. New York: Delacorte Press. pp. 203–205. ISBN 0-440-01626-6.
  6. a b Simpson, MJ (September 23, 1995). “Interview with Roger Corman”. Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved 2007-10-24I shot Little Shop of Horrors in two days and a night for about $30,000, and the picture has lasted all these years.
  7. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Weaver, Tom (1999). Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers: Writers, Producers, Directors, Actors, Moguls and Makeup. McFarland & Company. pp. 387–390.
  8. a b Hogan, David J. (1997). Dark Romance: Sexuality in the Horror Film. McFarland & Company. p. 224. ISBN 0-7864-0474-4.
  9. a b Pearce, Joel (June 16, 2006). “Review of The Little Shop ofHorrors’. DVD Verdict. Retrieved 2007-10-24.