The work of Roger Corman is incredibly shlocky, he pioneered a genre of film that I’ve not had the chance to divulge in. But getting around to The Little Shop of Horrors has made me realise I don’t really want to go near the genre any time soon. Cheap horror comedies of this variety are truly hit or miss, and it’s a shame that this deep rooted sci-fi influenced picture can’t amount to anything interesting.
Unrecognisably dull performances from everyone involved, nobody really stands out in a script that should’ve been funnier. Maybe it’s the date of the film, or maybe those that are involved don’t have the chops for comedic pieces. Whatever the case it’s a truly dull affair that only has one or two chuckle worthy pieces, one of which involves a very early Jack Nicholson, even he can’t manage anything interesting though. The duel with the dentist is also a pretty fun scene, albeit far too short to be enjoyable. But this scene has little to do with the actual plot of the movie.
Even Nicholson isn’t even that good, and this may be down to the direction of Roger Corman. There’s a lack of professionalism to the film and most of that translates to some real sloppy performances. Rather than giving the actors the freedom to grow their performances, it feels more like they’re trying to out-do one another. In turn this feels like a mess of performances, with too much leeway given to how the cast can adapt their lines and build their roles.
With some impressive props and one or two funny jokes, The Little Shop of Horrors can’t do anything with its premise, wildly jumping into darker territory and playing it off as a lukewarm comedy. Aged tremendously poorly, it’s no surprise that the biggest problem The Little Shop of Horrors suffers from is advancements in enjoyable writing. Gags that don’t work, characters that are two dimensional and, worst of all, an interesting premise that doesn’t really go anywhere. A real shame this one.