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This Day in Horror: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Premiered

Premiering in theaters on this date in 1986: Little Shop of Horrors

This iteration of Little Shop of Horrors was based on an off-Broadway musical, which in turn was based off a 1960 Roger Corman film. The 1986 horror/musical about a florist who discovers his Venus flytrap can talk – and soon develops a taste for human flesh – became a cult classic.

A number of big names were initially attached to the project, or rumored to be attached, including Steven Spielberg to executive produce; Martin Scorsese and John Landis to direct; and Cyndi Lauper and Barbra Streisand to star as Audrey. In the end, Ellen Greene, who played Audrey in the play, returned to the role, and Frank Oz took directing duties. 

Oz originally shot the “depressing” stage ending, in which Audrey is murdered by Audrey II, and Seymour attempts suicide before ultimately being eaten by the plant. This ending didn’t test well with audiences, so he shot a more uplifting ending in which Seymour and Audrey escape and get married. The original ending was restored by the studio in 2012 and was released to blu-ray and DVD as “The Director’s Cut.”

Written by Alyse Wax

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