Sunday, December 30, 2012

LITTLE SHOP Cuttings Sprout Online

After their disappointing non-appearance on the recent Blu-Ray, I am thrilled to see that a heap of Little Shop of Horrors cut scenes and alternate takes has appeared online, including the infamous Steve Martin head (seen only from behind), "The Meek Shall Inherit" dream sequence, and a shorter version of "Don't Feed the Plants" which is generally more effective, though still rough.

These from from a time-coded videotape, with rough FX, but all in color. Whoever uploaded them says they are copies of the version shown to preview audiences - one wonders whence they came, and why WB Home Video was either unaware of them, or unwilling to include them?

There is some great material here - some that was wisely tightened or dropped, but all of it fascinating to see.  There are alternate cuts of "Downtown" and "Some Fun Now," a longer scene of Seymour chopping up the dentist with music by Alan Menken instead of Miles Goodman, and an alternate proposal scene that reprises "Suddenly Seymour."

The "The Meek Shall Inherit" dream sequence comes off rather better than I expected, and its disappearance from the final film now really seems a shame. Its surreal imagery is definitely at odds with the studied "realism" of the rest of the film, recalling some of the Vincente Minnelli dream sequences of yore. But the song deepens Seymour's character wonderfully, and Moranis does a great job with his solo.

In contrast to the kitchen-sink approach to the finale shown on the Blu-Ray, here the finale is edited rather too tightly; I'd love to see a version between the two lengths.  Some shots, like the Statue of Liberty, are alternate takes, and others, like the disco, the movie theater, and the final screen-burst, are missing altogether. This version of the finale also features some great laughter and other vocals from Levi Stubbs, missing from the disc (which uses an anonymous voice-over artist). I love the plant that comes out of the bay going "Oooohhm!"

While we're at it, it's come to my attention that storyboard books for the film are available from collector's shops. These also really should have been on the disc, with their wonderful art by Mike Ploog, in either a gallery or as a multi-angle feature.

OK I think it's time for a Special Edition of the Special Edition! What do you say, Kurt Galvao??


Anonymous said...

Sorry for my language, but THIS IS FUCKING INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sweet feathery CHRIST do the politics ever END with this film? It's like there's Hollywood insiders under every rock who want to ensure we'll never get to see a proper special edition in our lifetimes without having to HUNT for table scraps all over the web to complement the discs and downloads we've already blown good money on. FUCK!!!!!

JustinHoskie said...

Before we go on a witch hunt for the WB executives that decided to keep this stuff off the release, we have to remember that none of us were there when the Blu-Ray was being put together, when the hunt for the missing footage was being conducted, or when this was found, edited, or uploaded.

We don't know what WB found. We don't know what WB decided to leave off. We don't know what WB's holding out on us, or when this was actually found. Maybe, this workprint was found too late to add anything from it to the release? Maybe the footage only exits in this form, and the video quality was deemed too terrible to include? Hell! Maybe this guy found it in his uncle's garage a couple weeks ago.

Everything we say is hearsay. So, no matter how clever we may think we are, and how educated we believe our guesses are, we're all talking out of our asses and we don't now the circumstances of this footage at all.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to eventually see more of the Arthur Denton (Bill Murray) footage. Hopefully that turns up at some point! It's incredible being able to see things I never even knew were in the script! I love the alternate proposal scene near the end because it's closer to the play, and the different score for chopping up the dentist was chilling, and awesome!

Anonymous said...

I uploaded the deleted scenes, and I can assure you this workprint was not found a few weeks ago. It's been around for years, so I don't know why WB didn't use it as a guide when cutting the ending, especially since it is the Frank Oz-approved final cut.

Anonymous said...

Just found an awesome scene from an early draft of the script that they never even shot. After the "Mean Green Mother" number (then the song "Bad") the plant pulled down the building, Seymour emerged from the rubble, and told the plant that the world's forces would destroy the plants, and that he was going to warn everyone. With that, he ran off yelling "They're coming! They're coming! Don't feed the plants!!" Then we would have gone into what is in the original cut, but Seymour would be running with the crowd yelling "They're here! They're here!"

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am so late to the party with this as I've only just discovered this site but I have wanted to see The Meek Shall Inherit sequence in full for years after seeing a black and white photo of Seymour running between some posts and wondering what all that was about.
My brother has still got the soundtrack on tape from the 80s and we used to listen to it all the time. It was only when I saw this cut sequence that I realised I knew all the words to the full song as the tape has the complete version!
Amazing footage. Thank you!