Seven movies later, and the “Leprechaun” movie series is still alive and kicking. I fondly remember watching the original movie on a VHS rental back in 1995, and studios have found it a necessity to keep the saga of our demonic little person going. After the horrendous re-imagining of the series from 2014 that tried to turn the Leprechaun in to a faceless beast, “Leprechaun Returns” gets back to what made the original movie series so entertaining and deliciously silly. Sans Warwick Davis, the original Leprechaun, of course (he declined to star in horror films for a little while).
So apparently, not only does the leprechaun value his gold beyond all else, but he also requires a bride, too. His convoluted rules are that if the bride sneezes three times and no one but the leprechaun blesses her, he can marry her and she’s eternally bound to the knee high monster. The sequel to “Leprechaun” opens in ancient Ireland, where the leprechaun agrees to free his man servant, once he chooses his bride. Unaware the bride is the servant’s gorgeous daughter the servant outwits the leprechaun, causing him to look elsewhere for his bride. Which takes a thousand years on St. Patrick’s Day, for some reason.
I remember the first time my brother and I asked my parents if we could rent “Leprechaun” from the video store. My dad responded with “No way! You guys won’t be able to look at a box of Lucky Charms for a month!” Suffice it to say he did rent it after we begged, and not only did the movie not scare us, but it bored us to tears. You can just sense that writers behind the concept were running low on mythical monsters to turn in to horror villains. Trolls were taken, as were elves, so the leprechaun seems like a logical but failed next step.
It’s not like the Leprechaun was a horror icon in the ilk of Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees, but one of the aspects of his movie that made them somewhat bearable was Warwick Davis. His personality and good humor shone through the crap that was the “Leprechaun” series. In one fell swoop WWE Films, and Lionsgate take the entire series and completely sap out the life, appeal, and dark comedy in favor of a really stock monster movie where absolutely nothing happens. All of the lore and mythos that the original series tried to implant with their small monster is gone and we’re given a very dull and lifeless horror film.
Oh, leapin’ Irish stereotypes! “Leapin Leprechauns!” from Charles Band studio Moon Beam is not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s probably the most baffling I’ve seen in a good while. The film takes literally a half hour to get the actual plot in motion, and we spend about twenty long minutes on a leprechaun council meeting where the leprechauns and fairies argue and bicker non-stop. As for a villain of the piece, we don’t meet the evil menace until there’s only ten minutes left in the actual movie. I couldn’t understand why the villain was introduced before the credits actually began, but the writers fails to muster up an interesting bad guy.