The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)



The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) Front Cover DVD
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Penny-pinching Gravis Mushnick owns a florist shop which is staffed by him and his two employees, the sweet Audrey Fulquard and clumsy Seymour Krelboyne. The rundown shop gets little business. When Seymour fouls up the arrangement of Dr. Farb, a sadistic dentist, Mushnick fires him. Hoping Mushnick will change his mind, Seymour tells him about a special plant that he crossbred from a butterwort and a Venus flytrap. Seymour admits that he named the plant "Audrey Jr.", a revelation that delights the real Audrey.

Seymour fetches his sickly, odd-looking, potted plant, but Mushnick is unimpressed. When it is suggested that Audrey Jr.'s uniqueness might attract people to see it, Mushnick gives Seymour one week to revive it. The usual kinds of plant food do not nourish the plant, but when Seymour accidentally pricks his finger he discovers that the plant craves blood. Fed on his blood Audrey Jr. begins to grow and the shop's revenues increase due to the curious customers who are lured in to see the plant.

The plant develops the ability to speak and demands that Seymour feed it. Now anemic, Seymour takes a walk along a railroad track. When he carelessly throws a rock to vent his frustration, he inadvertently knocks out a man who falls on the track and is run over by a train. Guilt-ridden but resourceful, Seymour collects the body parts and feeds them to Audrey Jr. Meanwhile, Mushnick returns to the shop to get some cash and secretly observes Seymour feeding the plant. Mushnick considers telling the police, but procrastinates when he sees the line of people waiting to spend money at his shop the next day.

Seymour arrives the next morning suffering a toothache, so he visits Dr. Farb. Farb and Seymour fight after the doctor tries to get even for ruining his flowers. Grabbing a sharp tool, Seymour accidentally stabs and kills Farb. Although horrified, Seymour feeds Farb's body to Audrey Jr. The unexplained disappearances of the two men attract the attention of Sergeant Joe Fink and his assistant Officer Frank Stoolie (take-offs of Dragnet characters Joe Friday and Frank Smith).

Audrey Jr., which has grown several feet tall, is beginning to bud, as is the relationship between Seymour and Audrey. A representative of the Society of Silent Flower Observers of Southern California comes to the shop and announces that Seymour will receive a trophy, and that she will return when the plant's buds open. While Seymour is on a date with Audrey, Mushnick stays at the shop to see that Audrey Jr. does not hurt anyone else. Mushnick finds himself at the mercy of a robber who believes that the huge crowds indicate the presence of a large amount of money. Mushnick tricks the robber into thinking that the money is with the plant, which crushes and eats him. After Seymour is forced to damage his relationship with Audrey to keep her from discovering the plant's nature, he confronts the plant asserting he will no longer do its bidding. The plant then employs hypnosis on Seymour and commands him to bring it more food. He wanders the night streets and knocks out a street walker to feed Audrey Jr.

Lacking clues about the mysterious disappearance of the two men, Fink and Stoolie attend a sunset celebration at the shop, during which Seymour is to be presented with the trophy and Audrey Jr.'s buds are expected to open. As the attendees look on, four buds open and inside each flower is the face of one of the plant's victims. Fink and Stoolie realize Seymour is their culprit who flees from the shop with the police in pursuit. Seymour manages to lose them before eventually making his way back to Mushnick's now empty shop. Audrey Jr. demands, "Feed me!" Seymour curses the plant, grabs a kitchen knife and climbs into Audrey Jr.'s maw, saying, "I'll feed you like you never been fed before!"

Later that evening, it is discovered that Audrey Jr. has begun to wither and die. One final bud opens to reveal the face of Seymour, which pitifully moans, "I didn't mean it!" before drooping over—apparently ending the life of Audrey Jr.

Cast

Jonathan Haze as Seymour Krelboyne
Jackie Joseph as Audrey Fulquard
Mel Welles as Gravis Mushnick
Dick Miller as Burson Fouch
Myrtle Vail as Winifred Krelboyne
Karyn Kupcinet (as Tammy Windsor) as Shirley
Toby Michaels as Shirley's Friend
Leola Wendorff as Mrs. Siddie Shiva
Lynn Storey as Mrs. Hortense Feuchtwanger
Wally Campo as Sergeant Joe Fink
Jack Warford as Officer Frank Stoolie
Meri Welles (as Merri Welles) as Leonora Clyde
John Herman Shaner (as John Shaner) as Dr. Phoebus Farb
Jack Nicholson as Wilbur Force
Dodie Drake as Waitress
Jack Griffith as Drunk
Robert Coogan as Tramp

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