Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

From the moment it begins, this big-budget adaptation of the Broadway musical (itself an adaptation of the 1960 Roger Corman horror movie co-starring a young Jack Nicholson) is absolute perfection. Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene have effective chemistry and they both manage to sell the central romance at the heart of its maneating-plant narrative, but really this is all about the songs and Frank Oz’s direction. From the first frames, it’s clear that Oz is in complete control of his medium and has a clear vision for each shot, while the near-constant musical numbers are absolutely incredible, like “Skid Row (Downtown),” “Dentist!” and “Feed Me (Git It).” It’s one of those movies where all the elements come together perfectly like lightning in a bottle, and there’s palpable passion coming from each shot. [Note: I watched the director’s cut with the original ending.]

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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