Welcome to this week's "Movies... For Free!" column, where we showcase classic movies freely available in the public domain (with streaming video!). This weekend we present a special b-movie double-bill, and first up is…
The Little Shop of Horrors, 1960.
Directed by Roger Corman.
Starring Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles and Dick Miller.
Low-budget b-movie legend Roger Corman directs this 1960 comedy farce which is notable for an early appearance by Jack Nicholson in a cameo role, as well as the later off-Broadway adaptation and 1986 musical remake starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin. The movie was shot in two days under the working title The Passionate People Eater, from a script by regular Corman screenwriter Charles B. Griffith.
The story centres on a struggling Los Angeles florists owned by Gravis Mushnik (Welles), along with employees Seymour (Haze) and Audrey (Joseph). After firing the clumsy Seymour for one-too-many mishaps, Mushnik is forced to change his mind when Seymour introduces a fantastical new plant, Audrey Jr., a carnivorous hybrid butterwort and Venus Fly Trap that he has cross-bred.
After the plant begins to wane Seymour discovers that, rather than responding to the usual nourishment, Audrey Jr. has developed a particular taste for blood alongside the rather unusual ability of speech. With the plant reviving the flagging fortunes of the shop, Seymour struggles to satisfy it’s thirst with his own blood and Audrey Jr.’s cries of “Feeeeed meee!!” soon lead him to take desperate, macabre measures.
The Little Shop of Horrors originally screened at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival (albeit out of competition), and proved very popular with audiences when it was released to cinemas as part of a double- bill – initially with the Italian horror Black Sunday (1960), and re-released the following year alongside Corman’s own Last Woman on Earth (1960).
Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.
Click here to view all previous entries in our Movies... For Free! collection.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second part of the double-bill - Last Woman on Earth (1960).