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  • Rev Horror

Leprechaun 3

Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith (1995)

The Leprechaun goes to Vegas as the audience gambles as to whether the franchise can carry another film.

Lionsgate and Trimark learned their lesson after Leprechaun 2 bombed in theaters, deciding to send the third film in the franchise straight to video, where all great slasher series eventually end up. They did not, however, learn their lesson from other horror franchises. Leprechaun 3 is not only a terrible movie, it adds a ton of ridiculous and nonsensical details to the Leprechaun lore that not only fails to bring anything of substance to the series but also doesn't even really track with the previous two films. It's slow-moving, darting back and forth between several different storylines, and it cuts way back on the comedy in favor of a strange casino-based drama that barely even registers as a horror movie at all.

Vegas newcomer Scott (John Gatins) runs into wannabe casino magician Tammy (Lee Armstrong) on his way into town. He wants to see the big city, and he's got with him a college fund worth tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, he immediately loses it at the roulette table, so he tries to pawn some property in order to go back and try to win his money back. Unbeknownst to him, the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) has recently murdered the pawn shop owner, and when he finds a golden coin that gives him good luck, he draws in the Leprechaun's wrath. The coin passes between various people at the casino, telling the age old lesson that you should always be careful what you wish for.

There are a lot of things to absolutely hate about this entry in the series, chief amongst those is that it makes no goddamn sense at all. The first film told us that a four leaf clover was the only way to kill a Leprechaun. The second film insisted it was wrought iron. Which, fine. Ok, you evolved a little bit. But in the third entry, the Leprechaun is now scared of an amulet that has not previously made an appearance in the series. He also has the ability to infect people who come into contact with his blood, turning them into Leprechauns? How in the hell did they even come up with that? The second half of the film features Scott transforming into a Leprechaun, with green blood and wrinkled, malformed skin and everything. Why in the world the writers decided to put all that in a film that could've just been a straight forward slasher I have no idea, but in a film series that's already about as ridiculous as it can get, it becomes even moreso to the point where it's barely even fun to watch other than as a bad movie.

There's still some decent kills, and there are a few interesting ideas beyond the absurdity that I've already mentioned. In that regard, it's one that fans of the series will still want to watch. The Leprechaun is still after his gold, he's still relatively clever (though much less so than in the previous film), and there's still some decent blood and gore to be found within the film. It's just... really fucking terrible. I know the next one goes to space, but it's hard to imagine that it'll be any worse than this one. While all horror franchises eventually go the way of minimized returns, this one dropped off a cliff a whole lot faster than I would have expected.

Who this movie is for: Horror franchise fans, Leprechaun lovers, Degenerate gamblers

Bottom line: Leprechaun 3 is a really bad movie, and it's not nearly as fun as the previous two entries (even though the first movie was not great either). I will say, however, that if you get a group of friends together, this would make an excellent watchalong movie. It's dumb as hell, absolutely fucking ridiculous, and filled with contradictions and terrible ideas. Under the right circumstances, however, it could still be fun. And besides, if you've come this far in the series, and especially if you made the mistake that I did in deciding you're going to watch all of them, you're going to have to get through this one eventually. Like the others, it's streaming on Peacock, so you can check it out this holiday season.

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