If you've listened to this week's episode of Lunatics Radio Hour, you might be yearning to watch some Killer Plant Horror. Here are four films we focus on in our discussion (for better or worse).
In 2018, Alex Garland's stunning film Annihilation hit theaters. A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don't apply. It's all-star cast includes Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tuva Novotny.
In 1989, Godzilla vs Biollante was released. Desolate by the loss of his daughter, a geneticist creates a monstrous new mutation. And you guessed it, that new mutation is Biollante. A new favorite in our household. We want more Biollante!
Going back even further, we have The Day of The Triffids. The book originally was published in 1951. START WITH THE BOOK! IT IS SO GOOD. There are also film versions from 1963 and 2009.
We also have The Happening from 2008. We know, we know. Terrible movie. But if we are talking Killer Plants, it gets a mention. There are much better films out there. But you know, it does exist. Any major fans of The Happening?
Ok, now let’s talk about my favorite of the bunch. Little Shop of Horrors. I am specifically taken with the 1986 musical film version. But the story started in 1960 with a mystery film. The original film was directed by Roger Corman, written by Charles B. Griffith. And fun fact, this was the debut of Jack Nicholson on film. Some believe that the plot was inspired by a short story called Green Thoughts written in 1932 by John Collier.
Little Shop was later turned into a musical in NYC which ran for 5 years off-broadway. The music was written by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman.
In 1986, the famous film version came out which stars Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Levi Stubbs, Steve Martin and has appearances by Bill Murray, John Candy and Jim Belushi. This version was directed by Frank Oz (look him up, his career is insane and wonderful). If you don’t know the basic premise, here is the logline on IMDB: A nerdy florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.
Other honorable mentions: Jumanji (1995), Seedpeople (1992), Attack of The Killer Tomatoes (1978), Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1978).