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  • Rev Horror


Dir. Mark Jones (1992)

An evil leprechaun goes on a violent search for his lost gold.

What better way to ring in the day celebrating my people than a rundown of every single Leprechaun movie? Featuring the lovable Warwick Davis (at least until the two most recent entries), the series tells the story of a leprechaun (believe it or not) that is searching for his lost pot of gold. Except, get this: the leprechaun is evil! Taking advantage of a pre-existing myth, in which you receive the leprechaun's gold if you're able to catch him and force him to tell you where it is, the Leprechaun series is a fairytale-esque slasher series that leans heavy on the Irish and not so heavy on the "making good movies".

Ten years after being sealed in a box in the basement of a house by the original finder of his gold, the Leprechaun is released accidentally when JD (John Sanderford) and his spoiled rich-kid daughter Tory (Jennifer Aniston) hire a group of workers named Nathan (Ken Olandt), Ozzie (Mark Holton), and Alex (Robert Hy Gorman) to renovate the home. As the Leprechaun begins to wreak havoc, the group must fight back against the wisecracking little person to save their own lives and perhaps claim the gold as well.

If you've read any of my reviews about horror comedies before, you'll know my opinions about what makes a good one: horror comedies need to either succeed incredibly well at being funny or scary, or they need to be both together. Leprechaun, unfortunately, fulfills neither category. It's slightly funny at times, it's never scary ever, and it's so incredibly dated that it doesn't hold up at all in modern times. It's worth revisiting just to see a young Jennifer Aniston, a year before her career-making turn in Friends, and clearly the most talented out of the bunch. Even with Warwick Davis giving it his all, the movie was doomed to failure... until Aniston's role in friends brought the film a ton of new viewers and sent the film into the black.

It's a film whose main problem is that it doesn't know what it wants to be. Fights between director Mark Jones, who wanted to movie to be more of a comedy like Critters or the Child's Play series, and Lionsgate, who wanted the film to take after recent box office successes like Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street by focusing more on the gore, preventing the movie from truly selling itself in either direction. What little gore there is works relatively well, though the focus is never on scary and more on "see, we added some blood!" in an effort to please the distributors. The comedy... not so much. The movie doesn't sell out in either direction, and as a consequence never comes even close to succeeding.

Ultimately, the film does kickstart a slasher franchise. Granted, this was largely because of the presence of Aniston and the rental success her meteoric rise brought to her film debut. Money talks, however, and the studio didn't really care how the money got made, greenlighting a theatrical sequel that... well, we'll get into that shortly. As for this film, it's really only worth a watch if you're a slasher devotee (like myself) or want to see how in the hell they've managed to make eight (and soon to be nine) of these damn things. After watching, I can honestly say... I have no fucking idea. It is, however, relatively funny watching Davis' Leprechaun try to choke down a box of Lucky Charms, the cereal that (no joke) inspired the entire franchise.

Who this movie is for: Slasher faithful, B-movie fans, Coin collectors

Bottom line: Leprechaun is a bad movie, as evidenced by its dreadful 17 Metascore and as even more evidenced by watching the damn thing. It is, however, entertaining at least some of the time, relatively comparable with other cult classics of the era, and it really is interesting to see Jennifer Aniston's humble beginnings. She's decent, as is star Warwick Davis, and the little gore that there is is handled decently well. It's not, however, funny or scary in the slightest, so if you're looking for a film that's worth its weight in gold (heh), this isn't the one you're looking for. It's streaming on Tubi and Amazon Prime if you want to check it out for yourself.

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