Chosen One of the Day: Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors

Contributed by
Aug 9, 2017

The news about a Little Shop of Horrors remake happening isn’t exactly breaking: It was announced in late 2016 that Greg Berlanti would be rebooting the campy musical horror flick. I don’t want to sound like one of those people who are precious about properties from their childhood, because outside of John Hughes films and The Muppets, there are very few things I hold sacred from when I was a kid. Yet I'm weirdly way more against a new new Little Shop of Horrors (the 1986 movie itself is a remake) than I expected to be.

I firmly believe the reason the previous one worked best was that the entire premise and execution were ideal for the batsh*t bananas '80s. There are a lot of reasons the '86 version was an absolute gem (which I didn’t even realize was Certified Fresh at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes until this sentence): Steve Martin as a masochistic dentist (which was basically a rehash of his role in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, aka one of the greatest musicals EVER), Ellen Greene's singing, and of course the stellar and overlooked vocal performance of Levi Stubbs as Audrey II.

Did I know Audrey II was voiced by a Motown legend and founding member of the Four Tops when I was younger? No. But I did think Audrey II was real and made my parents buy me a sh*tty venus flytrap with the hopes that it would become a sentient, bloodthirsty, monstrous plant that would scare my older brothers. Naturally, the dumb thing didn’t even stalk and catch flies or exhibit the potential to grow more than a few inches, so it became abundantly clear after a couple of days that it wasn’t about to start talking, let alone scare anyone. So I threw it out along with all my hopes and dreams.

Anyway, here’s to Levi Stubbs’ only voice acting role as Audrey II. The only way a rebooted Audrey II could come close to this version or make the movie watchable is if it's voiced by Samuel L. Jackson and he drops more F-bombs than he did in every Tarantino movie combined. Anyone else is unacceptable.

In the Director's Cut, the movie ends with some businessman breeding and selling a bunch of baby Audrey plants (because capitalism), which grow up to be Mean Green Mothers From Outer Space that take over the world and eat everyone. Let’s face it, that probably wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to humanity at this point, so if any aliens out there are reading this, you know what to do.