When it hit cineplexes in 1986, the Hollywood adaptation of the off-Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors had a much more cheerful ending than its theatrical source material (and the 1960 Roger Corman movie that inspired that).
But this wasn't initially the case. In fact, director Frank Oz was forced to completely rejigger the film's original 23-minute ending sequence after test audiences despised it. What soured them to the film? Well, this first ending saw carnivore houseplant Audrey II gleefully murder the entire cast — and probably the entire human race.
In an interview last May with Entertainment Weekly, Oz recalled the icy reception the apocalyptic ending — which saw a bunch of Audrey II puppets devour Manhattan — received and the subsequent studio push to revise it:
A black-and-white work print (above) of this first ending was released with the 1998 DVD, until Geffen recalled these DVDs because he wanted audiences to watch it in full color. (Noted Oz, "I think he thought he had the color [version], but he probably didn't understand the work print aspect of it. He probably assumed that there was a color ending somewhere.")
Fast forward to today, and the Blu-ray edition of Little Shop is finally in stores, complete with a color version of this kaiju puppet ending. You can see a clip of it below — resurrecting this footage was an arduous task, according to Warner Bros. restoration expert Kurt Galvao (via IFC):
It was difficult finding all the pieces [...] They weren't where the boxes said they were, but we went through every piece, and I had guys on boxes for weeks looking at every frame. It took about a year and a half to pull it all together. And then on the sound side, we had to locate the original track of singing, get the original tracks in there, and find the dialogue tracks from the dailies. Some of them had damage, so we had to filter out the damage in some cases.