Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Online sources are reporting that Little Shop of Horrors may finally be getting the special edition treatment. It's about time! After the jump, a quick history of the now-legendary "deleted" special edition, and my wish-list for a new release.

The first Little Shop of Horrors DVD contained a black & white work-print copy of the original ending. This was pulled from the shelves at the request of producer David Geffen. Whereas Warner Brothers distributes the film, Geffen controls the unused footage. "David was upset, because the DVD used a black & white work print of the ending," Frank Oz told the Los Angeles Times. "He's a caring producer - he put his guts into the movie - and after the DVD came out, he called me and said, ‘I have the color version. This could be better.’ David either wants to re-release the movie [with the original ending] in theaters, or at least have a better DVD." There is a great post about this whole controversy at the DVD Savant.

Little Shop deserves to be seen in all its gory glory, and the artists who labored over the beautifully conceived and executed original finale deserve to have their work appreciated. With the film’s 2006 20th anniversary now gone, Little Shop of Horrors missed a great opportunity for revision. However, the film may yet reward another public airing. The interest seems to be there - the cancelled DVD regularly sells for upwards of $100 on and the deleted footage can be viewed on YouTube. Movie musicals are back in vogue, with Chicago, Hairspray, High School Musical and the gloriously bloody Sweeney Todd (Little Shop was once affectionately dubbed “Sweeney Pod”). The current vogue for "director's cuts" and "special editions" has generated good box-office and critical results for such films as Star Wars, Blade Runner and The Exorcist. As paint-by-numbers digital creatures become ever more banal, modern movie-goers may be ready for Audrey II unbound. The Cloverfield monster might be larger, but it can’t carry a tune.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that this special edition DVD with all the trimmings comes to pass. In the meantime, here is my DVD wishlist. Please note that even with a "Director's Cut" on disc, the black & white rough cut must be included. It's a fascinating look at a film's middle stages - no sound effects, demo versions of the songs, and a final sequence containing much, much more footage than could ever be included in the final cut. Keep that rough cut, please!

A remastered version of the soundtrack album would also be welcome, especially if the opening verses of “Don’t Feed the Plants” were included and some of the overly 80s gloss removed.


• Anamorphic widescreen high-definition re-mastering
• Dolby 5.1 soundtrack


• Original Theatrical Cut with Frank Oz commentary
• Rough cut of original ending, plus optional Oz commentary
• Trailers and TV Spots
• Promotional documentary
• Out-takes & bloopers with Oz commentary


• Director’s Cut with new commentary by Alan Menken and Ellen Greene
• “The Meek Shall Inherit” dream sequence
• Howard Ashman retrospective
• Gallery of Mike Ploog’s storyboards
• “Evolution of Audrey II” design featurette
(with input from Lyle Conway, Roger Corman and Martin P. Robinson)
• Levi Stubbs singing "Mean Green Mother" on the 1987 Oscar telecasts
• Photo gallery
• PDF or Screen Shot versions of the FX articles from Cinefantastique and Cinefex (like those included with Cronenberg’s The Fly)
• Isolated music option to showcase the songs and Miles Goodman’s score.
• Any video footage – TV commercials and the like – of the Off-Broadway musical that can be found


Anonymous said...

I am curious if you've heard any more. I went to see the movie 17 times when it came out (and I was living in my own version of skid row) and it is still my favorite movie despite its flaws. I saw it again on television last week for the first time in 23 years and my obsession with Audrey's I and II has rekindled, so much so I scoured the internet until I found your website (and saw the original ending for the first time on you tube). Any information you share will be welcome.

Seeing_I said...

Sadly I have not heard anything more - but I have got my fingers crossed!

Taco Wiz said...

Thanks for keeping this blog up. The original version is my favorite movie of all time. The final theatrical version=epic fail. To me, here's what they SHOULD do:

Start production before Frank Oz dies on a final polished version of the original ending. Why first? Well, I'd feel more comfortable if the director was there to say if the sound effects and lighting and DVNR and stuff were right. You know, they need his approval. Otherwise, we'll either have a polished version that was never made [and never seen the light of day], or a polished version that's not really sanctioned by the artist. Then, I'd make sure that the ending is actually what is included in the film when you press play. No bonus feature or anything. When you press play, it should be set to the original ending by default. WHY? So I don't tell everyone "My favorite movie is Little Shop, but ONLY, and I mean ONLY, if you press "alternate ending" on the bonus features on the deluxe DVD." They'll think I'm either insane, a nerd, or both. So I should just be able to say "Little Shop: The Director's Cut".

Right now, I STILL sound insane when someone asks me my favorite movie, and I say "the original version of Little Shop of Horrors, which can only be viewed illegaly on YouTube".

Anonymous said...

Pretty unfortunate that the directors cut is finally here, yet we only got one new bonus feature :/ although it was interesting to see the blooper reel without the commentary