Bringing Horror back to Little Shop
VFXW: That shot is especially compelling on the Blu-Ray because the black and white footage was simply too dark to really see what was happening.
KG: In the screening we had in New York, people cheered at that one! It was wonderful! It felt so good!
VFXW: There was one sequence cut from the film that some fans were hoping would make it onto this Blu-Ray. It’s a fantasy sequence during the song “The Meek Shall Inherit” which features Seymour reconsidering his actions in an ethereal misty realm. Did you ever come across that footage during your search, and was it ever hoped to include it on the Blu-Ray as a deleted scene?
KG: No. To be honest, not that it’s something that’s isn’t important, but my concentration was on finishing the film properly. I’d love to dig into it and find that stuff. Maybe we could add it in. The next time we publish the disc, we’ll look into it.
VFXW: Now that they can put alternate endings onto DVD or Blu-Ray, do you feel like studios are more willing to let the director’s vision come through and less likely to put a controversial ending in a box and store it for twenty years?
KG: The answer is “yes” but I think you have to be careful. You don’t want to take a piece of art and belabor scenes. So the idea of just putting in more takes so you can see more coverage of an actor doesn’t make it better. You have to be careful when you do these. I know on a high profile film that people love, they want to see more and that’s all great and that keeps us going, but sometimes you don’t want to ruin a film by throwing in everything including the kitchen sink. You have to be careful. There’s got to be a balance.
VFXW: Do you have a white whale you’d like to find? Scenes from some film that you’d love to reconstruct at some point in the coming years?
KG: I’m always just kind of searching. What I’m working on now, I can’t really say what it is, but I’m always working on something or another and always looking in our vaults because there’s a treasure of stuff in here. Just to give you an example, when it came to the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, when we started looking into that, we found we had 15 hours of music in the vaults. It’s that kind of stuff that I thrive on. Sometimes, with some projects you hope there’ll be more and there isn’t. Other times, it’s like “oh my god, we’ve got a bonanza here!” So that’s kind-of how I operate on this.
VFXW: So you’re working on other restorations at the moment?
KG: Yup. I’ve got a couple of things that we’re doing the initial analysis on that aren’t actual projects yet. It’s analysis in the sense of “okay, what have we got, how can we use it and how do we bring it to light” and then we’ll come up with the actual plan and green-light it and so on.
VFXW: Well, we’ll look forward to hearing about those. Thank you for all the work you did on Little Shop!
KG: Oh, I loved it. I told Frank’s wife at our premiere, “don’t tell Frank, but I still get goose-bumps watching it. He’ll think I’m sucking up.”
Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD. Many thanks to Kurt Galvao, Ronnee Sass and the team at Warner Home Video.
James Gartler is a Canadian writer with a serious passion for animation in all its forms. His work has appeared in the pages of Sci Fi Magazine, and at the websites EW.com and Newsarama.com.