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A Slimy Problem

March 01, 1987|Chris Willman

There's foul vegetation, and then there's foul- mouthed vegetation--as in the case of Audrey II, the carnivorous plant that cusses up a storm crooning "Mean Green Mother from Outerspace," the show-stopping rock 'n' roll climax of "Little Shop of Horrors." The Bo Diddley-esque bopper is one of the Oscar nominees in the Best Song category.

How in the heck is the tune--which helped earn the film its PG-13 rating--going to pass muster on the Oscar telecast?

Outtakes counted five lines spewed by the monster that could give network censors nightmares. Brags the plant in one characteristic stanza: "You can keep the Thing, keep the It, keep the Creature, they don't mean. . . . "

Will a slightly less mean--or blue--"Green Mother" be unveiled? And just who, or what, will sing the song on the show? (Ann Reinking in greenface?)

"I'm hoping for Tina Turner," deadpanned Howard Ashman, the movie's lyricist/screenwriter, "but nobody has said a word to me about it. And the song certainly does have a few words that might be difficult in prime time."

Sources indicate that the mammoth Audrey II will not be invited to do her own number on the Oscar show, a la the Phil Collins fiasco of a couple of years back.

As for who will sing it, and sing what lines, or how the lines might be handled, the telecast's production office is keeping tight-lipped.

"The song will be suitably represented and it will be part of the show in some format," said Maggie Hardy of producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr.'s office. She added: "The language will be suitable. But the format is not public information at this time."

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