The nebbishy employee (Jonathan Haze) of an irritable flower-shop owner (Mel Welles) tries to impress his sweet co-worker Audrey (Jackie Joseph) by naming a new hybrid plant after her — but Seymour (Haze) soons learns that “Audrey, Jr.” lusts for human blood, and he becomes caught in a vicious cycle of securing his flesh-eating plant with fresh food.
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “genuinely funny cult classic” (directed by Roger Corman in “just two days”, and written by Charles B. Griffith) is “a low-budget gem”: a “spoof of every mad-scientist picture in which blood is needed to keep some experimental creature alive, and of every fifties sci-fi film in which there is a giant mutation, and of numerous horror films”. He points out its similarity to “Jerry Lewis comedies, with Seymour as the man-child with an IQ of seven, a good heart, a lousy personality, and work habits that drive his boss crazy”. He also notes the connection to Dragnet in the hilariously “terse, unemotional dialogue between… two detectives investigating missing persons”. Peary argues (and I agree) that the film “works on its own terms as [a] good, absurd comedy”, and that “the cast is marvelous — they might pass as a Yiddish repertory company which has been working with the script for years instead of doing it while it was being written”. The storyline stays consistently outlandish, filled with one unexpected scene after the other — including the infamous “dentist scene” featuring the “little-known Jack Nicholson as the squeaky-voiced masochist”; visits from “a low-keyed flower eater” (Dick Miller) which presumably are intended to “counter the man-eating flower”; “Seymour’s visits with his hypochondriac mother (Myrtle Vail)”; and each of Seymour’s unintentional killings — er, scavenger hunts for food. LSOH was eventually made into an off-Broadway musical, which itself was turned into a 1986 film by Frank Oz (listed in the back of Peary’s book).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- The creative opening credits
- Many enjoyably ludicrous scenes and moments
- Fine performances from the entire cast
- Charles B. Griffith’s script: “It’s a finger of speech!”
Yes, as a cult classic.