LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS: THE DIRECTORS CUT is Coming to Theaters with The Original Ending Test Audiences Hated
Did you know that the classic 1986 Frank Oz-directed film Little Shop of Horrors originally had a completely different ending that test audiences absolutely hated? It was received so poorly that they had to change it.
Well, that original 23-minute ending will be included in a theatrical release of Little Shop of Horrors: The Directors Cut being put on by Fathom Events.
This original ending was the same ending in the stage play and in Roger Corman's 1960 film. It involved the man-eating plant Audry II killing Seymour and Audrey and terrorizing New York City. The Audrey II basically wins at the end!
Test audiences hated it, though. It was just too dark for them and they didn't like seeing the two lovable lead characters played by Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene being killed off. When Oz talked about it he said:
“For every musical number, there was applause, they loved it, it was just fantastic…until Rick and Ellen died, and then the theatre became a refrigerator, an ice box. It was awful, and the cards were just awful. You have to have a 55 percent ‘recommend’ to really be released, and we got a 13. It was a complete disaster.”
This original ending was an expensive undertaking as it apparently cost $5 million to develop. It involved a whole visual effects team to bring it to life. It was the cost of this original ending putting the budget over $30 million, which made it the most expensive film produced at Warner Bros. at the time, and then they didn't even end up using it. Oz went on to say:
“I learned a lesson: in a stage play, you kill the leads, and they come out for a bow — in a movie, they don’t come out for a bow, they’re dead. They’re gone, and so the audience lost the people they loved, as opposed to the theater audience where they knew the two people who played Audrey and Seymour were still alive. They loved those people, and they hated us for it.”
If you're a fan of Little Shop of Horrors and you want to see this original ending on the big screen, the Directo's Cut will be in theaters on October 29th and October 31st. Tickets go on sale September 29th at the Fathom Events website.
If you've never seen the original ending, you can check it out below along with a trailer for the upcoming director's cut. Thanks to /Film for the heads up on this!