Leprechaun (1993)

Mania Banner Leprechaun

Directed by Mark Jones

A Gaelic High top sneakers-wearing Tory (Jennifer Aniston’s first role) and her father move from the comforts of Beverly Hills to a dusty ol’ farmhouse in North Dakota. One with an angry leprechaun in the basement.

Ten years prior, a man by the name of O’Grady lived and nearly died in the fateful house. While tending to his mother’s death in Ireland, seems he bagged himself a leprechaun, forcing the critter to fork over its gold. As one would assume in these types of movies, the leprechaun turned out to be evil, traveling all the way to the States to exact revenge and reclaim its precious, precious gold. A scuffle ensued in which O’Grady’s wife and/or sister was pushed from a doorway down a flight of stairs. Thankfully, O’Grady was able to crate the ‘chaun up in his basement, sealing the fiend away with a four-leaf clover (leprechauns HATE four-leaf clovers), before succumbing to a massive, debilitating stroke.

Back in the present, Tory hates the place. “This is worse than summer camp. I’d rather sleep in a tent.” she complains — that is, until she runs into a hunky Kevin Bacon look-alike house painter. Suddenly, spiders, cobwebs and rats are the least of her troubles. Gotta get that D, girl. Our action kicks up when a second house painter, dimwitted Ozzie, brushes the four-leaf clover from atop its crate, releasing the sinister Irishman. Ozzie frantically warns the rest of the cast, but no one believes him. That stuff only happens in the movies.

Then, a rainbow appears. Ozzie and a boy that looks like a chick run off to follow it, arriving at a broken-down pickup truck. Sure enough, there’s gold in that thar truck, and yes, they take it, with plans to pay for an operation to “fix [Ozzie’s] brain.” And buy comic books, unaware of the dire ramifications to come.

“Try as they will
and try as they might,
who steals me gold
won’t live through the night.”

Oh damn!

Gaelic This is one dopey movie, used as more of a way to piece together random goofy scenes writer/director Mark Jones came up with, rather than scare, disgust, emote or wow in any way. This one’s basically nonstop sight gags and puns, such as the Leprechaun popping out of just about everything — safes, refrigerators, cabinets, chimneys, etc. — or, tailing our heroes with anything from a skateboard to a pair of skates to a tricycle, wheelchair, souped-up go-kart, even a pogo stick. Funny story, the go-kart is welded in well under a minute. Then used to rollover a pickup. Yeah.

When making a movie this dippy, it’s almost better to not have money. Then, it gives off kind of a do-it-yourself charm. Leprechaun was made with a decent budget of $900,000 — roughly the same as Hellraiser.

Unlike a lot of blatant horror-comedies, this one counterpoints the scenes mentioned above with straightforward acting, almost as if the cast was thinking this was the next Halloween. It wasn’t.

Speaking of Halloween, this one takes a few shots at (or pays homage to, I’m not really sure) some of the greats that came before it. In one scene, Kevin Bacon Guy fires away at the ragamuffyn, blasting it through a bush. When he goes to make sure it’s dead, it’s gone, just like the final scene from John Carpenter’s classic. “I put six rounds in that thing.” he gasps in amazement, channeling Dr. Loomis.

In another scene, Jennifer Aniston rips the house phone from the wall. Seconds later, it sounds, setting up an effect that’s almost identical to one from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Take a look.

Leprechaun NOES Phone Comparison

Warwick Davis (Willow, Return of the Jedi) fares ok as the title villain. Problem is, the character itself is way too zany and stupid. Think the ridiculous wise-cracking Freddy Krueger from Nightmare 4, 5 and 6, but shorter and more annoying, reciting rhyming couplets before and after each of his kills.

But hey, as a plus, the Leprechaun’s magic powers haven’t reached their full Sith Lord potential yet, like they do in the sequels. Here, he actually has to bite, scratch and batter his way through foes. We get the impression this dude can actually be killed.

A Few Questions
How’d the Leprechaun fit in that animal burrow?
How’d he weld that go-kart so fast?
Come to think of it, how’d he roll that pickup?

The Verdict
Not the best of the series, but not the worst. I guess it’s sort of a “classic” by this point, so culture yourself if you’ve never seen it.

The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999)
Troll (1986)

LeprechaunMania Shamrock Shake™ Rating: Three Shakes

Shamrock Shake Scale 3


11 Responses to “Leprechaun (1993)”

  1. I was never a huge fan. First was ok. I did enjoy the 3rd seeing the Leprechaun dress up as Elvis lol


  2. I heard at one point they were trying to make, Leprechaun vs Chucky – now that would have been awesome! They could just stand there making wise-cracks at each other!


two cents here

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