For some time now, I’d been mulling over the best way to return to writing b-movie reviews. I searched long and hard for a film important enough and with such a profound influence on modern cinema that it deserved to have attention drawn to it. After days of trying to think of the perfect way to celebrate my triumphant return, I sprung from my bath just as the great scientist Archimedes did all those years ago and yelled, “Eureka! I think I have it!”.
Not only that, but I get to celebrate my Mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!) AND Saint Patrick’s Day? Well, there’s only one way, people.
Prepare for Leprechaun.
The plot itself is thin. Real thin. We’re talking Lindsay Lohan post-Mean Girls era thin or better yet, the skinny Olsen twin thin. Don’t blink or you may miss my summary of it: a family moves into a house in the country with an evil Leprechaun living in the basement. Throw in a couple wacky house painters, some idiot cops, and bam, you’ve got yourself a movie. If this is all it takes to inspire a franchise of countless sequels, I should have been a millionaire years ago. Somewhere the producers of Leprechaun are laughing heartily while bathing each other in money. My best guess is Romania.
The film’s main problem is that it tries so hard to be funny that it becomes infantile. If the Leprechaun had been straight out evil, it might’ve worked, but the movie laughs at him instead of with him. It’s too childish to be funny and too dumb to be scary. What stands for plot is the Leprechaun singing stupid rhymes, playing peek-a-boo and saying “where’s my pot of gold” way too many times. It’s almost like watching “Barney” with some bloodshed, except, instead of a goofy purple dinosaur, it’s Wee-Man.
To give the film SOME credit, it actually did capture some of the mythological properties of a leprechaun fairly accurately, or as accurately as myth will allow. I was under the impression that only elves were employed as cobblers (not the delicious fruit kind), but according to the internet, they are regularly members of that profession. This tidbit was used to a relatively humorous effect late in the film, when the main character was trying to escape and her friends threw multiple shoes at the Leprechaun and he obsessively cleaned them instead of chasing his prey. Warwick Davis’s (Willooooooooooow!) manner of dress, fixation on his gold, and child-like nature also contributed to the moderate legitimacy of his portrayal.
Should you watch Leprechaun? Perhaps, but only if you hold nostalgia for the nineties and an obsession with Jennifer Aniston’s hair. In any other circumstance, you’ll probably get bored of the under-utilized antagonist and bargain basement production values. It doesn’t help that it’s not good. Half of the fun of watching bad horror movies is seeing why the creators thought it might be scary, but watching it fail because of poor execution. However, with Leprechaun you can’t begin to fathom how the filmmakers could possibly think this stuff would be scary AND it’s poorly-executed. That’s a deadly combo.
Looks like I got you a Charlie Brown Christmas gift for your birthday, Mom: a rock.