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The Blood at the End of the Rainbow: Leprechaun franchise review

| April 7, 2013

lepsmileI love being a fan of horror comedies.  I was in high school  when I really started watching and enjoying them. My friend Branden and I would hang out almost every weekend and his mom would take us to Blockbuster where we would pick some great(or not so great) horror movie. The Leprechaun franchise was always a favorite. It’s funny and gory and I spent last night watching the first 4 which I will review right here! (sorry fans of the Leprechaun in tha Hood movies, I couldn’t find them, hopefully I will have them next week).

Some people might not know that the first Leprechaun was released in theaters, yes these movies did not start out as direct to video movies. And one year before Jennifer Aniston was Rachel,she was Tory, leprechaun-posterthe spunky daughter of  her recently divorced dad. Her father purchased a house that needs a lot of work, it was owned by an old Irish couple who were murdered by an evil Leprechaun that they captured and trapped in their basement. When the Leprechaun gets out he is in search of his pot o’gold that was stolen from him and he will get it back at any cost, and that usually means killing someone in some gruesome manner. The  movie is a little silly but it is also lots of fun. Warwick Davis is absolutely killer as the devilish elf. He talks in rhymes that usually end in someone being killed, example “This old Lep, he played one, he played pogo on your lung!” The movie was a modest hit, it grossed $8 million and on a shoestring budget that meant a sequel.  This movie started a trend of taking creatures from fairy tales or folklore and turn them into horror movie villains, I saw a few, Rumpelstiltskin comes to mind, it also started a trend of having the villains be comic relief, a la Freddy Krueger.

After the success of the first movie, Leprechaun 2 was released into theaters the following year. Yes Leprechaun 2 was released in theaters it was the last of the series to be in theaters because the home video market started to boom. And studios realized that they didn’t need to spend a lot of money on prints and marketing when they were making more money just releasing it straight to video. Anyways in the second film Warwick Davis returns as the evil Leprechaun and that’s the only part of the first film that carries over. The mythology changes (this happens in every film, the Leprechaun has different weakness’ and different means of being killed.) and so too does the Lep’s motivation. He wants a bride, and is only allowed to marry every 1,000 years. He casts a spell on a girl he intends to marry that causes her to sneeze, “Sneeze once, sneeze twice, she’ll be my bride when she sneezes thrice!” She is saved if someone says “God Bless you” before her third sneeze. A father saves his daughter from this horrible fate but the Leprechaun curses his family and promises to marry a member of his bloodline, 1,000 St. Patrick Days from then. And according to historians there have been St. Patrick Day feasts as far back as the ninth century so this little detail checks out. Anyways, in a thousand years the linage finds it way to Los Angeles and so too does the Leprechaun. leprechaun-2He finds his bride, and loses a gold coin in the process. So Lep goes on a murderous rampage to retrieve it.  Warwick Davis again steals the movie. He plays the Leprechaun with such viciousness and playfulness that you really do love to hate him. Not as good as the first one but still a lot of fun.

Leprechaun 3 finds the mischievous elf in Vegas. He is brought there by a man who pawns him at a shop. Soon the Leprechaun gets out and is up to no good yet again. The Leprechaun kills the shop owner who has taken a gold schilling from him before he can tell him where it is. As the Leprechaun is searching for it a college kid who blew his tuition at the Lucky Shamrock casino enters the shop. He is going to pawn his watch when he sees the dead shop keeperlep3. He calls the police and notices the gold coin that the Leprechaun is searching for, he makes a wish to be back at the casino winning. The wish is granted and he’s back winning big. This leads to the Leprechaun to visit Las Vegas and interact with the people. Warwick Davis again is fantastic, but so too is John DeMita as the great Fazio, a washed up magician. Of all the Leprechauns this one is the most fun. It’s silly but the Leprechaun dispatches people in creative ways, making their wishes into nightmares. The Fazio death scene where he is sawed in half is gleefully gruesome.

And that leads us to the least fun Leprechaun, and that’s Leprechaun 4: In Space. I have mentioned before that the only horror icon that does well in space is Jason Voorhees in Jason X. The Leprechaun does not fare as well, but it’s not all bad. Davis plays the Leprechaun with the same passion he did in the previous films but the rest of the characters are not well fleshed out and not well acted. It also should be noted that in a series that is predicated on camp, this movie is a little too heavy on the camp. I do like the scenes where it’s a parody on Alien, with Marines searching for the Leprechaun in the vents.

I had so much fun reliving these movies. It took me back to the good old days of sleepovers, stuffed crust pizza, and Jolt Cola. The movies are still fun and I do recommend them to anyone with an evil sense of humor.



About the Author:

As far as nerds go, there are not many reeler than Ryan. His love for movies is unmatched. He also loves comic books. When you combine comic books and movies Ryan is at his happiest. He enjoys all forms of pop culture and prides himself on knowing more then average nerds. Ryan has a couple of characters he prefers over the rest, first and foremost is Spider-Man. He also loves Ash from the Evil Dead. Ryan also enjoys Finishing people in Mortal Kombat and hopping on Goombas. He has attended Comic-Con and several Starfests with his good buddy Brad. He is amazed on how awesome Brad is at designing Reel Nerds pages. But don’t tell Brad he needs to stay humbled. Favorite movie: Army Of Darkness Favorite Genres: Action, Horror, Comic Book, Comedy
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