‘Little Shop of Horrors‘ has earned its cult classic status thanks to its unique fusion of horror, comedy, and catchy musical numbers. With its unforgettable characters and iconic scenes, this film has captivated generations of fans. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore five remarkable details about ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ that add even more depth to this beloved film.
An Impressive Feat With A Low Budget
The original 1960 film, directed by Roger Corman, was created on a shoestring budget of just $30,000. Despite this, the film boasts an impressive 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a testament to the talent and creativity of its cast and crew. The film’s interiors were shot in a mere two days, which is nothing short of a cinematic miracle.
This low-budget black comedy laid the groundwork for the stage musical and the subsequent 1986 film adaptation that has since become a cult classic. The original film’s success is a shining example of how resourcefulness and passion can triumph even when financial resources are scarce.
The Art Of Puppetry And Filming Techniques
The carnivorous plant Audrey II is an iconic element of ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ and the intricate animatronic puppets designed by Lyle Conway were essential to bringing this monstrous character to life. The largest version of the puppet required the coordination of up to 60 puppeteers, demonstrating the complexity of the task at hand.
Filming the puppet’s movements in sync with the musical numbers required a clever workaround. Scenes were filmed at a slower speed, and then the footage was sped up in post-production, resulting in a more lifelike performance from Audrey II. This innovative solution showcases the ingenuity of the filmmakers.
The Reshot Ending
The original ending of the 1986 film adaptation took a darker turn, with Seymour and Audrey meeting their demise and Audrey II proceeding to take over the world. However, test audiences found this conclusion too grim, prompting the filmmakers to reshoot a happier ending in which Seymour and Audrey defeat the plant and live happily ever after.
Years later, in 2012, Warner Home Video fully restored the original ending, and a director’s cut was released. This darker conclusion adds another layer of intrigue to the film and provides fans with an alternative take on the story.
A Talented Cast On A Tight Budget
The original film featured a strong ensemble cast, including a young Jack Nicholson in one of his earliest roles. Despite the low budget, the cast delivered memorable performances that contributed to the film’s lasting appeal. Most actors were paid just $50 for their roles, while lead actor Jonathan Haze received $400.
To save on costs, a non-union director shot the outdoor scenes, allowing Corman to pay extras very little. This frugality further demonstrates how the filmmakers were able to make the most of their limited resources and still create a film that endures to this day.
The Surreal Filming Experience For Actors
When it came time to film group numbers and duets involving Audrey II, the actors faced a unique challenge. They had to lip-sync and act at half-speed to match the puppet’s slow-motion filming technique. While this created a surreal experience for the actors on set, the final result was a seamless onscreen performance that enhanced the film’s magic.
The remarkable details about ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ explored in this article showcase the creativity, resourcefulness, and passion that went into making this film a cult classic. From the impressive feats achieved on a low budget to the innovative puppetry and filming techniques, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ stands as an unforgettable cinematic experience.