The Blu-ray edition of Little Shop of Horrors, out Tuesday from Warner Bros., includes a 20-minute long director’s cut ending alongside the theatrical release. The new footage features a dark, tragic ending to the classic man buys plant, plant eats people, man gets famous tale.
In this new/old version Audrey and Seymour are both devoured by a hungry Audrey II, who lives out his dream of taking over the world, destroying New York City in a sequence that looks like the Stay Puft’s attack in Ghostbusters! EW scored an exclusive clip of the mind blowing carnage that has propelled this classic into one of my new all-time favorites (seriously, it’s INSANE!).
Starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, James Belushi, John Candy and Bill Murray, “A nerdish florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.”
Other extras on the all new transfer include: A featurette, commentary with director Frank Oz and a rash of deleted scenes.
EW reports that, when the film screened for test audiences before it was released, screen cards came back with extremely negative feedback about the dark ending. Composer Alan Menken recalled his feeling after seeing the show with producer David Geffen in San Jose, Calif. “I remember running over to David, saying, ‘It’s fantastic!’ and David just kind of looking at me,” says Menken. “And then apparently the cards showed up and it was like, ‘Oh my god.’”
Ellen Greene, who played Audrey both on stage and in the film, is loyal to both endings. She describes originating the role with Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman, who died of complications from AIDS in 1991, as a true collaboration. “Frank Oz saw me more as a heroine and wanted to even it out,” she says. “As Audrey on stage I was kind of sillier, a little funnier, there were more Audrey-isms, so when I died, I’d gotten some giggles, I’d gotten laughs and then seconds later I switched and you were crying, so it played between the two. By the time I went to die, it was definitely way more classic, and so it was truly sad.”
Greene added that it’s the story at the show’s core that has made it last. “I think all three versions — the play, the [theatrical release], and the director’s cut — they’re all valid, they’re just different interpretations because I think the [lyrics and book] that Howard created and Alan put music to is so spectacular.”