The original Ending of Little Shop of Horrors, where everybody dies!!

Favourite story I’ve seen in a while. In 1986, the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors was released to rave reviews and brilliant ticket sales. People flocked to watch the cheerful musical numbers and Audrey II eating people. But according to an interview with entertainment weekly, its director Frank Oz had to completely rearrange and almost entirely discard the original ending after test audiences despised it vehemently – forcing a complete rethink.

Far from the sort of the soft touch you might expect of nervous producers nowadays – Producer David Geffen backed the project wholeheartedly, despite some reservations, but had to baulk at the approval ratings of the first cut. If you’re wondering what it was that soured so many audiences to the first version, it was the brutal death of both main leads and possibly the rest of the world at the vines of carnivorous Alien plant monster Audrey II. That’s right, the bad guys don’t just win – they smash major cities and eat trains.

Here are the recut endings completed by MrGodzilla10 on Youtube, matched to the existing footage kept in the release and Frank Oz talking about the astonishing own goal while trying to genuinely throw an american audience a brilliantly anarchic ending. Imagine it in your mind

‘[Little Shop of Horrors playwright Howard Menken] and I were in David Geffen’s office and we both wanted to retain the original ending, with the plant winning and the key people dying, and David was against that. He said you can’t do that, but again he knew Howard and I wanted to, so David supported us.’

‘ The film was completed two years later and we went to San Jose for the first preview and everyone was very excited about it. This was, I think, the most expensive film Warner Bros. had done at that time. For every musical number there was applause, they loved it, it was just fantastic…until we killed our two leads. And then the theater became a refrigerator, an ice box. It was awful and the cards were just awful. They were saying that they hated us killing them. You have to have a 55 percent “recommend” to really be released and we got a 13 […]

[Little Shop of Horrors playwright Howard Menken] and I were in David Geffen’s office and we both wanted to retain the original ending, with the plant winning and the key people dying, and David was against that. He said you can’t do that, but again he knew Howard and I wanted to, so David supported us. The film was completed two years later and we went to San Jose for the first preview and everyone was very excited about it. This was, I think, the most expensive film Warner Bros. had done at that time. For every musical number there was applause, they loved it, it was just fantastic…until we killed our two leads. And then the theater became a refrigerator, an ice box. It was awful and the cards were just awful. They were saying that they hated us killing them. You have to have a 55 percent “recommend” to really be released and we got a 13 […]

‘So, Howard rewrote it and I shot it with a satisfying ending. The original one was in color, but when we ripped apart the ending, we had to take out the tape and then we had to reshoot the new ending and then retape that for another preview.’

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