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If you're a fan of the 1986 movie of Little Shop of Horrors (the musical), you may want to watch this in its entirety. In the stage version, the protagonists were all killed in the end. When it was filmed, that was also the ending though they made it into a much bigger deal. Millions of dollars were spent on elaborate special effects, mostly done with well-made miniatures, showing the plants taking over the world, destroying cities, etc. It was quite a spectacular finale…

…and audiences hated it. Hated it.

The director Frank Oz explains about that in the video below and tells how they had to toss all that out and go back to shoot a new ending in which the heroes survived. Once they did that, the film became a hit.

This is a panel discussion following a recent Lincoln Center screening of the restored version. As explained in the discussion, it was very difficult to put the original ending back in place…but they did that for the new Blu-Ray release.

A question I'd be curious to ask: Was there ever a thought of using both endings on the original release? They could have cut or altered the scenes where Seymour and Audrey died so the pair didn't, then used a lot of the footage of the plants rampaging in the city, then filmed some scenes in which Seymour and Audrey stopped the carnage, defeated the plants and sent them back where they came from…or something. As any comic book writer in America can tell you, it's easy to find ways to bring your heroes back from the dead and have them triumph. We all have to do it from time to time. (They'll be doing it shortly in the Spider-Man comics…)

In any case, the original ending of Little Shop has previously only been available in a grainy black-and-white workprint that was included as bonus material on the first DVD version of the movie that was issued. This reportedly irked producer David Geffen and others involved in the film's creation who hadn't wanted those scenes released to the general public. (By one account, that was because they didn't want it publicized that they'd spent so much money on something that had to be discarded. By other accounts, they were still considering making a sequel which might have included much of that footage.)

That version of the DVD was withdrawn from the market and for a time, copies went on eBay for a whole lotta money. But now the entire first ending, restored and turned into a finished product, is on a Blu-Ray copy you can buy. If you want to order one from Amazon, this link will do it for you. It has both endings and you can take your choice.

At the close of this panel discussion, composer Alan Menken and star Ellen Greene perform some songs from the show for a very happy audience. If you just want to watch that part, click here. Otherwise, to see the entire 38 minute discussion and show, click below…