With St. Patrick’s Day upon us next week, it is time to delve into horror that isn’t about falling face-first into a pool of your own green-beer enticed vomit. Instead, we will be breaking down horror movies based on the Irish. Our sequel breakdown follows the sequel of Leprechaun with, yup, Leprechaun 2. The sequels stayed that simple towards the beginning of the franchise.
Movie: Leprechaun 2 (1994)
Plot: A leprechaun tries to celebrate his birthday, which happens to be on St. Patrick’s Day, by getting married, but is cock-blocked by his slave. 1000 years later, the leprechaun is stalking the slave’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandaughter (Does that add up? I counted the lineage map in the opening credits) in Hollywood, and only the girls’ deadbeat boyfriend stands in his way.
Killer: An evil Leprechaun that loves nothing more than ripping people’s body parts off for their gold teeth and rings.
Critique: All film sequels are cursed to be compared to their original counterparts. This is even more prevalent during the 70s, 80s and 90s when most sequels were named after their predecessor with a number after it.
Leprechaun 2 is one of those films. Sadly, it seems to fast-forward itself into movie tropes that are reserved for sequels in the 3-9 range. Usually, a sequel will continue the story of the first film to give the audience the sense of a larger storyline. Leprechaun 2 creates an entirely new storyline, possibly with a new, but equally ugly, leprechaun. This isn’t my issue with the sequel. My issue is that Leprechaun 2 jumps into the “monster in new environments” trope much too early. The first film is set in the country, a perfect environment for a leprechaun. In Leprechaun 2, the pint-sized monster is running around Hollywood after popping out of a tree found on Harry Houdini’s property. It’s too much, too soon, even for such a campy franchise as this.
Another issue is the acting. There is no star, save Warwick Davis, and it shows. The jokes by characters not wearing green hats and buckled shoes are bland, the acting even more so. Even with the “Leprechaun Goes to Hollywood” theme, this film could have been saved by one good performance that wasn’t a total stereotype.
That’s a lot of negativity for a film, but there is some good to Leprechaun 2. The major success has to do with the deaths. Leprechaun 2 takes its R-rated label seriously, whereas the original Leprechaun had it’s “R” added on after the film was mostly shot. We have blood, boobs, and our first really Leprechaun-y death, which set the tone for the rest of the franchise and makes watching how the rest of the films unfold a worthwhile endeavor.
Scene of Awesomeness: The Leprechaun grants Morty’s wish to have his gold, and has the whole pot grow inside his stomach. What we get is an awesomely detailed distended belly, complete with a happy trail. This death is where the Leprechaun series finally hit its stride in creative death scenes.
Scene of Ridiculousness: Tony Cox offers our hero, Cody, chocolate coins while he’s in the men’s room. This is probably the most horrifying scene in the whole movie. Imagine a little person half-ass dressed as a leprechaun offering a man chocolate in the dirty men’s room of a Hollywood bar on St. Patrick’s Day. No wonder Cox looked scared shitless. He was probably hoping no-one would recognize him.
Body Count: 5
1 broken neck
1 foreplay with a lawnmower
1 steamed to death by a cappuccino maker
1 death by gold overdose (Awesomely Overkill Award)
1 rundown by a psychotic go-kart
1 pair of breasts
Actors/Actresses of Note: As far as major characters, Warwick Davis is back as the leprechaun because, really, who else could have pulled this off again? Sandy Baron has a decent supporting role, which is random considering he came fresh out of some bit parts on Seinfeld. The aforementioned Tony Cox and Clint Howard had cameos, as well as Michael McDonald before taking the reigns of MADtv.
Quote: “You may think this line is getting old, but believe me son, I want me gold!” – the leprechaun