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??