Ever wonder how they get the plant to move so well? In order to get the movement of the plant smooth in the scenes with the larger Audrey II, the film was shot in slow-motion, 12 frames per second rather than the usual 24 frames per second and then speeded up. This meant that Rick Moranis had to act and lip-sync slooowly and it was all speeded up later. He did a pretty good job, it's really hard to spot!
In the ending sequence when Audrey and Seymore are entering their dream house, you see Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon walking by... Or do you? Tisha Cambell could not make it because the alternate "happy ending" was shot a month later, so the camera cuts down to the 3rd girls feet. It's a stand-in!
The puppeteers, ranging from 4 to 50 in number depending on the version of the plant, had 4 months rehearsal. This was as much to build up strength to work the lipsync controls as it was for the complexity of the plant. Sometimes only three or four lines of a song would be achieved in a day, which would be rehearsed at 16 or 12 frames per second with a slowed down, but pitched up, soundtrack. This was done during the winter in the cold of H Stage Pinewood. In fact, it was so cold in the 007 Stage where it was shot that Ellen Greene and Rick Moranis had to be given ice to chew on before a take, so their breath wouldn't show up!
Barbara Streisand was originally offered the role of Audrey for the film version, but thankfully turned it down allowing the movie to catapult the divine Ellen Greene to stardom.
If you watch the director's commentary on the DVD, Frank Oz
talks about how he and Howard Ashman
wanted to stay as true to the stage show as possible and that's why they shot the original ending much like the way the stage show ended.
The only reason they decided otherwise and gave in was because of test audiences.
The medium sized Audrey II, the one who sings "Feed Me", was puppeteered by Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson.
Between shots, cast and crew, and especially Frank Oz, spent their time playing table tennis. It usually ended up with Frank Oz playing in a final with Rick Moranis
Had the original ending been shown, with some fantastic minature work, it's just possible that the film would have beaten "Aliens
" to the post for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects that year.
When movies are made, scenes are often
left on the cutting room floor.
Sometimes, there will be several versions
of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may
release a special cut of the movie.
The original ending featured extensive model shots of Audrey 2 wreaking havoc on the city to the song "Don't Feed the Plants". The ending was reshot after bad preview audience reaction. The stage version ends with both Seymour and Audrey becoming plant food - and the plant "blooms" with Mushnik's, Orin's, Seymour's and Audrey's faces in the flowers.
Contributed by: Phil Smith
When the film was first released on DVD in 1997, it was released as a "Special Edition" which allowed people to view the original alternate ending sequence of the film which involved Audrey being fed to Audrey II, Seymour receiving an offer from Patrick Martin (who was originally being played by Sixteen Candles'
Paul Dooley before being re-cast by James Belushi), Seymour getting eaten by Audrey II, and the plants sprouting out more and more Audrey II's and destroying New York City and conquering the world to the tune of "Don't Feed The Plants". This alternate ending (or what was left of it) was filmed in black and white and most of the music and dialogue was missing. In mid-1997, David Geffen was appalled by this "Special Edition" stating that he never gave permission for the deleted footage to be put on the DVD so ALL remaining Little Shop of Horrors "Special Edition" DVDs were pulled off of video shelves world wide. However, many "Special Edition" DVDs are lurking around and can usually be found on Ebay for a starting price of around $150.00. Quite a price for watching 12 minutes of a gruesome sequence of death and destruction!