Your luck just ran out.
Year of Release: 1993
Running Time: 92 minutes (1:32)
Director: Mark Jones
Warwick Davis ... Leprechaun
Jennifer Aniston ... Tory Reding
Ken Olandt ... Nathan Murphy
Mark Holton ... Ozzie
Robert Hy Gorman ... Alex
Shay Duffin ... Dan O'Grady
John Sanderford ... J.D. Reding
John Voldstad ... Shop Owner
Pamela Mant ... Mrs. O'Grady
William Newman ... Sheriff Cronin
David Permenter ... Deputy Tripet
A horrific Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) goes on a rampage after his precious bag of gold coins is stolen. He uses all of his magical destructive powers to trick, terrorize and kill anyone who is unlucky enough to hinder his relentless search. In a frantic attempt to survive the wrath of the Leprechaun, Tori (Jennifer Aniston) and her friends scramble to find the only weapon known to kill this Irish monster... a four leaf clover. However, until they discover a four leaf clover or return all the gold taken from the rainbow's end, their fairy tale nightmare has only just begun.
Leprechaun has several important lessons to teach, or remind us of. The self destructive nature of greed, the high likelihood that showing mercy will almost invariably come back to bite you, that if you offend a midget there's a good chance they'll reach out and crush your testicles in retaliation, but I'm going to focus on something that makes the entire movie unnecessary, had it been adhered to. Diversification. The Leprechaun has violated the most fundamental rule of finance, he's got all his eggs in one basket, or all his gold in one bag, as it were. He is completely and utterly bound to that bag of gold, it's his sole source of financial security. So when some greedy Irishman puts a 4 leaf clover to his head and threatens to pull the trigger, he's got no choice but to turn over everything he's got in this world, or melt into a puddle of unsightly goo. Then comes the hassle of tracking down the thief, torturing him into telling what's become of his scratch, running the risk of the guy dying on you before you can extract the information, it's not only a pain, it's dangerous business. If the Leprechaun had simply had an insurance policy, he could have been reimbursed the moment it was stolen. No muss, no fuss. Or better still, had he invested in the markets, stocks, bonds, maybe a nice stable IRA to draw interest off of, he wouldn't be in this mess. He wouldn't be so completely and utterly vulnerable to theft. Suppose he's never able to recover his gold, now what? The bank forecloses on his dank stone hidey hole, sends out repo men to repossess his tricycle, before you know it, he's homeless and begging on the streets. An nobody's gonna give money to a homeless Irishman, he's taking anything he gets to the pub and everyone damn well knows it. So let this be a lesson to you, diversify, make your money work for you, don't become a slave to your money like the poor leprechaun did.
The movie begins with the leprechaun minding his own business, counting and fondling his gold. I'd like to point out that, with the exception of still living in his mother's basement, he's done absolutely nothing wrong. He's content to sit in his dank pit and finger his gold. Shortly thereafter we see a chauffeur, whose drawn the short straw and been forced to serve as the designated driver for the evening, bringing a drunken Irishman home from the pub. The limousine pulls up to a real toilet of a hovel and out pops an old woman who looks like a house fell on her sister. She immediately starts to harsh the Irishman's buzz, so he cracks open an urn full of gold coins an explains to her that they'll never be hungry again because he caught a leprechaun while he was in Ireland. Never mind that he's committed armed robbery against the leprechaun, oh no. Talk about being treated like second class citizens. So the Irishman goes to hide the gold, because it's much safer in the rusted out frame of an old truck than in a bank, while the wicked witch goes back into the house to make him some tea. Then the suitcase starts singing like the little girls skipping rope in A Nightmare on Elm Street, so the witch opens it up so the kid will stop putting wrinkles in the Irishman's slacks, but instead, an angry dwarf with hellacious Psoriasis of the face jumps out an rolls the bones down the basement stairs. When the Irishman returns from hiding the gold, he finds that the little creep has killed his sea hag. The Irishman is pissed. He opens up his sock drawer and pulls out the heavy artillery and scares the poor leprechaun half to death with it, then shoots him a couple times until he runs down into the basement. O'Grady (the Irishman) shoots 'em a few more times, which makes him go night night for a couple minutes, and gives O'Grady enough time to scoop slam the little guy into a crate and nail it shut. He puts the heavy artillery on top so the leprechaun can't possibly escape, pours him a few pints of gasoline, and is just about to commit Leprecide when the leprechaun uses his magic to blow out the match and give O'Grady a stroke that looks strangely like a heart attack. O'Grady goes down and the leprechaun is saved. But he's stuck in the crate, without so much as a deck of cards.
10 years later Jennifer Aniston's dad buys the hovel and forces her to be in the movie since she doesn't have any star power yet and can't say no. So Jennifer's pissed the entire movie because she's gonna be on Friends soon and she really doesn't want this attached to her resume. Her dad's hired the male stripper from Summer School, the fat guy from Teen Wolf and the little boy from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead to paint their house red and blue because that's how they do things in North Dakota. Ozzie (the fat one) goes down into the basement because the Nightmare on Elm Street girls are singing again, knocks the clover off of the crate, and before you know it, the band is back together. Nobody believes Ozzie because he's got 45 counts of filing false police reports on his record in addition to being a few fries short of a Happy Meal. But that's okay, because Ozzie spots a magic rainbow in the sky and he knows something's up. Nobody else does, because they don't seem to realize that rainbows don't generally appear in a cloudless, sunny sky. So they find the gold at the end of the rainbow, Ozzie swallows one of the coins, and despite the highly likelihood of him dying of heavy metal poisoning, nobody seems too concerned when they find out. Then the leprechaun puts the bite on Jenn's dad an they have to take 'im to the leprechaun bite ward of the local hospital. Meanwhile Ozzie and Alex take one of their coins to "Collectables Joe's Coins" to see if they can sell it for enough money to get out of the movie. But the shop owner has an abridged copy of coin images and the chapter on leprechaun currency is missing, so he doesn't know what it's worth, or that he might be in danger. By this time the leprechaun has commandeered a tricycle an peddled his way into town, because all that Irish beer has given him quite a paunch and he could stand to lose a few pounds. The leprechaun's had about enough of the law doing nothing to help him recover his stolen property so he takes matters into his own hand and takes a bite out of crime, then makes like Little Spike Dudley and jumps up an down on the shop owner (only he's on a pogo stick) until he agrees to stop breathing. With that pleasantness out of the way, he spots a pimped out ride in the corner, gives the tricycle the heave ho, an gets his motor runnin'.
Having secured a new ride, the leprechaun is headed back to the hovel to crack some skulls when Barney Fife pulls him over an starts givin' him the business. He's already running behind schedule so he makes like Kerry Von Erich an puts the iron claw on the cop an mutilates his face a little bit. So the cop runs like hell for Mayberry or... wherever he's going, anywhere but back to his car where he might potentially be able to escape, but eventually the little ugmo catches up to him an spins his head around like Linda Blair. All the while Jenn and company are at a greasy spoon having philosophical debates about eating meat and why water that doesn't come in a bottle is indigestible. Having finally arrived at the hovel, the leprechaun is now making sure they haven't hidden his gold in the kitchen cabinets and utensil drawer, when his OCD takes hold of him and forces him to shine all the shoes in the house. Then Jenn and company return to the hovel and determine that a shoe shining bear that didn't eat any of their food has broken into the house and they have to clean up. Next thing, the leprechaun's outside making tricycle bell noises and that doesn't sit well with Jenn and company, so Nathan (the beefcake) goes outside to see what the Shriners are doing in the front yard and stumbles into a conveniently placed bear trap. The bear trap doesn't have any teeth on it, but Nathan whines and complains quite a bit just to make it look good. The leprechaun tries to ask about his gold but Nathan goes Dick Cheney on him an he never gets the chance. Then Jenn and company realize they need to talk to O'Grady so he can advance the plot, so Nathan and Ozzie trigger an OCD panic attack on the leprechaun by throwing shoes out in the dirt. It works, and Jenn gets to the old folks home where the leprechaun chases her around to the attention of no one in the entire facility. She gets into an elevator where O'Grady had been waiting since the last time we saw him, to crash through the ceiling head first and tell her how to kill the leprechaun, after which he expires. So Jenn motors back on out to the hovel an starts looking for the great equalizer an... god damn this is getting way too long. Well let's not spoil the ending, anyway.
Leprechaun is a great example of what horror/comedy should be. A lot of the time, movie makers set out to make a horror/comedy, and what usually happens is the comedy gets too thick and that's what it becomes. But Leprechaun has just the right mix of seriousness and silliness. It was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid, I'd show it to all my friends, talk about it with the other kids, it really seemed like the greatest movie ever made for a time. Of course, kids don't have much appreciation for most of the elements that make movies great, so that fact that this was missing a lot of basic stuff that raises a movie from just "good" to great, not only didn't occur to me, but was completely irrelevant. I had a hideous little monster that was setting the gold standard for what horror movies ought to be. I suppose not much has really changed. I still really enjoy the movie, but can now see its problems, and so appreciate it more for it's silliness, rather than an earth shattering epic. The special effects are really well done, all conventional, all reasonably authentic in appearance. I suppose in that one regard, Leprechaun is still what all new horror movies should strive to be. A movie with some believable looking special effects. The soundtrack is one of my favorites of any horror movie ever made. Like the content of the movie, you've got both serious and comedic tracks, and they both blend perfectly into their respective scenes. It's also got reasonably good acting talent, all of the central characters had been in movies before this, they'd had opportunities to develop as actors, and even by the standards of the serious whiners, you cannot consider this movie poorly acted. There are definitely different levels of acting ability to be seen in various different movies, which is usually based upon budget. But it's important to realize that just because it's not fantastic acting, does not mean it's bad acting. If I have a really well prepared dinner tonight, and tomorrow I have something easier and not as enjoyable, that does not mean that tomorrow's dinner was a shit sandwich, it just means it wasn't as good as the night before. I don't think enough people think about the acting in movies the way they should. Good, better, best. And of course, there is the legitimately bad.
Overall, Leprechaun is a lot of fun. For those of you that might be stuck up, or just unfamiliar with what that means, ultimately there are 3 types of movies. Good movies, bad movies, and fun movies. Fun movies are directly between good and bad. They cannot be taken seriously enough to be considered truly great, but they have far too much sophistication, charm, or heart to ever be considered bad. Leprechaun has charm. Lucky charms. Warrick Davis is one of my favorite actors, and while these days he'll forever be known for his work in the Harry Potter series, he would have otherwise been immortalized as the Leprechaun. But I hold no ill will towards him, he made a lot of really enjoyable movies for people like me, and then he moved on to where the money was. Many of the great ones in the horror genre do it eventually, as long as they're talented enough for Hollywood to have them. Does that make them sell outs? I suppose that depends on whether or not they develop an over inflated ego and want to forget that they used to be that girl that took her top off and ran away from the slasher, or that guy filmed battling a rubber monster to the death. They, are sell outs. They also enjoy lying to themselves. They're not better than this genre, this genre helped get them to where they are today. I must also comment about something I would prefer I had never seen today, as I was looking up some statistics for Leprechaun. There is an upcoming reboot of the Leprechaun series, because, that's something that needs to be done. But never mind that, remakes happen more often than new movies these days. Everything you once held dear will be defiled, butchered, or outright violated, in time. It may seem harmless now, but wait until they start remaking movies from other genres as frequently as they remake horror flicks. Then you'll be crying out of the other side of your face. Anyway, the midget wrestler, Hornshwaggle, (real name Dylan Postl), is going to be stepping in as the new leprechaun. Reading that was like getting kicked in the balls real real hard an then having my face shat on. Lion's Gate, you really shouldn't do things that you can't take back. But yeah, Leprechaun, 1993 version, good movie, give it a watch if you're not too good to be seen in a bar that doesn't have a cover charge.