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Little Shop of Horrors: The Director's Cut (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Warner - 1986
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 94/103 minutes
Genre: Musical

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Dolby Stereo, Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring:Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Paul Dooley, John Candy, Christopher Guest, Bill Murray
Directed by: Frank Oz
Music by: Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Written by: Howard Ashman
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 9, 2012

"A Singing Plant. A Daring Hero. A Sweet Girl. A Demented Dentist"

Film Synopsis:

In this cult classic, a nerdish florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.

My Take:

A comedy, a love story and a cult classic starring a giant singing plant from outer space - what else could it be but Little Shop Of Horrors? It first flowered in a low-budget 1960 Roger Corman movie, resprouted as a smash 1980 off-Broadway musical and then came full circle in this 1986 movie musical adaptation of the stage hit with a score by multiple Academy Award winners Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. In the hands of director Frank Oz and his team this quirky, dark screen version is lots of fun.

Many fans do not know that this adaptation originally had a far more sinister ending, which everyone can now see in the Director's Cut of the film. This is my first time seeing the original ending. It’s over the top but is more in keeping with the roots of the story and its edgy flow. The footage of the original ending was previously available only in black & white in the extra content of a limited number of copies of a DVD edition released in 1998. Now, with the help of production notes from Frank Oz and others on the film’s creative team, WHV has meticulously restored and digitally remastered the ending, in full color, with the elaborate special effects in tact. Sound has also been rebuilt and mixed in Dolby 5.1. The theatrical version has also been re-mastered.

I saw Little shop of horrors during its theatrical (film) release back in the day and it’s as fun now as it was then. The toe tapping music, dark humor and special effects hold up quite well. I remember having serious reservations about Rick Moranis’ ability to pull off such a leading role, comedy or not, but it works. The cast is chock full of familiar faces, well placed cameos and a few unknowns that have since gone on to varying levels of success.

Little shop of horrors was nominated for two Academy Awards in 1986, including Best Music, Original Song and Best Effects, Visual Effects. Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut is presented in this commemorative Blu-ray Book containing 40 pages of behind-the-scenes insight, including film trivia, actor/director bios and more. It is certainly deserving of its cult classic status and with the addition of the restored footage found here is a complete package worthy of its fans appreciation.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for mature thematic material including comic horror violence, substance abuse, language and sexual references.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 80

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Video: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Little shop of horrors comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

This is a solid looking high def catalog release that presents this 25 plus year old film in a positive light. It boasts clean, well depicted primary colors and a good mix of secondary hues that mate well with the source material. Resolution is discerning with varying degrees of delineation that reveal subtle textures found in physical features and coarse patterns that make up the gritty streets and buildings on Skid row. Sharpness is primarily stable with lucid clarity which enhances depth. Black and white levels are spot on which imparts a fair amount of pop to colors and brighter exterior sequences while keeping darker or low lit segments looking noticeably punchy with quiet blacks with visibly gradational detail in shadowy backgrounds. Grain is present and moderately textured. The additional footage is seamlessly integrated and shows no deleterious signs of the restorative process. This is a pleasing video presentation that appears faithful to the film’s original elements.

The high resolution DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel mix does a terrific job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has appreciable vocal character and above average room penetration. This is a more or less front oriented presentation that makes use of the entire system to deliver a rewarding audio experience that is highlighted by the film's memorable music. The surrounds are utilized for atmospheric extension while lightly applied dynamics and upper level bass combine to provide solidity that enhances without sounding unnatural. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of this audio presentation. It highlights the strengths of the source material without ostentatious display and sounds great.

Bonus Features:

  • Contains the Theatrical and Director’s Cut of Little shop of horrors

  • (HD) Short feature: Frank Oz and Little shop of horrors The Director’s Cut – 10 minute featurette

  • Short feature: A story of Little shop of horrors – 23 minute making of documentary

  • Outtakes and deleted scenes – 8 minutes

  • Theatrical & teaser trailers

  • 40 page Digibook keep case

Final Thoughts:

A comedy, a love story and a cult classic starring a giant singing plant from outer space - what else could it be but Little Shop Of Horrors? A timeless and entertainingly fun musical/comedy this Director’s Cut gives fans the opportunity to see it with the original ending which I find compliments the film. The additional footage has been beautifully restored, and seamlessly integrated which makes the experience all the better. Little shop of horrors makes its high definition debut from Warner Home Video in this fan friendly package that features sterling audio/video quality and complimentary extras, including audio commentary by director Frank Oz (on the theatrical version), introduction by Oz with Richard Conway, outtakes, deleted scenes, and a behind-the-scenes documentary – all presented in a commemorative Blu-ray Book boasting 40 pages of behind-the-scenes insight, including film trivia, actor/director bios and more. If you’re a fan this is a must have addition to your Blu-ray collection.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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post #2 of 5
1986 wasn't 30 plus years ago. wink.gif
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by |Tch0rT| View Post

1986 wasn't 30 plus years ago. wink.gif


You're right! It only seems that way..biggrin.gif

Thanks for catching that... wink.gif

post #4 of 5
NP. I only briefly skimmed the movie the other day and thought the PQ was quite good. I'm amazed at the detail of the Audrey II puppets. The super imposed pieces look dated but the puppets, oh man they sure beat the best CG in some ways.
post #5 of 5
I thought the picture looked great and the colors were so vivid. The director's cut ending was also great to see and well worth it for anyone who is interested in how the movie originally ended.

One question I have though, on my TV I'm working on getting everything calibrated, does Mr. Mushnik's suit has good detail or is it washed out? My TV displayed it as black with very little detail and I think I may have some black crush. But I must say this is my favorite musical and this release did not disappoint me.
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