angelophile: (Jack Nicholson lobotomy)
[personal profile] angelophile

Here's something I've never seen. The original ending of Little Shop of Horrors has been dug up from the rare Special Edition (withdrawn after producer David Geffen protested this material's inclusion) and made its way onto Youtube. Sadly, the colour prints of the original ending were destroyed in a studio fire, so the black and white work print is all that remains.

It's easy to see why it wasn't popular with test audiences and was changed. Yes, I know that it's closer, if not identical, to the stage version of the musical, but the ending is by far and away my least favorite part of that.

The last part does include Don't Feed The Plants, with a fantastic B-movie styled visuals, though, which I do think was a shame to lose, so it's nice to see it finally. Apparently the sequence cost $5m to produce using various miniatures and paying tribute to movies like King Kong and War of the Worlds, amongst others. But, as Frank Oz commented after it was cut: "In a stage play, you kill the leads and they come out for a bow — in a movie, they don't come out for a bow, they're dead. And the audience loved those people, and they hated us for it."

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

Date: 2010-10-24 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think the biggest problem is it's the most abrupt, random twist ever. It works on stage because on stage, for the reasons you said, but in the movie it goes from kistchy musical about a man-eating plant to a terrifying, tragic movie-with-occasional-song about a beloved-person-eating plant.

I love Little Shop, I was the puppeteer last year and helped design the plant and choreograph some of the songs in my school's production. Which had a super-big Greek chorus and was awesome.

Date: 2010-10-24 05:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(also, my best contribution ever: we made these massive 20-feet long tentacles and used them to pretend to grab the cast, and some of the audience members)

Date: 2010-10-24 08:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I agree, the tone of the play is much darker in parts and Seymour's a more active participant in the murders, so the ending isn't quite so jarring. In the movie he's definitely more sympathetic and tonally I can see why this doesn't work. You go from Audrey II actively murdering Audrey, a tragic love song, then Seymour passively feeding Audrey to the plant while Audrey II quietly accepts it, to Audrey II once again active and lively and trying to kill (and succeeding) Seymour. It's all over the place.

Date: 2010-10-24 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Considering how many movies these days have "and everyone DIED and the killer got away" endings, I think this would be acceptable these days. :P

Date: 2010-10-24 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Only if directed by the Coen Brothers.

July 2013


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