Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Let it be known that the only film in this series that I had seen prior to this one was Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood. In case you're wondering about the scope of this series, let's take a look at every release in order.

Leprechaun 2
Leprechaun 3 [Ed. note - takes place in Vegas]
Leprechaun 4: In Space
Leprechaun in the Hood
Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood

Don't expect a Leprechaun omnibus anytime soon.

Writer/Director: Mark Jones
Starring: Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston

I was kind of excited to watch the original Leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day, but about fifteen minutes in I was practically begging for the film to end. The movie was released in 1993, clearly attempting to ride the wave of horror films before it such as Child's Play and Halloween by cashing in on the "holiday/pop culture figure" formula and exploiting Warwick Davis' height (or lack thereof). I've seen my share of ridiculous horror films (Pterodactyl, Shark Attack 3: Meglodon, Komodo Vs. Cobra, Manquito, Scarecrow 2, The Gingerdead Man, etc), so I feel like I have a pretty solid grasp on what the audience wants to see in a film like this. Unfortunately, Leprechaun did not deliver.

To give the film SOME credit, it actually did capture some of the mythological properties of a leprechaun fairly accurately - or as accurately as myth will allow. I was under the impression that only elves were employed as cobblers (aka shoemakers), but according to the wikipedia entry on leprechauns, they are regularly members of that profession. This tidbit was used to humorous effect late in the film, when the main character was trying to escape and her friends threw multiple shoes at the Leprechaun and he obsessively cleaned them instead of chasing his prey. The villain's manner of dress, fixation on his gold, and child-like nature also contributed to the moderate legitimacy of his portrayal.

The story was excrutiatingly bad, involving a big city girl (Jennifer Aniston in her first film role) reluctantly coming to the country with her dad and moving into a house with the Leprechaun trapped in the basement. She meets with the standard good-natured country boy characters, including one who has autism, and the rest of it is seriously a waste of my time to even type out. This movie was awful. The autistic guy's questionable decisions are understandable due to his condition, but what excuse did the rest of the characters have? One guy repeatedly shoots the Lep with a shotgun, even after it is clearly presented that bullets have no effect other than to knock the Leprechaun backwards slightly. That level of stupidity is inexcusable.

The aspect that disappointed me most about this film was that the kills weren't nearly outrageous enough. Absurdly comical kills are the bread and butter of movies like this, and Leprechaun's kills were so predictable that they weren't even any fun to watch. Show a little creativity - that's what people pay for.

I realize that most of you have no desire to see this, but this warning goes out to the few who might think the film sounds appealing: you think it's going to be one of those "so bad it's good" movies, but trust me - it has no redeeming qualities. Don't waste your time - just watch the video below instead. Until next time...

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