King of the B’s, director Roger Corman shot this crazy beat-era classic in a mere two days, but it packs plenty of inspired lunacy and clever bits in its 70-minute running time. Jonathan Haze stars as clumsy assistant florist Seymour, who saves his job in Mr. Mushnik’s skid-row flower shop when he brings in a unique man-eating plant. The problem is, it’s a very hungry plant; every night it opens its huge jaws and demands to be fed, forcing poor Seymour to take to the street in search of victims, lest he disappoint his boss and his adoring girlfriend, Audrey (Jackie Joseph). From a zingy script by Charles Griffith, this hilarious black comedy overflows with great ideas and characters: Corman regular Dick Miller plays a hipster who eats flowers, and a very young Jack Nicholson takes a memorable turn as a masochistic dental patient. DRAGNET-style detective Joe Fink (Wally Campo) narrates as he slowly begins to track the killer down. This oft-revived favorite still generates plenty of laughs and chills, deserving of repeat viewings. A musical version debuted off-Broadway in 1982 and led to a film starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin.
1960, B&W, 73 minutes