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THE LEPRECHAUN SERIES: BECAUSE THE GREEN FEVER WILL NEVER DIE.
What you are about to read is a grand accounting of how every single death at the hands of the evil Leprechaun as well as some of the stranger things that NEED to be mentioned along the way. I don't think either of us is ready, but let's pretend.
There are all types of horror movie franchises out there. There are your "prime" series, usually starring Freddy, Jason, or phallic aliens (with Sigourney Weaver), that folks keep watching, thus helping to reinforce what "classics" they are. More modern folks might even mention Scream, Ringu, or even Austin Powers (you know, if you're afraid of Michael Myers). Then there are the franchises that make up the "B-squad." People debate what really makes a series second-rate, but I generally consider any horror series that I haven't heard much of as fitting into this category...or movie series that never quite took off. Examples off the top of my head include the Carnosaur series, the Scarecrow series (including the hit film "Scarecrow gone Wild"), Ghoulies (the ultimate in "so bad it's good"), Wishmaster, Dirty Dancing, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film massacre, and, well, anything that just has the slight disadvantage of not being very good or popular. Now, I won't deny that the Leprechaun film series hasn't been the most profitable. I won't even say that it's the best film series out there or even in the top thirty when all of man's great cinematic feats are judged. I will say this: The Leprechaun series started in a very weird place: It's a horror film about a freaking Leprechaun for Christ's sake! Think about that for a moment. Before Warwick Davis took on this role, leprechauns were something you'd only really see in cereal commercials or on holiday-themed party cups come St. Patrick's Day. But the following decade after Warwick's leprechaun debut we had a total of 5 sequels...the same number that Freddy Krueger got. Sure, that's doesn't mean that much, but it's fun trivia....and it does imply that maybe the Leprechaun franchise was a little more popular than we all thought it was.
Let me get back on track: The Leprechaun series started in a weird place that some would consider a "bad" place. I was in Junior High School when this movie came out; a young boy with a fading passion for Ninja Turtles and a growing thirst to see violence slasher "boy" flicks. So what did I and my peer group do when we saw the constant stream of trailers for "Leprechaun" on the television? We started laughing and couldn't stop. The joke to us, at the time, was that people in Hollywood were so stupid and desperate to make horror movies that they'd try to peddle something so ridiculous it couldn't be scary. In retrospect, I sort of see that that was the point. The Leprechaun series isn't scary. Its value lies in that it's meant to be a comedy/horror that embraces the genre head-on instead of spoofing it (like Scream or Scary Movie). Bah, enough film theory/marketing blather. Let's dive into the magic that is dressing a dwarf (or midget or vertically-challenged individual...I've no idea what the least offensive term is and plan on using all three of those) up to look like something from a Lucky Charms commercial.
Now I'll probably slip up and type "Warwick Davis pulls out the vagrant's gold tooth" or something...so let me just say that while Warwick Davis is just the name of the actor, I'm ALREADY sick of typing "The Leprechaun." I'll give you more info on the amazing career and the man behind the Leprechaun's ugly teeth (you know, besides telling you that he was the star of Willow) before the article's over, but I just wanted to make clear that I don't mean to imply that Warwick Davis himself kills people for his missing gold, or anything.
So you should already be well aware that this movie is about its title creature going on a murderous rampage in search of his gold....which seems to get stolen every film. He's a lot like the Trix Rabbit, continuing to do the same thing, film after film....only he usually stabs people that get in his way in the face, so maybe he's not like the Trix Rabbit at all. Damn it. I've totally got cereal on the brain now. The fact that I've got another 8 thousand words to write about a Leprechaun doesn't help dissuade me from my cereal craving either. I wonder if something could scare the hunger out of me. Hmmmmm....
A leprechaun jumping out of something....that'd scare me good. Maybe. Or not. One of the 1st rules of filmmaking (or so they say in film school) talks about how you should take advantage of what you have. In this case the film's antagonist is about three feet tall, so they capitalize on that about every three seconds. Apparently, the director thought that the best way to convey terror on-screen would be shoving Warwick Davis into whatever he could fit in just so he could jump out of it. Warwick pops out of: a suitcase, a combination safe, a crate, several cupboards, an engine block, the floor, and a few other things that became a blur as the film went by. Apparently, the director had a vision, and that vision was all about midgets jumping out of things. To be fair, I don't know how I'd react if a tiny man popped out of my luggage, but pure, unbridled terror would not be on the list of options.
The other goofy theme to the original Leprechaun film is the weird need to see the Leprechaun traveling in style. Just acknowledging the scenes below really brings it home that this was not meant to be a horror film....at least not wholly. How else could you explain the need to see a mythical creature riding a tricycle, driving a Pow-Pow-Power Wheels truck, racing after the heroine in a wheelchair, and running around wearing (retro-quad) skates?
Nothing quite conveys horror like an elf that travels in style. It's not cool, but at least it's stylish.
I may have completely skimmed over the most important or noticeable thing about the first Leprechaun movie. The film's heroine, the love interest, would eventually become a slight celebrity. See if you can remember her name:
For the two people out of the loop (who make up the entirety of my audience), that's Jennifer Aniston in her first film role. A year later she would get a gig playing the exact same character...literally another role where she could be the whiny, spoiled rich girl. The show ended up being "Friends" and well, most people know the rest. I'm not going to start digging into someone's acting, but I will say that she's been heavily typecast from this film if not from an earlier role. So if you've seen her in Leprechaun she's exactly the same in Friends just as she's exactly the same in Office Space. Personally, I suggest watching Leprechaun, if only to hear Jennifer Aniston use the "F-word" while carrying a shotgun and running away from a homicidal leprechaun. Really. Jennifer Aniston+shotgun+the word they don't let you say on television=guilty pleasure. Oh, and what's this?
Jennifer Aniston's eyes flutter, she smiles a mischievous grin....what could be bringing her so much pleasure?
Little known fact: Jennifer Aniston hires the shortest men she can find to rub her legs nightly. That's not really a fact at all, but I'm trying to make a classier joke than "HOLY CRAP JENNIFER ANISTON GETS OFF WHEN MUTANT ELVES GROPE HER LEGS!" (On a side note, I've no idea if Jennifer is anything like her characters, but a quick look at Wikipedia tells us that "her character" slept with 34 men over the course of Friend's 10 seasons. Considering how "television time" passes A LOT slower than real time, that's like saying she slept with almost three dozen men in the span of 3 months, right? I wouldn't presume to judge or take a moral stance, but apparently the writers on the show decided Jennifer was a whore a long time ago. Somehow that brings the "How Ross and Joey got VD" episode into focus.
You've probably noticed I haven't started talking about the deaths yet...and I've got a ways to go before this is finished. The thing is that not very many people die in this film and only one of the deaths is, well, even remotely creative. On the plus side it does tie into the "exotic ways that a Leprechaun can travel" gimmick. There's a lot of other stuff I'm not mentioning, like how the fat guy who played "Francis" from Peewee's Big Adventure is in this film as a chubby retard (literally)...and how Jennifer has a crush on the macho repair boy who's got a mullet. So pretend I didn't mention that and let's get on with counting the deaths so we're both not here all day.
Kill #1: The Deadly Stairs.
I'm not sure this one should really count because all the Leprechaun does is pop out of a suitcase and say hello....which is pretty much enough to scare good old Mrs. O'Grady into falling down the stairs. For the sake of fairness, we'll assume that Warwick was sharp enough to know exactly what he was doing. Similarly:
Kill #2: The Deadly Heart Condition
This REALLY isn't the fault of the Leprechaun but Mr. O'Grady suffers a heart-attack/stroke before he can burn down his house (to kill the Leprechaun he's trapped in the basement). It's implied that he dies but we later learn that he survived...but he gets killed (fatally wounded to be precise) before he even reappears on screen. So either the Leprechaun "cursed him to have a brain aneurism" and/or decided to cut him to pieces while visiting his retirement home. So while it's meant to look like he dies of a heart attack (or whatever) he actually survives off-screen secretly just long enough to get killed by the Leprechaun...so I guess it counts after all. The vague crap out of the way, let me introduce you to a highlight of the film:
Kill #3: "Lungs impaled by a leprechaun riding a Pogo stick."
I don't know why the coin shop owner has a store filled with children's toys but it does help justify a scene where Warwick Davis sings a little ditty about killing a shopkeeper with a pogo stick. How's that for bizarre and random? Still, considering what's going to happen later in the series: You haven't seen nothing yet (besides a double negative).
Kill #4: Piggyback Ride....of Death!
If you hate the police like most people of the non-establishment running persuasion, you'll find special joy in watching a small man stalk and psychotically assault one cop in the woods. Of course the officer pulled over the leprechaun for speeding...and obviously the movie wanted you to empathize with the leprechaun because he does exactly what anyone pulled over wants to do: break his neck. Maybe my understanding of human nature is a little off. Never mind. Point is, cop gets killed but the scene takes forever as the leprechaun does the traditional "jumping out from behind trees" horror routine before leaping on his back and finishing the job. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the final death of the original Leprechaun film, technically speaking (see Death #2).
The End: The Leprechaun, at least in this film, is defeated by a 4-leaf clover (known as a shamrock on St. Patrick's day) which is, to his particular school of elf, the equivalent of silver to werewolves. To paraphrase to make that make a bit of sense: 4-leaf clovers kill leprechauns. Having it shot down his throat by an angry 12-year-old doesn't make it any better for him. Warwick Davis does a great job of melting before falling into a well. Since "midget melting" isn't exactly decent climax resolution, they decide to pour gasoline down the well and set it on fire. I never knew just how destructive gasoline could be in such small amounts. Check it:
Of course the movie ends with a big explosion and Jennifer Aniston looking all gushy...you know, like most films starring Jennifer Aniston. Wait. Now that I think about it, most Aniston films would be GREAT if there were more fiery explosions at the end of them. Wasn't Office Space great?
FUN LEPRECHAUN FACT!: In closing, the only thing I regret is not telling you that, at one point in this film, they throw shoes at Warwick because everyone knows that a leprechaun can't help shine every shoe that he stumbles across. Before this film I had no idea that you could confound a leprechaun simply by launching your skanky old boots at him. You really do learn something new every day.
LEPRECHAUN 2 (1994) (Alternately titled: One Wedding and A Lot of Funerals)
Now, I'll admit that there is indeed an apparent "peak" in the quality of the Leprechaun movies...but that peak really depends on what kind of horror movie fan you are. If you're a traditionalist which means you're probably older and took "men in rubber suit" films seriously at one time, you'd probably agree that the films get worse as time progresses. I, however, belong to a school of film cuisine that tells me most horror films are made to be mockingly enjoyed and, as such, the Leprechaun series is like a fine wine....the absurdity reached by the later installments reaches a level unsurpassed by films not abashedly mocking themselves. So is Leprechaun 2 a better film than the original? If only I could say that.
The second installment does introduce something new and altogether more disturbing by focusing on the sex life of a mutant leprechaun. The main plot to this one is that, instead of his gold, our main midget is after a bride....the descendant of an enemy/slave of his 1000 years ago. Don't ask, but there's a serious effort (well, maybe not serious per say) to make the plot a little more interesting. Sadly, there's more effort in implying the gross things that'll happen in the bedroom on the leprechaun's wedding night. Let's move on.
Kill #1: Magic Choke Chain!
Thanks to a flashback/prologue scene at the beginning of the movie, we find out that on a leprechaun's 1000th birthday he can take a wife if she sneezes three time and no one says "God bless you." He gets thwarted by his slave (who says the words because he doesn't want the leprechaun porking his daughter). Enraged, the leprechaun ends up cursing his family to be married to him (a pretty self-depreciating curse, really) before breaking his neck with a magic bondage collar. That done, we fast-forward about a 1000 years to modern day.
Kill #2: The Cock Block and the Breasts of Doom!
Instead of me just telling you what happens, let me walk you through it in a bit more detail. You'll thank me later.
Bridget: I had a really great time, but I've got to say goodnight.
Captain CockBlocked: Aren't you going to invite me in?
Bridget: No dickface, I'm still dating Cody.
Captain Limpcrotch: What the hell, skank? I thought you two had broken up.
Bridget: Sorry, Pencil-Dick, I just want to be friends.
Captain Fleshlight Master: What about all those chili-dogs I bought you? You OWE me!
:door slams shut:
A few moments later, Captain Dork hears Bridget's voice in the garage....or does he?
Bridget: Hey, stud. You want a piece of this....think you can handle it?
Captain Chubby: Um. Yeah, breaking off a piece of you would be most enjoyable. I thought you weren't interested in my crotch-spelunking expedition?
Bridget: I totally changed my mind.
Captain 2 O'clock: Did you hear something?
Bridget: I didn't hear any evil leprechauns if that's what you're asking...
Captain Clap: Um. But isn't that him right there?
Bridget: No, that's a, um, lawn ornament.
Captain Crotchstain: Lawn gnomes don't giggle and drool with malicious glee. What the hell is going on?
Bridget: That's my friend Chuck. I totally get off on being watched by the vertically challenged.
Captain Whatever: Oh, that's hot then. :raises voice: ENJOY THE SHOW, LITTLE MAN!
Bridget: You like what you see? Why don't you touch them?
Captain Cockstand: I'm just really glad that Leprechaun magic has blinded me to the fact that your breasts are, in fact, the blades of an upturned lawnmover.
At this point in time, Jared has decided to stop the narration because the breast-blades started spinning and the mental image of the girl's breasts spinning around at high speeds brings tears to his eyes. If ONLY they'd shown that. If only....
Suffice to say, Captain CockBlocked sticks his head between the blades, and dies.
Kill #3: The Espresso machine of DOOM
At one point in the film (and it's an awesome scene if you care about such things), the Leprechaun gets very, very hammered. By "hammered", I don't mean he bought a sexual favor from an obese Mexican (you pervert), just that he got very drunk. He decides to survive his hangover in a pretentious coffee bar and, of course, ends up killing the shopkeeper who makes fun of him. Of course, "burning someone to death with the steam from a coffee maker" is pretty special.
Kill #4: "I want you Inside me"
Now this film introduces something that'll only really be important in the next film, but at least brings it up. Apparently if you capture a leprechaun you get to make as many wishes as you want. "Morty", the greedy father figure of the film, wishes for the Leprechaun's gold. His wish is granted and the Leprechaun's gold materializes INSIDE OF HIM. So he sits there in terrible pain and pretty much gets blackmailed into setting the bastard free so that he can get his "get this gold out of me" wish granted. In case it's not obvious what the Leprechaun does:
There are so many very sick jokes I could make about a dwarf's hands being inside of Morty in the above picture, most of them fetish-related. Instead of that let me just tell you that Morty gets cut open and the gold pulled from his ripe, surprisingly blood-free belly.
Kill #5: The Hit and Run (of Death)
Apparently goofy vehicles AND killing cops was a big part of the initial Leprechaun franchise as the Leprechaun summons a shamrock-themed go-cart and runs over a police officer with it.
The End: There's an animated skeleton and a game of cat-and-mouse in the Leprechaun's tree (you know, just like the Keebler Elves) but it all ends when the Leprechaun gets stabbed with a piece of cold iron, apparently ALSO the bane of leprechauns everywhere. And just to make sure the film's ending isn't lacking:
Leprechaun go boom. And the film ends. Enough said.
Leprechaun 3 (1995)
The Leprechaun goes to Vegas. There's your plot, there's your premise....and there's not much else I need to tell you.. You know that "wish" thing that got Morty impregnated by a lot of gold last film? That's the main gimmick of the film, with everyone being killed by their wishes going awry (if not just being stabbed by an angry mythic dwarf). There's also the introduction of a magic necklace that turns the leprechaun to stone, but that doesn't really come into the film and isn't mentioned until Part 5 so forget that I mentioned it. Other highlights include:
I would totally call a TV psychic if she were a Leprechaun. Leprechauns or not, I kind of miss the "I'm a real psychic that lives in a trailer! Call today!" commericials.
Leprechaun. Elvis. Gah.
There's also a subplot about how an already-goofy looking fellow mutating into a leprechaun...because we all know that if you get bitten by a leprechaun you turn into a leprechaun yourself. So lyprechaunthropy is apparently spread by a leprechaun's highly infectious bite. That's awesome, hilarious, and lame all at the same time. I'm not sure how I'd react to gaining a skin-condition but I know a hell of a lot of people would gladly trade in those extra few feet of height for a magical pot of gold. Time for the deaths, because in this one they're particularly amazing:
Kill #1: Strangled by a phone cord!
That's not amazing at all. Crap. The rest are. I swear.
Kill #2: PORN STAR ROBOT!
The whole premise that gets people in trouble in this film is that everyone's making a wish with this one magic shilling of gold. The above sleazy guy wishes for one of the girls around him to want to have sex with him...it doesn't work out after the coin is stolen, but suddenly the naked woman on the television starts talking to him by name. And then she pops out of the television and rides him hard. And by "hard" I mean that she kills him. Of course before she does so, she reveals her true form:
She's a robot with big fleshy breasts. Christ, I've no clue what's going on or why, but this is a really bizarre way for an evil creature of Irish folklore to kill you.
Kill #3&4: "Beaten with a stick/stabbed in the face"
I refuse to talk or even give you pictures of these because two goons pretty much get bludgeoned to death, but you can't tell if they were both meant to live or die. Hell, when I first saw the scene I expected them to return. If they did I missed it but yeah, it's implied that they died.
Kill #5: "MY ASS BE BLOWIN' UP ALL OVER DA' PLACE!"
A tacky and bitter woman finds the coin and wishes for herself to be the sexiest woman alive. What that really means is she's given better jewelry, takes off the wig, making her look like a recovering Chemo patient, and a lower cut dress. She gleefully looks in the mirror and talks about how much money she's going to make as a prostitute. Again, I'm not joking. Then the Leprechaun shows up and things go poorly from there.
You haven't lived until you've listened to a Leprechaun make up crappy limericks about giving you bigger breasts, lips, and butt cheeks. He makes her "sexiness" swell until she explodes, but let me just transcribe the actual lines, because for the love of God I don't think anyone else would:
"You're boobs are big, your butt is small...but still you're in for quite a fall.
Oh, didn't you hear? Bigger is good, but Jumbo is dear! I'll give you boobs that come out to here! (Points to her chest where her breasts swell to watermelon size)
Most delightful nips,
they'll get you some tips. But what about these (lips) are they big
enough to please? (girl's lips swell to mallard proportions...)
Now that was quite a load to have to explode. What a lovely lass I had to blow up your ass, but now I must hit the road."
It totally freaks me out that this isn't the first "giant breast monster" to be mentioned on the site. About two years ago I wrote about this monstrosity: (Click Here and scroll down for boobalicious doom).
Kill #6: The Mortician gets stabbed.
Yeah. Not that interesting, but the "big butt" limericks make up for it, right?
Kill #7: Leprechaun with Chainsaw cuts a magician in half.
Admittedly, that's not the most creative of titles for a method of murder, but it's pretty accurate. A very cheesy magician wishes to be great, but ends up getting cut in half by a midget with a mini-chainsaw. That brings me far more joy than it should.
The End: Since it's against the rules of sequels to kill the monster in the same way as it was before, this time they take a flamethrower (don't ask, it was a magician's prop apparently) to his gold. By destroying his gold you destroy the Leprechaun....which is illustrated in the film by tying a midget to a wire, swinging him in the air, and setting him on fire. I'm not joking at all.
Well, that brings an end to the "normal" killer Leprechaun films. From here on out the remaining half of the Leprechaun franchise is, if you pardon the expression, pure gold. Drugs, sex, and violence.....along with robots, mutants, giant afros, and "zombie flygirls"...all these things are on their way. This is really the official turning point for the series, as it goes down this bizarre route that can't be taken seriously but, believe it or not, actually improves the series' quality. Well, at least technically speaking. The final two Leprechaun movies are downright professional in their film quality, if not there subject matter. More on that later, now it's time to talk about my favorite of the Leprechaun films:
LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE! (1997)
Not that I do a lot of research regarding the films that I review, beyond making sure I get the dates right, but I noticed that, among people who call themselves "fans of the Leprechaun" series, this movie has to be the most hated. This movie is a surreal joke from start to finish. If you didn't think it was before, there's no denying it after this. You can't even get confused about the title: It's a freakin' leprechaun...in space. Christ, that's out there already.
Leprechaun in Space has thrown away a lot of the old conventions of the series, just in the name of being weird and sometimes funny. The plot is as follows: The Leprechaun has kidnapped a beautiful (and slightly evil) space princess that he plans to marry so that he can become king. He's done this on a distant mining planet and he ends up being blown apart by space marines who show up to save the day. There's more to it, but really the film is about soldiers on a space station hunting down a rogue life form. Think of it as a remake of the original Alien film, only with tiny shoes and an Irish accent. God damn I love this film for being so terrible and awesome. There are three characters that need to be highlighted before the deaths start getting tallied:
Any film that STARTS with a Leprechaun in a Tuxedo is a winner in my book. In fact, I think most films need that. Hollywood, can you hear me?
Enjoy Princess Zarina as she blesses us all with a traditional "sentence of death" as is normally given on her home world. Out of NOWHERE she shows up and aggressively shows us her nipples for what feels like a full two hours. She's this evil spoiled princess that doesn't do much besides the above madness, but any woman who exposes herself to threaten you is worth mentioning in my book.
Oh Doctor Mittenhand....You scare me on so many levels. Is it the fact that you're chunky bald self is plugged into a computer terminal? Or is it the fact that you talk with this spooky Austrian accent while wearing a latex glove for unimaginable purpose? Dr. Mittenhand talks a lot in this film and while I can't put my finger on why a strangely asexual European scientist/cyborg freaks me out....it just does. If you see the film you'll understand why Doctor Mittenhand will show up in your nightmares, usually when you're already naked and filled with worry.
Kill #1: Leprechaun with Lightsaber, or: George Lucas, please don't sue.
Use the force, Warwick. Use the force.
Kill #2: The UNSPEAKABLE Way to die.
We've gotten to the best murder on the list...no other method mentioned here even comes close to the depravity/strangeness you're about to witness. Now, to get you started you have to understand that after cutting a Space Marine down with a lightsaber and a short shoot-out with a patrol of them, the Leprechaun gets blown up by a grenade (while saving his would-be wife/princess, if you can believe it). The marine decides to mark his kill in the most sophisticated of ways.
Yep. Grown man peeing on a leprechaun corpse. I did NOT think that I'd see that in my lifetime. Thank you, movie. What needs to be mentioned here is that while the golden stream assaults the body, cheesy green special effects shoot "upstream" right into the marine's balls. I think it's the Irish equivalent of "wizzing on the electric fence." The point is one marine has a strange pain in his balls that he ignores until he tries to have sex back on the ship...
One minute he's just making out with a woman and the next second he's screaming bloody murder as SOMETHING seems to happening in his genital region.
I can only imagine what this film would have been like if you saw it in a theater. Frequent close-ups of the guy's crotch as SOMETHING unzips the pants and starts poking out of his underwear (which is stretching out of the fly at this point). Dear God, what the hell is happening here?
At this point, even the girl is a little concerned, as the guys underwear stretches out revealing something ungodly HUGE to be exiting the front of his pants. So, as the underwear stretches what do we learn was hiding in the Space Marine's testes this whole time?
Wow. I really don't want to think where this idea came from. Ever.
Kill #3: One Day, We Will All Throw Out Our Garbage Like This...
This film takes a very serious attitude towards illustrating how we will throw away our garbage in space. What you see is an accident that occurred in the "waste disposal system", apparently a small series of rooms filled with hooks on chains and DEADLY FLESH-EATING BACTERIA. All the garbage gets thrown into that room and eaten by the magic microscopics....and of course the Space Marines go in after the leprechaun only to get one of their suits cut and, well, the picture explains the rest.
Kill #4: Crushed by a Big Metal....thing.
While the scene feels like it takes about an hour to get through, nothing really happens except a leprechaun dropping a huge metal thing onto a Space Marine.
Kill #5: Worst Special Effect So Far
Falling to your death is usually a boring way to go in flicks like these. The only way to make them even more sucky would be to throw in a poorly done Photoshop background and call it a day. Way to go.
Kill #6: Drag Queen Robot Gone Wild!
Maybe I should have mentioned "Sgt. Metal Head Hooker" before now. Just think of the most stereotypical drill sergeant character you've ever seen and imagine him with a hubcap glued to his head, thus illustrating visually that he's a cyborg. At one point of the film the Leprechaun takes control of him, forcing him to dress in women's clothes and attack the other Marines. He ends up falling and splitting his robotic head open which saves us having to deal with this particular bit of gender-confusion. Seeing the most macho character in the film in a rather fetching dress brings me no small amount of dread.
Kill #7: I Squish your Head!
The Leprechaun throws a tray at Dr. Mittenhand's assistant, literally "flattening" him. Gah.
Speaking of Dr. Mittenhand....
How's that image for some nightmare fuel? In fact, I almost want to lie to you and say that's a picture implying all types of sexual perversion....but I can't. What's actually happening is Death #8a: MittenSPIDER!
The Leprechaun injects the good doctor with a magic genetic formula mixed with spiders and scorpions. He ends up mutating into this giant monster (as well as calling HIMSELF "MittenSpider"), so technically the Leprechaun doesn't kill him. That pleasure goes to the surviving female lead who freezes him with liquid hydrogen and then shoots him, causing him to explode. Since he wouldn't have been trying to eat the poor girl, thus causing here to brutally slaughter him if the Leprechaun hadn't messed with his genetics in the first place, so technically he's just as responsible as that lady who freaked out and threw herself down the stairs in the first movie. Oh and just for fun let me point out a MittenSpider-centric highlight in the film:
Now a lot of films go out of their way to "discreetly" take off the clothes of their female leads or at least cover them in some potentially sexy fluid. In the (fairly) recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, they decided the film would turn into a wet T-shirt contest every ten minutes. In this one (as seen above), Dr. MittenSpider attacks her in the air ducts and swiftly, using only one motion, removes her pants. It's so funny because if you blink you miss it and wonder why the heroine is running around the film's conclusion in her underwear. I think this is a good example of why I like this film. It's so stupid, yet INCREDIBLY accurate when it comes to what you should have in your traditional horror film.
Not that it's related to any kill in particular (and actually ties into the film's climax more than anything) I have to share the fact that the Leprechaun gets hit by a "size alteration" ray and grows to ginormous proportions. Even better is the fact that right after it happens, we get this expression:
I think Warwick Davis did a great job in capturing the "holy crap my penis is the size of a Buick" expression.
The End: Of course the giant Leprechaun doesn't succeed in his quest (to mostly just marry the evil princess who shows off her rack to those doomed to die) and is thwarted by being launched out of an airlock. Then he explodes in the vacuum of space, filling the "we need something to blow up" requirement that you'll find in almost all Leprechaun films. As his giant body parts float though space, Warwick happily waves goodbye to the surviving Space Marines.
If you take horror films seriously, you'll hate this film. If you're young enough to know that you can't take horror films seriously, particularly older ones, then you'll probably like it in that morbid "holy crap I don't believe what I'm looking at" way. Leprechaun 4: In Space is like the wind, baby. If you don't get it you're not meant to.
Oh and never forget to check your genitalia for lurking leprechauns. :shudder:
Leprechaun in the Hood (2000) (or, How the Leprechaun got his Groove back)
I don't believe it. Leprechaun in Space was a bad movie, but it was at least a bad movie on purpose. There's no way they thought they'd keep making them...unless a miracle happened. Leprechaun in the Hood was that miracle if you can believe it. Now, I've seen this movie more times than I'd care to admit. No one understands how it could be a GOOD movie...and maybe it isn't. Lord knows I may be a good judge of a "bad" movie, but when it comes to the definition of Good, I really don't know. But, Leprechaun in the Hood has something special going for it. First off, it's got Ice-T in it. Ice-freaking-T. It's also got a cameo from Coolio who I think has a medical condition requiring him to breathe through a bong for the rest of his life. (In case my Mom wants to get the joke: MOM: HE SMOKES A LOT OF POT, OR AT LEAST LOOKS VERY "STONED". STONED IS THE NEW SLANG WORD FOR BEING "HIGH". SMOKING POT IS SAID TO CREATE AN ARTIFICIAL "HIGH" THAT LEADS YOU INTO A HORRIBLE LIFE OF CRIME. I SWEAR MOM, I WON'T DO DRUGS I PROMISE. SEE YOU AT CHURCH.) So the quality of this Leprechaun film is a lot higher than, say, the original. I'm just talking about technical quality and maybe even the make-up on good old Warwick there. A lot has changed stylistically in film between the early 90's and the year 2000 and this film is a good example of it. Cheap special effects are all over the place but compared to the cheesy effects found in older films...well it comes down to apples and oranges. I will say this: Leprechaun in the Hood has made me and more normal people honestly laugh at its jokes, which has to be worth something in the grand accounting of the film.
The film's about three young rappers (or wanna-be rappers) growing up in the mean streets. Their names are Butch, Stray Bullet, and Postmaster P. He's named "Postmaster P" because he delivers a positive message. The movie is really about them needing money to fix their equipment so they can get to a rap competition and potentially rock the world with their east/west coast stylings. Ice-T plays "Mack Daddy", an evil agent that basically is the first real "secondary" villain to show up in a Leprechaun film that actually does anything. He's primary to the plot and actually ends up killing Butch at the end which may be the first time someone dies from something non-leprechaun related in these films. The plot's still pretty goofy retarded as it seems to revolve around a magic flute, but that gets outweighed by what we see Leprechaun-wise in the film. Are you ready? (The answer is no.)
I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to see a mythic leprechaun smoking pot. Even better, Ice-T convinces him to call it by its proper street name: "Da Bomb." You haven't lived until you've heard Warwick Davis say that particular turn of slang.
What happens later in the film (actually it originally happened in the middle of the film but was deemed too goofy and was thusly put in over the film's credits) is pretty amazing. Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun....raps. The chorus to his funky beat is simply the line: "A Lep in the Hood can do no good, A Lep in the Hood can do no good." Mother of God, it's scary, and he even recruits some gold-wearing booty dancers to carry him around and shake their asses at the camera for about ten minutes. Life is good, but I think the pictures should speak for themselves:
I might be mistaken, but I doubt there're many people out there who really need the lyrics to the "Leprechaun Rap." If I'm wrong, email me. I dare ya.
Kill #1: The 'Fro Pick to the jugular...
What I forgot to mention is that the film starts with a flashback to the 1970's where Ice-T and his friend find the Leprechaun and his magic flute (again, the less said the better). While you do get to see Ice-T pulling a knife and baseball bat out of his huge afro, the most notable thing his the guy who gets stabbed with his oversized hair accessory. I'll say no more.
Kill #2: It's Electric (boogie woogie!)
I already mentioned the "leprechaun rapping" scene but you can tell that the scene was MEANT to happen toward the beginning of the film as the Leprechaun kills the Disc Jockey that teaches him what Rap music is....and in the process is given a microphone. While the rap itself was too freaking long and goofy to be included this early in the film, the set-up to the scene was left in place...fun trivia for the Leprechaun fanatic in all of us.
Kill #3: Hot Zombie Action.
The young rappers, now armed with Leprechaun gold, start spending their wealth. The next two deaths show the fates of the shopkeepers who accepted "cursed elvish gold" as payment. The first one is torn apart by his wife come back from the dead while Chow, the Asian shopkeeper, has the privilege of being:
Kill #4: Torn Apart and Pickled (by a leprechaun)
Now, before I mention the next kill, let me introduce you to someone. Meet Fontaine Rivera:
Our heroes find shelter with a kindly transsexual who is very, very scary. I would be all types of supportive of the transsexual community here but to be fair: Fontaine Rivera is making fun of it. If the movie's not going to be sensitive to gender identity issues, I'm just going to skim over them for now. (Don't worry, I'll make up for it with the upcoming "Gays in Space" article....no joke.) Instead, let's look at Fontaine's big scene:
Just look at the Leprechaun's expression when Ms. Fontaine tells him he's "just the right size." Being hit on is something that totally ninja-stabs the Leprechaun in the face so he's particularly slow to react and at a loss for words which explains...
...how he's so easily led into the bedroom. While I admit that the sex between a midget and a butch transsexual would probably sell more DVD's than I'd care to admit, I don't want to think about it. Suddenly the rappers (you know, the protagonists) hear screaming coming from the bedroom.
Oh, they'll PRETEND they're disgusted, but really....If they weren't at least a little interested why the heck are they looking into her (his) bedroom? And if you think I'm joking about that know this: In twenty minutes two of those three boys will be in women's clothes and of them will have his hand on a leprechaun's crotch. Gah.
Oh and just to make sure we're clear, Ms. Fontaine dies horribly while under the sheets with the Leprechaun.
Did I mention that Coolio looks really, really stoned?
Kill #6: The Leprechaun shoots a hole through someone.
I don't really get it either, but the Leprechaun points his finger like a gun and Ice-T's bodyguard sort of explodes. To make up for this weirdness, Warwick Davis amazes us by sticking his hand through a priest.
Kill #7: Seriously, he sticks his hand through a priest.
Death #8: Mind Controlled Suicide!
Just to show the boys that they shouldn't mess with him, the Leprechaun makes "Stray Bullet" shoot himself in the head. It's actually done rather dramatically and well....yeah. The surviving heroes swear their revenge and begin their crusade, but how?
By dressing in drag. Apparently the Leprechaun is partial to big scary women and they plan on getting into his crib by acting as "fly bitches." It seems the Leprechaun already has a reputation for loving his weed and his sweet honeys, so they decide to cash in on that by mixing up a special joint (MOM THAT MEANS A MARIJUANA CIGARETTE) that has 4-leaf clovers on it. In case you've forgotten because it hasn't been mentioned since the first film, 4-leaf clovers are the bane of leprechauns. In this case, smoking them puts him to sleep. Of course even after they get close enough to him (and listening to him say "Come close, come closer my dear sweet lass....let me look at you before I tap that ass") he doesn't seem to pass out...causing out main hero to be lured FAR TOO close to him. His reward, besides getting to grope a Leprechaun's erection (aaaaaaaahhh!) is this rather intimate look:
Luckily the Leprechaun passes out in the next moment, but still that mental image is burned into my retinas nonetheless.
Kill #9: Shot by Ice-T while wearing a dress and Kill #10: Ice-T go Boom!
This article is FAR TOO long already so let me just be anti-climatic and just say that Butch dies after getting shot by Ice-T before the Leprechaun makes Ice-T's chest explode. What's far more interesting here is the ending. The Leprechaun wins. Postmaster P (you know, the rather manly lad in the bright red dress as seen a little ways above) seems to have won the rap competition and sings about how all his homies (homeys?) got shot and how much of a badass he is. Then he takes off his glasses and shows you his eyes are gleaming "Irish green", meaning he's possessed.
And there in the audience is the Leprechaun smiling this "holy crap I survived one of my own movies" smiles.
Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood (2003)
Holy crap. If the last film was the Leprechaun in the Hood, then this film has to be the Leprechaun in the freaking ghetto. How else do we have a film with an Ebonics title, scenes about gold teeth, dope rims, mad booty, and so much more. While "In the Hood" it was pretty clear they were satirizing the whole urban music scene (and maybe just the urban scene itself), this movie's in a weird place that makes it hard for me to talk about it without showing you a picture proving I'm a black man so that I can get away with it. I THINK it's making fun of African American hair salons, fashion, clothing, drug use, choice of tires....the problem is that I can't tell what's a joke and what's meant to be taken as character development. The movie's about the mean streets and people just want to survive....with the help of the local psychic. Damn it, it's hard NOT sounding like a racist when you analyze this film, mainly because stuff like this is satirizing racial stereotypes in the first place. At least I hope it is. If it isn't, dear God I apologize. I don't even want to mention that the funniest part of the movie revolves around the fact that white people aren't allowed to say the word "Nigga." So when one cracker (white people are all goofy crackers in these films...which I admit is pretty funny) does use the dreaded "N-word", they tell him no one says that anymore. "It's all WHAT'S UP NINJA, dawg!" "Sup, Ninja!" "Yo dawg, you mah Ninja!" It's really, really funny and probably doesn't make must sense me just typing about it here. :sigh: Let's get this over with.
Kill #1: The Priest gets cut to all HELL and bleeds to death.
The movie opens with a man of the cloth fighting the Leprechaun. He summons the power of Jesus or something and all these zombie ghost hands (or something) suck Warwick into the earth. The priest bleeds to death immediately after his victory from wound he got fighting the tiny man. Well, I THINK he bleeds to death...the problem here is that instead of real (or at least fake) blood illustrating "holy crap he's dying", the director thought it would look good to use cheap computer graphics instead. So the blood that poors out looks like something from The Blob, or I'm totally wrong and priests have a blood consistency akin to Jello pudding.
While I'm getting ahead of myself, there is one highlight that just can't wait. Now you've got to realize that besides the whole "bullets/stabbing thing doesn't kill him" thing, the Leprechaun doesn't really use magic too much in the movie (at least on-screen). What that really means is that you get to see a lot of your traditional slasher film stuff. Now as the heroes escape in their car, the evil elf attaches himself to the bottom of their car and starts clawing his way through. Now this would usually be a cause for concern. In the ghetto, however, everyone has cars tricked out with mad hydraulics.
You haven't lived until you've seen the Leprechaun be thwarted by someone's sweet lifts. It's so ghetto and awesome at the same time.
Kill #2: In Soviet Russian, Bong Hits You!
Ah, there's nothing funnier than watching a Leprechaun smoke both through a bong. (MOM: A BONG IS A SPECIALIZED PIPE FOR SMOKING THE MARIJUANA AND I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THEM.) Seriously, it's just awesome to see a video montage dedicated to getting Warwick Davis stoned.
Of course in the end the buzz gets harsh and the Leprechaun has to kill his smoke buddy because he has some of his stolen gold. And yeah, that means that the "Yee be after meee Gold" theme has returned from the first three films...for better or for worse.
Kill #3: The Leprechaun Massage (of Death)
There's not much to it except that the fat obnoxious lady at the beauty salon gets a massage from Warwick before the Leprechaun strangles her. For the trivia dork in all of you, this is the first time we get to see the Leprechaun's feet. Not pleasant, but trivia nevertheless.
Kill #4: The Gold Tooth (again)
I don't get the idea behind gold teeth so I'll avoid making any jokes about it because apparently that would be making fun of someone's cultural heritage or something like that. I will point out, though, that this isn't the first person to have their gold tooth pulled out of their face by the Leprechaun...it originally happened in part two...but the guy lived. The difference here is that the Leprechaun ALSO took the lower jaw as well, as a sort of bonus. Did I mention he's a little more violent in this one?
Kill #5: "Gutted like a fish!"
It's not that interesting and neither is the next one.
Kill #6: The Po'Po gets stabbed in the intestines with his own nightstick.
Kill #7: Got your leg!
I'm so tired of typing the word leprechaun. At the very least I'll never misspell the word ever again just by the sheer fact that I've had to type it some five thousand times while writing this damn thing. So the Leprechaun tears the Leprechaun cop's leg off Leprechaun Leprechaun Leprechaun. AAAAAAH.
Kill #8: Kali Balla, Kali Balla! (It's an Indiana Jones joke you cretins...you know, the guy who rips out people's hearts? Nevermind.)
Kill #9: Leprechaun cuts random banger's (not as in mash) throat. Simple enough, right?
Kill #10: Holy Crap, the psychic lady.
I totally wish that was her name. Sadly that's just what I exclaim when she shows up and starts using her magical powers on the Leprechaun. This is the FIRST time anyone else besides Warwick has done the magic thing and while it'd be nice to see some sort of epic battle between good versus evil (instead of the typical evil versus greedy), don't expect any Sigourney Weaver "Let her go, you BITCH" moments here. The psychic uses the Force on our main midget and ends up being killed off camera after we see Warwick's eyes start glowing crappy computer effect red. So yeah, the final death of the Leprechaun Death Toll happens freakin' off-screen. What the crap.
The End: Just to continue the damn Star Wars thing, the Leprechaun gets pushed off a rooftop along with his gold and gets frozen in Carbonite....or at least wet cement. There were these 4-leaf clover bullets involved there somewhere, but since they didn't really do anything except cause little computer-generated balls to float around Warwick, the less said the better. I'm not against computer-generated effects but just like any kind of special effect they come in both good and bad varieties. So in the end of this one the Leprechaun doesn't explode, but simply sinks into frozen concrete oblivion. But hey, it's over.
Total Number of people killed by the Leprechaun: 44!
Wow. I just wrote a 9-thousand word article about the Leprechaun series. Either have far too much time on my hands or I can type really fast. To be fair, I think it's a combination of the two. But I still feel I've forgotten something.
Oh yeah. The Wee People. Or more accurately, the Wee Person. Warwick Davis has played the Leprechaun for over a decade. He's the main reason the series is around, and that's not just because of his height (which admittedly is part of the equation). The thing to remember here is that Warwick Davis is a real person. He's not the Leprechaun. He's an actor playing a role. He does an amazing job of presenting a psychotic Leprechaun but more importantly it just looks like it's fun to be him. I don't know how accurate that is but I do know he's got his own site which is, as far as celebrity sites go, rather awesome. Considering the number of celebrities I've contacted (and luckily heard back from) thanks to the Internet, I'm sort of proud to say that Warwick's got one that honestly entertains the socks off me. Maybe it's the fact that he sounds like a nice, funny guy...and maybe it's just the fact that he seems to really enjoy playing up his Leprechaun role, even to this day. Check it out:
He even recorded a St. Patrick's Day message from the Leprechaun just last week, so you know he liked the role. I guess I just wanted to make it clear to everyone that this article isn't mocking Warwick Davis. Rather, it's really here to document all this crap that's happened in the Leprechaun films over the years. There's an important difference there...and you know that midgets are funny. It's terrible, but before Willow, I can't name a film that presented someone of unusual height in a favorable light...or even as a real actor. Even today it's been a weird issue in Hollywood. Warwick Davis rocks.
I can't decide how I want to finish this article except reminding you that DEAR MOTHER OF GOD the Leprechaun series is random. From the days of a slutty Jennifer Aniston to Dr. MittenSpider stealing a lady's pants to a Leprechaun doing bong hits, it's been a weird ride from here to there.
copyright 2006 jared von hindman. All images are used via Fair Use for review purposes. The image for Warwick Davis is the property of, well, Warwick Davis and is used mainly because I couldn't figure out what to use as a link image to his website. I hope he doesn't mind and if he does, I'll gladly replace it with a Leprechaun...or Willow...or something. Please don't sue me. Really.
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