Little Shop of Horrors Pin-up # 2 FRAMED Audrey II


SKU: 10263 Category:


Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 American musical horror comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is a film adaptation of the off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman about a nerdy florist shop worker who raises a vicious, raunchy plant that feeds on human blood. Menken and Ashman’s Off-Broadway musical was based on the low-budget 1960 film The Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Roger Corman. The 1986 film stars Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, and Levi Stubbs as the voice of Audrey II. The film also featured special appearances by James Belushi, John Candy, Christopher Guest, and Bill Murray. It was produced by David Geffen through The Geffen Company and released by Warner Bros. Pictures on December 19, 1986.

Little Shop of Horrors was filmed on the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage at the Pinewood Studios in England, where a “downtown” set, complete with overhead train track, was constructed. The film was produced on a budget of $25 million, in contrast to the original 1960 film, which, according to Corman, only cost $30,000. The film’s original 23-minute finale, based on the musical’s ending, was rewritten and reshot after receiving a strong negative reception from test audiences. Before it was fully restored in 2012 by Warner Home Video, the ending was never available publicly other than in the form of black-and-white workprint footage.

Steve Martin as Orin Scrivello, DDS, an abusive, sadistic and nitrous oxide-huffing dentist, and Audrey’s boyfriend.

In September 1962, Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis) and his colleague, Audrey (Ellen Greene), work at Mushnik’s Flower Shop, lamenting they cannot escape the slums of New York City. Struggling from a lack of customers, Mr. Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia) prompts to close the store, only for Audrey to suggest displaying an unusual plant Seymour owns. Immediately attracting a customer, Seymour explains he bought the plant, which he dubbed “Audrey II”, from a Chinese flower shop during a solar eclipse. Attracting business to Mushnik’s shop, the plant soon starts dying, worrying Seymour; accidentally pricking his finger, he then discovers Audrey II needs human blood to thrive.

Approached by an executive from a botanical company named Patrick Martin (James Belushi), Seymour is offered a contract to breed Audrey II and sell the saplings worldwide. Seymour then realizes he must destroy Audrey II and the plant’s plans for world domination. Confronting Audrey II, Seymour learns the plant is in reality an alien from outer space. Trapping Seymour, Audrey II collapses the store, attempting to kill him. Seymour, trapped under debris, grabs an exposed electrical cable and electrocutes Audrey II, causing it to explode. Leaving the destroyed shop, Seymour safely reunites with Audrey. The two wed and move to the suburbs; arriving at their new home, a smiling Audrey II bud can be seen among the flowers in their front yard.

Levi Stubbs as the voice of Audrey II, an evil and profane flytrap-like extraterrestrial plant with plans to take over the world.

Audrey II was operated by John Alexander, Anthony Asbury, Don Austen, David Barclay, Michael Barclay, James Barton, Michael Bayliss, Marcus Clarke, Sue Dacre, Graham Fletcher, Brian Henson, Terry Lee, Christopher Leith, Toby Philpott, Mike Quinn, Paul Springer, William Todd-Jones, Ian Tregonnian, Robert Tygner, and Mak Wilson.

The film’s version of Audrey II was an extremely elaborate creation, using puppets designed by Lyle Conway.

While developing the mouth of the plant for the dialogue scenes and musical numbers, Oz, Conway and his crew were struggling to figure out how to make the plant move convincingly. “We kept trying and trying and it didn’t work.” The solution presented itself while reviewing test footage of the puppet. When the film was run backwards or forward at a faster than normal speed, the footage looked much more convincing and lifelike. They realized they could film the puppet at a slower speed, making it appear to move faster when played back at normal speed. “By slowing it down it looked it was talking real fast. We then went ‘holy cow, look at that. We can do it.'” The frame rate for filming the plant was slowed to 12 or 16 frames per second, depending on the scene, and frequent screen cuts were used to minimize the amount of screen time the puppet spent with human actors, and when interaction was totally necessary, the actors (usually Moranis) would pantomime and lip sync in slow motion. The film was then sped up to the normal 24 frames per second and voices were reinserted in post-production. Levi Stubbs’ recordings were run through a harmonizer when slowed down so that they were coherent for Moranis or Ellen Greene.

There are no blue screens or opticals involved in any of Audrey II’s scenes, with the exception of one effect in the reshot ending where the plant is electrocuted, and in some shots during the rampage in the original ending. The plant was made in six different stages of growth and there were three different versions of Mushnik’s shop, making it possible for two units to work with different sized plants at the same time. Each of the talking plants had to be cleaned, re-painted and patched up at the end of each shooting day, which would take up to three hours depending on the size. The “Suppertime” number uses two different sizes of Audrey II. When the plant is singing all alone in the shop, it is actually a smaller size: the same size as when it sang “Feed Me”, but now standing on a scaled down set to make it look larger. The full size one that is seen to interact with Seymour and Mushnik was not provided with lip movement, but was built to swallow Mushnik’s (mechanical) legs. During Audrey II’s final stage of growth, 60 technicians were necessary to operate the one-ton puppet.

The film was also nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Visual Effects (lost to Aliens), the other for Best Original Song for Audrey II’s new number, “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space”. “Mean Green” was the first Oscar-nominated song to contain profanity in the lyrics and thus had to be slightly censored for the show. It lost to “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun. It was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical (it lost to Hannah and Her Sisters) and Best Original Score (Miles Goodman) during the 44th Golden Globe Awards.

Frame is shrinkwrapped until time of purchase. Ships boxed with packing peanuts.