Leprechaun 3

Welcome to Vegas... the odds are you won't leave alive.

Year of Release: 1995
Genre: Horror/Comedy
Rated: R
Running Time: 90 minutes (1:30)
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith


Warwick Davis ... Leprechaun
John Gatins ... Scott McCoy
Lee Armstrong ... Tammy Larsen
John DeMita ... Fazio
Michael Callan ... Mitch
Caroline Williams ... Loretta
Marcelo Tubert ... Gupta


He's back! The Leprechaun is on the loose again, this time trying his luck in Las Vegas.

The terror begins when a young college student (Scott) gives a beautiful magician's assistant a lift into town.

Once in Vegas, Scott can't resist taking a turn at the roulette wheel. He has a run of bad luck and loses all his money. To win it back he decides to pawn his Rolex watch, but while at the pawn shop he finds one of the Leprechaun's gold shillings. A single piece of Leprechaun's gold, he discovers, will grant the fondest wish of the one who holds it.

Thanks to the lucky coin, Scott goes on a winning streak. Unfortunately, the Leprechaun knows his coin is missing and he will gladly kill to get it back.


Leprechaun 3, remindin' us that nothin' gold can stay. Between leprechauns, the I.R.S., an alimony payments, there's just barely enough copper left to scrape together a livin' for us regular folks. An speakin' of payin' off old debts, Billy Hilliard an I got bored an decided to cruise on out to Lake Gunkamucka an slap rocks into Aesop Marlin's ice fishin' hole this past weekend. Wasn't really any reason for it, the guy's just a jerk, an eventually he'll get mad enough to start chuckin' the rocks back an end up slippin' like a Looney Tunes character on a banana peel an landin' flat on his hinder. Apparently, though, he'd gotten wise to us an bought 'imself a shanty, so instead we just hammered a coupla wedges under one side an tipped it over. He chased us about halfway to the bank before finally losin' his footin' an slidin' all the way to the dock where he ended up crotched on one of the legs, so that was an added bonus.

Nevermind that, I dunno why I even brought that up, cause the real story starts on the way back. See, we were headin' on home an came across this Prius on the side of the road that looked like somebody air dropped one of Carrie Fisher's monthly cocaine shipments onto the hood, an not too far away we spot one of Skunky Hernandez' cows with this look on its face like its gut magnets were pluggin' its poopchute. This ain't really all that surprisin', cause Skunky don't keep his cattle fenced in worth a dang, an in my experience, any rig smaller'n the space shuttle that runs into one is gonna have an experience exactly like an old Munsters rerun where Herman'd get hit by a car. Cow was fine, but this kinda thing coulda spelled bad news for Skunky an the Grime Time, so Billy an I rolled down all the windows in the Topaz an stuffed the cow in the backseat while it was stunned until we could get it back to Skunky's ranch. Oh an Skunky, if you're readin' this, you owe me a new set of floor mats an a detailin' job, cause that cow ate the mats an left a... well, let's just say my upholstery's never gonna be the same. Cept when we got to the cattle guard at Skunky's place, Sheriff Hardassian was already out there with some yuppie from Tacoma screamin' about the car, so we hadda hide the evidence until they finally left (incidentally, always put a traction strip in your bathtub if you plan on hidin' a cow in there). Skunky said afterwards that the lady wanted the cow put on death row for vehicular homicide, but I don't think Judge Wrathis is gonna believe a cow could do that to 'er rig without at least leavin' a terrified potty on the asphalt. Skunky's helpful attempt at reparations involved concession stand coupons for the Grime Time, so now she's added attempted murder to the list of charges. I'm not real worried about it though, cause the alleged incident occurred less than 100 yards from a cow crossin' sign, an my attorney, Cletus Rubenstein, assures me that the cow had right of way. Far as I'm concerned it's prolly best for that lady to be off the roads anyway, cause to miss somethin' that big she hadda be textin', changin' CDs, puttin' on lipstick, AND eatin' a Big Mac all at once.

An in case that ain't an ugly enough sight for ya, in honor of Saint Patrick's Day, this week we got Leprechaun 3, which is not only the third best Leprechaun movie in the series up to that point, but also the ONLY entry to feature both a guy bein' electrocuted by a prototype Japanese sex robot, an His Lepness playin' the air guitar after showin' up an Elvis impersonator. Nobody ever gives Brian Trenchard-Smith credit for havin' the guts to do that. People'd say "hey, chunkhead, it's supposed to be direct-to-video, not direct to an abandoned landfill in Chillicothe, Oklahoma", but Brian, he'd just laugh an make Warwick Davis bite off some foreigner's big toe an catch Athlete's Foot of the gums cause the Pope never did get around to washin' that Mediterranean sewer lagoon water off of 'em. Ya know what else Brian never let influence his artistic vision? Series canon. An for that reason it's imperative that we peruse some of the more interestin' facts from Part 3 that didn't mean diddly squat in the first two movies, but which may prove ultra important in this movie since Brian refused to shell out the $2.50 to rent the first two flicks. First, leprechaun wishes are *way* better than genie wishes, as they don't seem to trigger a buncha nasty, unforeseen details. Like, remember on I Dream of Jeannie how Larry Hagman'd wish for a hero sandwich an end up in a threesome with Jesse Owens an George Washington? You don't get that with the leprechaun wishes. Which is too bad, cause it woulda been funny to watch the jazz-handed sissy turn into Houdini's corpse when he wished to be the world's greatest magician. Second, discussin' the merits of underpant design with your boss brings whole new meaning to the term "awkward small talk." An third, if you're terrified of costume jewelry, Vegas prolly isn't the best place to spend your vacation.

Here's what I wanna know though: who's the Lepreman been bribin' at the I.R.S. to conceal the fact that he's obviously got WAY more than 100 of those shillins? I mean, look at the size of that pot, then check out the width of a single coin. Go ahead, just try tellin' me that there's only 100 of those sumbitches in there. You can see at least 20 just from a standard top-down view, so we're talkin'... oh I dunno, more like a THOUSAND of 'em in there, an the guy's only claimin' 100 on his income taxes. Lil Nasty's obviously retained the same tax specialists as the president if he's gettin' away with this, but does anyone do anything about it? Nope. Us poor people get audited at a *far* higher rate than rich folks, an it's cause they know we can't afford to fight it, an I'm startin' to get just a little bit P.O.'d about all the fat cats payin' $3 a year an gripin' about needin' to "restructure" the tax code. Buncha crooked, cheap bastards, that's what I say. Ole Leperface, after losin' his fortune twice already, won't even shell out $10 for a coin counter to make sure he ain't missin' any shillins, it's pathetic. Guy counts 'em out one at a time whenever his paranoia gets the best of 'im, an ya know why? To rub his fortune in all our faces. I'm puttin' in a call to the I.R.S. right this minute. I'm done subsidizin' his Leprecan, the little tax cheat's goin' down this year, an I hope they rip the buckles off his boots an take 'im to the cleaners until he's got nothin' left but the decay on his fangs.

The movie begins in Sin City where this guy who looks like he pulled four tours in Koreitnam heads into a pawn shop to sell a statue of a chromified gnome for gas money before the timeshare gestapo catches up with 'im an forces 'im to listen to Alan Thicke talk about Tahiti Village until he develops cancer of the eardrum. He accepts a $20 an tells the shop owner not to remove the ostentatious blingstone from around the statue's neck, but the guy does it anyway an next thing you know the melanoma-faced midget comes out of his shell an starts castin' Freddy Krueger silhouettes on the wall while the guy's gropin' his gold. The Dublin Destroyer is P.O.'d, so he Mike Tysons the guy's ear an starts chowin' down on his toemale stand, only when he goes to finish the job the guy shields 'imself with the blarney stoner necklace thingie an just about scares the Lep out of his Wicked Witch socks before he makes a tactical retreat into the storage room. Elsewhere, some awestruck hick who's never driven on pavement (Scott) before gets mesmerized by all the flashin' lights like a moth flyin' into a bug zapper an just about runs over this gal tryin' to hitch a ride to work (Tammy). Then he gets caught in her headlights an spends the next 10 minutes with his mouth hangin' open in case the clasps on 'er bra give out an those suckers come flyin' outta there like a wine cork, an tries his best to nod an grunt every few minutes so it'll look like he's followin' what she's sayin'. Eventually they make it to the casino where Scott begs 'er to smuggle 'im in inside 'er cleavage so he can hang out watchin' ruined ex-businessmen cavort around with washed up showgirls who've got skin like Harley Davidson jackets. Meanwhile, the proprietor of the Con & Pawn is watchin' his Encarta CD-Rom disk on folkloric drunks an gainin' insight into the biting Irish, an once he's pretty sure he knows what he's down against he heads into the storage area where he's promptly shot in the arm by an enchanted Cupid sculpture. Course, by now Darby O'Kill is really hacked off after realizin' he's missin' a shilling, but just before the guy's skull gets cast to co-star in "Dorf on Croquet" he stuffs the charm into the Celtic Crank's mouth an makes 'im spew out about a pint of green Alka Seltzer foam like Linda Blair.

Let it never be said that this guy ain't willin' to haggle, cause despite havin' various parts of his body impaled an processed into Leprecrap, he leaves the door open to negotiate a piece treaty that'll allow 'im to keep what few pieces he's still got intact. He also wants half the gangrene machine's gold in exchange for the medallion, which is such an insultin' offer that Yucky Charms has no choice but to reel in the amulet with a fly rod an strangle 'im to death with the phone cord while he's tryin' to lodge a complaint with Little People of America. Prolly shoulda offered 'im a partnership an a gesture of goodwill, like rebrandin' it The Lepre-Pawn or somethin', but that's what greed'll do if you ain't careful. In the meantime, Scott's been so sucked in by all the neon, craps table groupies, an the irresistible urge to get Wayne Newton's autograph, that he decides to cash in his college tuition money an get ripped off at the roulette table by Stretch from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, whose nickname makes a lot more sense now that 'er mammaries've gone metronome on 'er an taken up residence on either side of 'er navel. Then she convinces 'im to go hock his watch at the pawn shop now that he's got 'er on the ropes, only when he gets there he finds the 25% off on all merchant-guys liquidation sale an the missin' coin, an hears the computer software mention the free wish that comes standard on every coin. So he wishes he were back at the casino on a hot streak an vanishes just before gettin' Liverdanced by the Irish clogger, an next thing you know Scott's luggin' around more chips than a Ruffles truck. Tammy is P.O.'d, an not just cause she's stuck playin' second fiddle to a homosexual Chandler Bing (The Great Fazio) at a poorly attended magic show, but then Scott tells 'er he wants to take 'er to down to the Drive-Thru Chapel of Holy Sanctimony an get married by a Tom Jones impersonator. Course, now that she knows he wants to share all his illegal under-aged winnins with 'er that changes things, so she starts considerin' hitchin' 'er giddyup to 'im an tells 'im to lock his hinder in his room an not to make dates with any women who have stretch marks on their lips, an that they can discuss it once she's done leanin' over an makin' boners magically appear.

Unfortunately, Stretch was watchin' Scott's coin move to the winnin' roulette numbers on its own, so she gets Fazio to go rootin' around in his room like Rip Taylor through a prop trunk an Fazio ends up havin' to slug Scott right in his corn-fed carcass before tossin' a ninja smoke bomb an sashayin' it on outta there. An in case that don't already suck enough, the coin's a pretty powerful blip on the ole Lepradar, so once he gets done playin' air guitar with Elvis an makin' a debt collector barf up slot machine tokens like Stevie Starr, His Weeness heads up to Scott's room an gnaws his arm like a pitbull with an elk shoulder til Scott jams a steak knife into his forehead an tosses 'im out the window like an unfaithful lover's CD collection. Suffice to say, The Lep's Irish eyes ain't doin' much smilin' right now, but Scott's got problems of his own, cause now he's got Willow Spillo from the gushing head wound in his bite, an every time he looks in the mirror his reflection's grown Billy Ray Sideburns an a nasty set of face herpes. But while that's goin' on, Fazio an Stretch're discoverin' their kyped coin predicts the roulette wheel about as good as Criswell predicted the success of an Ed Wood movie, an pretty quick the casino manager (Mitch) drops by an confiscates it as collateral until Stretch can reacquire the cash she lost to Scott. Then we've got what may well be the most forced, busted ass excuse for a segue in cinematic history, when Stretch starts makin' barnyard animal noises an crackin' jokes about how Mitch hasta use the equator for a belt an questionin' his ability to get a woman to touch 'im, an I don't wanna spoil it cause you've just gotta see it, but eventually Tammy comes up as an example of a chick who's hopelessly out of his league, an Mitch ends up wishin' to get with that while he's holdin' the coin. This causes Tammy to turn bimbo faster'n a sorority house fulla Girls Gone Wild executives an start talkin' like Loretta Tortelli en route up to Mitch's room, which appears to have been decorated by the same guy who did Quagmire's place. That's why we needed that segue, cause despite the fact that it woulda popped out a baby if it'd been any more labored, now Stretch knows the coin only works if you wish for somethin'.

So she sneaks up to Mitch's room an swipes the coin just before Tammy's about to drop 'er top. Once Tammy regains 'er brains she buries 'er knee right in Mitch's fluffernutters an ends up gettin' 'er can canned for sendin' profoundly mixed signals. It's alright though, cause about that time Saint Splatrick takes control of Mitch's TV an flips over to pay-per-screw til this gal with a coupla jello molds bolted onto 'er chest crawls outta the TV an starts openin' up the drain for his plumbin' snake. Cept then the illusion changes into somethin' real, an that somethin' happens to be a hot-wired cyborg with rubber trainin' boobs, but by the time Scott an Tammy get up there to settle his hash browns for tryin' to Cosby her casabas, they're a little late, an he's already torn. Then Mitch's debt collectors show up an the four leaf cleaver shamrocks 'em like a hurricane, an while that's goin' on, Stretch is downstairs wishin' for 'er slack bra'd yo-yo yams to retract so she'll look like she did back in Chainsaw Part 2. Course, she can't resist showin' the girls off to Fazio, an he promptly snatches the coin an runs off to wish he was a good enough magician to open for Siegfried an Roy, but, as usual, the banshee basher is about one theft behind the script, an when he finds out Stretch don't have his coin he makes all 'er assets swell up like a coupla dotcom bubbles that explode like Bill Clinton on an intern. Looks just like Kitana's "Kiss of Death" fatality from Mortal Kombat II, cept a little dryer. Elsewhere, Scott an Tammy head to the pawn shop to try figurin' out why Scott can't stop talkin' like Michael Flatley an grabbin' his gut bucket like he just ordered the Rabie Back Ribs from The Rural Mural, an end up findin' The Lep's coin collection. The Video Professor disk on leprechauns is still ramblin' on an on in the background, an so Tammy realizes they've gotta melt the gold down into little commemorative Vegas souvenir shot glasses to kill the leprechaun, only in the meantime Scott's gone Anna Nicole Smith on 'er an refuses to destroy the stash. This flick's got the attention span of a chihuahua on an LSD trip, so since there ain't really a good place to cut it off, I figure I'll just go ahead an do it here.

Alrighty, well, as it turns out, what happens in Vegas probably shouldn't have. Only kidding of course. Leprechaun 3 isn't all that bad. Still, it seems like most people think it's the best in the entire series, which is just not something I can get behind, or even wrap my head around. I realize that damn near nobody is gonna agree with my ratings for the first two movies, because I not only like them a lot, but also feel they have decent production values. Some people can get behind that first part, but not many will agree with the second assertion, and that's fine, to each their own. But can you really tell me with a straight face that Part 3 was better *made* than the first two? I'll grant that for a flick shot in 14 days, Part 3 comes off surprisingly well under the circumstances, but generally speaking, it's inferior to the first two movies in just about every way. So obviously, the difference of opinion between me and the folks who prefer Part 3 is gonna come down to one's appreciation for this flick's comedic aspects. I'm generally skeptical of horror/comedies because I haven't found a whole lot of them that can maintain that delicate balance, and Leprechaun 3 definitely spreads the comedy on way too thick, in my opinion. I think it's the rhyming that does it, because while the first two flicks did utilize a little of it, it's really forced and overdone this time around. Although it would be fair to say that that particular issue is part of a greater problem that extends to nearly all the dialog in the movie. For instance, what the heck was the deal with that big emotional scene where Scott finds Tammy after her brainwashin' wears off and she goes into how that wasn't the first time something like that'd happened. You mean she'd been mind controlled by evil leprechaun magic and forced to talk like Jennifer Tilly and strip for a fat character actor before? What the hell's WRONG with this casino? Seriously though, I see what the script is driving at, and my question is: why would you go all serious on us, completely out of left field, in a movie whose primary selling point is the presence of an evil mythical critter that likes to chop off people's faces with lawn mower blades? I mean, did anyone feel that little roofie PSA was a powerful sequence that helped break down walls and destigmatize a terrible experience, while simultaneously adding depth to the character? Show of hands? Anybody? Or did it kinda fall flat and make you question the motives of the guy who wrote it, given that we'd just watched a porn star crawl out of a TV set and electrocute that same fat letch not 60 seconds prior? Prolly that second thing. So here's a free tip for any aspiring writers out there: cramming a serious message about society's ills into an otherwise comedic movie kinda trivializes whatever good intentions you might have had, and also makes you look like a hack with no sense of timing. Oh, also, when they go to confront the guy about it, Scott addresses him as "sir." Like, ya know, maybe he actually did this, but he had a good reason, so there's no reason to be disrespectful.

In any event, we prolly oughta start gnawin' this thing's toe a little bit to find out if the series has any kick left in it. The plot, if you're able to ignore all the canonic violations, will probably prove acceptable to most people. But as for me, I can't stand it when a series starts changing the rules and pretending others never existed for the sake of their latest, greatest vision. So when the *ONLY* way to kill the leprechaun changes for the third time in as many movies, yeah, that kinda bugs me. You could argue that the coins always granted wishes, since nobody ever tried before, but in Part 2 having possession of one actually kept the leprechaun from harming you. Course, it *didn't* do that in the original, so I guess they changed courses on that again. Nevermind that vampire/zombie rules now also apply to leprechauns. I should prolly stop bringin' any more of these examples up before people start gettin' the idea I take my leprechauns too seriously, but the bottom line is that there's probably not another horror franchise that changes and drops rules as often as this one. The acting is a mixed bag, with some good performances, and some bad ones. That's not really unusual, right? Most low budget movies have at least a few burnt out bulbs in the ole cinematic Light Bright, so what's the big deal? Well, the bad ones come from two of the three most important characters. Supporting cast is actually pretty good, though. Caroline Williams is great, as always, John DeMita is just ridiculous enough as Fazio to be endearing, the two debt collectors that have the pro/con discussion about different styles of underpants are hilarious, Marcelo Tubert is fun as the profoundly stupid, yet resilient pawn shop owner, and Michael Callan is a consummate professional as the sleazy casino manager. Warwick Davis is still excellent as The Leprechaun, and seems to be really enjoying himself in this one more than the previous two entries (which makes sense, as he's said this was his favorite entry in the series), but John Gatin and Lee Armstrong are totally green, no pun intended. Part of it is the dialog, to be sure; however, that excuse doesn't hold enough water to wash away all the stink emanatin' from this thing.

Here's who matters and why (Besides Warwick Davis, who's only the best dwarf actor workin' today. Sorry Pete, but it had to be said): John Gatins (Pumpkinhead II, Witchboard 2), John DeMita (Halloween 2007, Without Warning 1994, Child of Darkness Child of Light), Michael Callan (Freeway 1988), Caroline Williams (Seed 2, Hatchet III, Monsterpiece Theatre Volume 1, The Unleashed, The Profane, Exhibit, Contracted, Abolition, Sebastian, Halloween II 2009, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Stepfather II), Marcelo Tubert (Tremors 2, Vampire in Brooklyn, Masque of the Red Death 1989), Tom Dugen (Ghostbusters 2, Hellraiser IV, The Puppet Masters, Nightwish, Brothers in Arms), Leigh-Allyn Baker (Shrunken Heads), Richard Reicheg (The Tripper), Ian Gregory (Absentia, Pinocchio's Revenge), Roger Hewlett (They Crawl), Steven Swadling (Devil in the Flesh), Merle Kennedy (May, Nemesis 1992, Night of the Demons 2, Dollman), Rod McCary (Night of the Demons 2, Komodo vs. Cobra, Raptor, 976-EVIL II), Zoe Trilling (Night Terrors, Dr. Giggles, Night of the Demons 2, The Borrower, Amityville 4), Henry Young (Monster High). In addition to Leprechaun 3, which is no doubt the title each cast member lists first on their resume, Michael Callen starred as Clay Boone alongside Jane Fonda an Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou, and Leigh-Allyn Baker went on to play Amy Duncan on Good Luck Charlie, as well as Ellen on Will and Grace. Inexplicably, most cast members' careers tend to end, or shift into voice over work after this flick, it's the damnedest thing.

The special effects aren't too bad. We've got the chewed off ear (which foreshadows the Holyfield/Tyson incident by two years, so they didn't just rip that off) and the toe scene, both of which look good, the bite on the arm (someone seems to have forgotten that there should be a chunk missing, because it's basically just a coupla black jaw marks), the dummy being tossed out the window (not terrible for a dummy, but it's still pretty obvious), the eyeball on a stick (decent), the Caroline Williams explosion (pretty good, but way too dry), Scott's leprechaun makeup (a bit on the cheesy side), and the big chainsaw finale (excellent). And last but not least, Warwick Davis' leprechaun makeup, still holding up very well. So nothing mind-blowingly awesome, but we're mostly on solid footing here. The shooting locations (or the setting at least, as most of the movie wasn't really filmed in Vegas) may be the one aspect of the movie that edges any part of the previous two. The potential for a good story is bolstered by a location like Las Vegas, where deception and rigged outcomes are often considered commonplace. Of course, said parlor tricks are no match for actual magic, which makes for some interesting possibilities when you've got a character like The Leprechaun. The casino interiors were all filmed in the Ambassador Hotel in L.A., but the set designers did a decent job of creating a casino inside the place, and the pawn shop across the street isn't too bad either. With regard to the pawn shop, though, it's pretty bare. Normally if you go into a pawn shop there's at least three pounds of crap per square foot, including the walls; so yeah, could've used a few more props in there. The soundtrack's featured themes are excellent (which is to be expected, because the first two movies had great music as well), but there's very little variety. The opening track that plays during the credits probably plays for a good twenty minutes in this thing, which tends to make the movie look a little cheap. It is at least a good, catchy track, so that mitigates a lot of the damage, but hearing it over and over does leave you feeling like some corners were cut. So the music, while definitely not as good as the first two, and a bit overplayed, is still a net positive. Overall, I *like* the movie well enough, but it's noticeably inferior to the first two on a technical level, and the excessive comedy is, in my opinion, a detriment. That said, if heavy doses of comedy don't bother you, there's a good chance you'll like it better than the first two, but either way, it's still well paced and pretty entertaining, so I recommend checking it out regardless.

Rating: 68%