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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Little Shop of Horrors on My Halloween Countdown

Frank Oz, of Muppets and Star Wars fame, is also the director of some of my favorite underrated films of the '80s and '90s: In and Out, What About Bob?, the remakes of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Stepford Wives, and the great film version of the musical Little Shop of Horrors, which was a box-office hit but received mixed reviews at the time of its theatrical release.

Starring comedian Rick Moranis and musical theater's Ellen Greene, Little Shop is a wonderful screen version of the off-Broadway play I originally saw in the East Village. (I was only a child at the time.) Steve Martin and Bill Murray appear in scene-stealing co-starring roles in the film as well.

Based on the low-budget Roger Corman/American-International film, the rock musical, by the genius team of composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, conjures up a retro sci-fi/comedy-musical platter that includes a girl-group trio that functions as its Greek chorus. And the video below, of the film's title song, is great fun. The girls (cheekily named Ronette, Crystal and Chiffon) are played by Tisha Campbell, club diva Michelle Weeks and actress/singer Tichina Arnold.

So, right after the girl-group, The Puppini Sisters, here is the equally cute girl-group from Little Shop to help usher in Halloween on my ongoing countdown.

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