I had a plan for Halloween. I was going to watch a series of iconic horror movies and then write a marathon-length post. The movies would be iconic, instantly recognizable, and holiday-themed. I’m talking about Leprechaun 1, 2 and 3. Oh, you thought I was going to watch Halloween? Yeah, that’s too cliché. Also, I couldn’t find a cheap Halloween multipack & the Leprechaun three-pack was ten-dollars.
Sadly, a lady named Sandy interrupted my plans. My apartment had no power for a week and I spent a lot of that time at my mom’s house, wondering when I could go back to work. So my Leprechaun viewing and writing kept getting pushed back until things finally evened out, around now.
Ahhh, Leprechaun. I first saw this when I was ten or eleven and was totally obsessed with it. It’s not the best movie by a long shot but, to a little kid, it had a cool blend of horror and comedy. This kind of makes sense because it was initially supposed to be a children’s movie. Then Trimark had them recut it and add some more horror elements. Does it hold up…? No! But it’s still fun to watch.
This movie is Jennifer Aniston’s feature film debut.
She plays Tory, a Valley Girl whose father has moved to North Dakota into the skuzziest house he can find. It’s the old O’Grady house. Dan O’Grady had a stroke ten years ago while trying to fight a leprechaun he’d captured in the old country.
Ozzie (Mark Holton, aKa Francis from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure) accidentally releases the leprechaun.
The rest of the movie is the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) running around, killing people creatively, and making Irish-y puns. Moments of interest include the Leprechaun riding a tricycle.
The Leprechaun pogo-sticking someone to death. My friends and I were so obsessed with this one scene and I remember it being so much more graphic than it really was. Children’s minds are dark.
The Leprechaun eating “Lucky Clovers.”
According to IMDB, the producers had an agreement with Lucky Charms to use that brand in the movie. The company didn’t like the way the scene came out, though, and offered Trimark the choice of reshooting or cutting the scene. They reshot the scene with Lucky Clovers and at the end, when Alex (Robert Gorman) kills the Leprechaun, had Alex say, “Fuck you, Lucky Charms!” Mature. Still, I love stories like that.
The movie also features the Leprechaun strangling Alex.
And Tory is attacked by Kristen Wiig’s tiny doll hands.
This movie is very uneven. On the one tiny doll hand, it’s fun watching the Leprechaun come up with creative ways to dispatch his victims and make bad puns, in a groan-inducing way. On the other tiny doll hand, I’d say that three-quarters of this movie is the characters running from the house to a pickup truck. That isn’t very thrilling to watch. So the movie is fun in a goofy, nostalgic way but it’s not as scary as Warwick Davis when he’s Professor Hitler in the Harry Potter movies.
Nineteen-ninety-four saw the return of Warwick Davis as the vindictive Leprechaun.
The movie lacks continuity with the previous movie, especially considering the last time we saw him he was burnt to death in a well. Also, the last movie said he was six-hundred-years-old. This movie says he’s two-thousand years old. So, how many evil leprechauns are there in the world? This series has six entries, are these six different evil leprechauns?
Leprechaun 2 starts a thousand years ago (From 1994) when the Leprechaun is looking for a bride. Apparently, leprechauns can only choose brides once every thousand years. Leprechauns are full of rules! If he makes a young lady sneeze three times and no one blesses her then she becomes his bride. The Leprechaun chooses the daughter of his slave, William O’Day (James Lancaster.) O’Day stops the Leprechaun from marrying his daughter and becomes the Leprechaun’s slave for eternity. The Leprechaun swears that in the next thousand years, he’ll find the most attractive O’Day descendent and marry her. Just get OKCupid like the rest of us, Leprechaun.
The movie then returns to present day Los Angeles. Well, the present of 1994. Bridget (Shevonne Durkin) is William O’Grady’s descendent and Cody (Charlie Heath) is her boyfriend.
Cody was such a nineties name. Anyway, Cody sells tickets for a haunted Hollywood tour that’s run by his drunk Uncle Morty (Sandy Baron.)
Uncle Morty is like if F. Murray Abraham and George Carlin had a baby. He’s my favorite character. Uncle Morty is too drunk to run the tour so Cody takes Bridget along with him. Cody is my least favorite hero of the series, so far. He’s super whiny. In fact, so is Bridget. All she does is complain about Cody having to work. Gee, Bridget, sorry Cody’s an orphan and has to support his drunk legal guardian.
I did notice that the tourists Cody drives around seemed pretty familiar.
Turns out they’re Kimmy Robertson, who played Lucy on Twin Peaks, and Clint Howard of being Clint Howard fame.
The Leprechaun arrives in town to claim Bridget. This entry marks the series’ attempt to be a real horror film. The gore is amped up with the Leprechaun ripping out a bum’s gold tooth. When he finds Bridget, he tricks one of her friends into sticking his face into lawnmower blades. He also bites the finger off of a talent agent who thinks he’s a performer.
The Leprechaun snatches Bridget and it’s up to Uncle Morty and Cody to save him. Apparently, Leprechauns can be hurt with wrought iron. Uncle Morty and Cody plan to trap the Leprechaun in a safe. Along the way, the Leprechaun kills a coffee-shop waiter. I think that this guy would be my favorite character if he had more time in the movie.
In fact, here’s his death scene.
Uncle Morty and Cody manage to trap the Leprechaun but Uncle Morty gets greedy and starts demanding wishes. Everyone knows that in a movie like this the wishes are going to be very literal. So Morty wishes for the Leprechaun’s gold and gets it…in his stomach. With some of the goofiest special effects ever.
Cody finally figures out where the Leprechaun’s lair is and goes in to save Bridget. One overly long and convoluted sequence later, Cody stabs the Leprechaun with an iron crowbar and gets the girl.
This entry in the series is easier to watch as a horror entry but this one still has pacing problems. An hour-and-a-half felt really long, way too long for a goofy movie like this. The effects weren’t good but it was fun watching them and Warwick Davis seems to enjoy playing the part. It’s worth watching the series to see the gusto he brings to what could be a throwaway part.
If I’ve learned anything about evil leprechauns from the first two entries, it’s that they like three things; gold, murder, and sex. So it makes sense that there’s another evil leprechaun in Las Vegas, which is full of all three. I have to think that this is a different leprechaun from the first two, because he looks different and the first two were burnt in a well and stabbed with a crowbar, respectively. Also, this leprechaun has a different pot of gold. Someone needs to get on this evil leprechaun problem.
The story starts with a pawn shop owner, Gupta (Marcelo Tubert), receiving a statue of the Leprechaun wearing an ugly medallion. He’s told not to remove the medallion so, of course, the first thing his does is take it off.
The Leprechaun comes to life and pretty immediately bites off part of Gupta’s ear and one of his toes. Gupta traps the Leprechaun in the basement, where the Leprechaun counts his gold and notices one coin is missing. Gupta tries to get the Leprechaun to give him half of his gold in exchange for freedom but the Leprechaun is not having any of that. He strangles Gupta and leaves.
Meanwhile, freshman college student Scotty (John Gatins) is driving through Vegas.
Scotty is the reason that there are child safety laws. He’s the kind of person who would choke on the cap of a bottle of children’s Tylenol. He’s not very smart, is what I guess I’m saying. He stops to help Tammy (Lee Armstrong), a magician’s assistant with car trouble. Tammy lets Scotty in the casino she works at as a guest, on the condition that he doesn’t gamble since he’s not even old enough to be on the floor. Casinos are strict about that! The only time I’ve ever been on the floor is when I was eleven, because I was with my grandfather and we couldn’t find my grandmother. But I was smarter than Scotty because Scotty loses his shirt.
He goes to Gupta’s pawn shop and finds Gupta’s body. He also accidentally takes one of the Leprechaun’s coins. He wishes for a winning streak and suddenly he’s back at the casino, winning back his college money. Loretta (Caroline Williams), the sassy casino dealer, steals the coin from Scotty.
Mitch (Michael Callan), the sleazy casino owner, steals the coin before Loretta can use it and wishes that Tammy would have sex with him. Apparently, owning a leprechaun shilling allows you to get one wish.
Loretta steals the coin back from Mitch and once the coin is out of the vicinity Tammy falls out of love and runs away.
People make fun of Loretta’s looks so Loretta wishes to be beautiful. I don’t get that, I think Loretta is awesome. Her only problem seems to be the huge fake boobs she wears. Anyway, Fazio (John DeMita), the casino’s magician and Tammy’s boss, notices the change and steals the coin for himself. He wishes to be the best magician in the world.
The Leprechaun, meanwhile, has traced his coin to Scotty and gives him a mean leprechaun bite.
Did you know that the only cure for leprechaun bite is a shamrock shake? Most insurance companies don’t cover this. Also, what happened to Tory’s dad from the first movie? Did he also turn into a leprechaun? Inquiring minds want to know!
Scotty starts turning leprechaunish (Yes, that is a word.) He orders an entirely potato-based meal at the casino and then tells the waitress a dirty limerick. Leprechauns like puns, I guess.
The Leprechaun starts killing the people who had his coin.
Mitch dies after being electrocuted by the Svedka vodka robot’s low-rent hooker cousin.
Loretta explodes after her boobs, butt, and lips inflate, giving new meaning to the term “duck-face.”
And Fazio is chainsawed in half.
Eventually, Scotty has to choose between his new, leprechaun nature and saving Tammy. Of course, he chooses Tammy and the movie ends with him saying that this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Oh, movie, you’re good enough, you don’t have to steal your quotes.
It may be the brain fever from watching these movies all at once but I think the third is the most watchable of the three. This has the right balance of humor and gore and doesn’t take itself as seriously as the previous installments. John Gatins derides his performance in the movie but I think he did well enough for an actor whose character was written in very broad strokes. Mainly, this installment was the most fun to watch and didn’t feel five hours long like the second movie.
This may be one of the only times in movie history when a direct-to-video sequel outshines the original.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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