Blu-ray Review “The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)”

Directed by: Roger Corman
Starring: Dick Miller, Jack Nicholson, Jonathan Haze, Mel Welles
Distributed by: Legend Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Running Time: 70 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Legend Films is known for colorizing classic films and they did a very notable job with 1960’s “The Little Shop of Horrors”. The color is very subtle and feels like it was beautiful hand panted on each scene. I have seen this film many times and I am big fan of Roger Corman and this film still works well for me. This is the first time that this film has been released on Blu-ray and Legend films really did a great job restoring it in both color and black-and-white.

Everyone knows the classic story of “The Little Shop of Horrors”. This 1960 film was also one of Jack Nicholson’s first roles. Seymour grows an exotic plant that has an insatiable appetite for blood and people. As the plant grows larger and larger and hungrier and hungrier, things start to get out of the control for the local flower shop and their bloodthirsty plant.

The video resolutions looks really sharp in its 1080p transfer. The only main concern is that the aspect ratio on the Blu-ray is 1.33:1 compared to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Nothing major missed though. The audio is nothing special but includes a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track.

The special features only included a commentary track by MST3K’s Mike Nelson, which definitely delivers some great laughs. Lastly if you prefer the classic black and white version of the film, as with all Legend releases they included the original black and white version as well, so everyone is happy.

Film Review “Pound of Flesh”

Directed by: Tamar Simon Hoffs
Starring:  Malcolm Mcdowell, Angus Macfadyen, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Timothy Bottoms, Dee Wallace, Bellamy Young, Taryn Southern, Whitney Able.
Distributed by: American World Pictures
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 96 minutes

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am not sure how to really categorize this film.  I feel that it falls between a mix of character drama and a touch of thriller.  It it enjoyable to watch but leaves you with open ended questions. Malcolm McDowell is a hell of a fine actor and he gets to shine in this film.   Angus Macfadyen also gives an intense performance as well.  The subject matter is deep in the world of prostitution and cover-ups, though I feel it only really scratches the surface on each one.

If you unaware of the story this is based on true events.  Noah Melville (Malcolm McDowell), a college professor, is a favorite amongst his students but also runs a prostitution ring to promote scholarships.  When one of these meetings goes array the situation ends in murder and the cops start suspecting Noah. Detective Patrick Kelly (Angus Macfadyen) becomes obsessed with getting to the bottom of this mystery.

Overall I wanted to really enjoy this film and the performances were very good but I had a problem with it’s message.  We were left wanting to feel bad for Noah Melville claiming he is just looking to help his students and they want us to forget that he was selling them as services.   I would have liked to see more background in the story of why Noah was performing in the his acts of prostitution.