Director Roger Gorman released five films in 1960, two of which are on my favorite films of 1960 list. The Little Shop of Horrors is a farce about an inadequate young florist’s assistant who cultivates a plant that feeds on human flesh and blood. The film’s concept is thought to be based on a 1932 story called “Green Thoughts”, by John Collier, about a man-eating plant. The film stars Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles and Dick Miller, all of whom had worked for Corman on previous films. The film slowly gained a cult following through word of mouth when it was distributed as the B movie in a double feature with Mario Bava’s Black Sunday and eventually with The Last Woman on Earth. The film’s popularity increased with local television broadcasts, in addition to the presence of a young Jack Nicholson, (in one of his first roles) whose small role in the film has been prominently promoted on home video releases of the film. The movie was the basis for an Off Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors, which was made into a 1986 feature film and enjoyed a Broadway revival, all of which have attracted attention to the 1960 film.
I saw the 1986 version of this film prior to seeing Roger Gorman’s work, and found the original funnier and more entertaining. The movie took only 2 days to shoot and only $30,000 to make. It is one of my favorite Roger Gorman’s films, and continues to gain a following even 52 years later.