Little Shop of Horrors(SE)/B,C+

Warner/1896/94m/ANA 1.85,FS 1.33

  The deliciously dark musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors starts out with the silliest premise imaginable, a plant that wants to dominate the human race. Wait a sec, don't I remember seeing a classic something with those plant-like pods taking over the human race. Hey, it's all in fun and the blood-letting and play on sado-masochism is consistently delirious.
     Rick Moranis plays Seymour with wide-eyed innocence and good nature, succumbing to his pet plant's devious demands in most amoral fashion. Ellen Greene is delightfully daffy as bimbo blond Audrey and Steve Martin as the demented dentist and Bill Murray as a masochistic patient are very funny. The musical numbers are a hoot and Frank Oz helms with the necessary energy.

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Martin bites into his role as the dentist.©Warner

     I found this transfer plagued by what appeared to be a moving grain in characters faces. It's the first time I have observed this pattern, which for want of any other explanation may be a MPEG nasty. The film is presented both anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 and full screen 1.33. Color is slightly dull, yet saturated and this appears to be the chosen look for the film. Images are sharp enough. The Dolby Digital 5:1 surround is entertaining. This is a full blown special edition including commentary by director Oz, out-takes, the controversial alternate ending, trailers and TV spots. Unfortunately, this outstanding value has been recalled purportedly due to the objections of producer David Geffen. I've got to believe it will make another appearance.



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