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 leprechaun’s trip to Vegas in Leprechaun 3.
Movie: Leprechaun 3 (1995)
Plot: A leprechaun is released from his cell of stone, and wrecks havoc on the peaceful city of… Las Vegas. The only thing standing in his way of turning people’s wishes into abominations is a kid with a gambling problem who is slowly turning into a leprechaun himself and a half-naked magician’s assistant.
Killer: An evil Leprechaun that can’t stop with the limericks or the killing.
Critique: When I first saw Leprechaun 3, I didn’t know that is was a direct to video release. I saw Caroline Williams’ botoxed mug in an issue of Fangoria (I think) and rented it, thinking it had hit theaters earlier but I wasn’t old enough to even get a ride to the movie theater, much less try to buy a ticket or sneak in.
To be fair, I’m not surprised Leprechaun 3 was direct to video. Leprechaun 2 disappointed everyone except the investors, so it wouldn’t have mattered how good the third film of the series was. It wasn’t going to hit the big screen. Unfortunately, if Leprechaun 3 came before 2, we may be having a different discussion about the Leprechaun franchise.
There are a lot of problems with Leprechaun 3. Luckily, the film tries to speed through these problems as quickly as possible to get to the corned beef and potatoes at the heart of it: the hilarious horror. How does the leprechaun get to Vegas? A man missing an arm, leg, and eye, probably thanks to the leprechaun, dumps off a leprechaun statue with a medallion around its neck at a pawn shop, warning the shop owner not to take the medallion off, which the shop owner does as soon as the man leaves, of course. It’s hard to imagine that a man who could trap the leprechaun and know what he can do would risk setting the leprechaun loose again and possibly hunt him again for $20, but that’s where we are. After this ridiculous plot point, it’s easy to accept everything else. A kid on his way to college with a check for $23,000? In the 90s, no less? Believable. Right, like I would hand my kid twenty grand before driving cross-country. The destruction of a pot of gold via flame-thrower? I’m sorry, the odd disappearing of a pot of gold via flame-thrower. Yeah, believable.
What’s great about Leprechaun 3 is that, as a film, it revels in its budgetary constraints and focuses its investment in the jokes and gore: a robot with a rubber face and boobs electrocuting a scumbag while the leprechaun presents infomercials as a lawyer, a priest, and a psychic; a cartoonish botox explosion; an elvis impersonation; a boy slowly turning into a leprechaun, complete with Irish accent and limericks, after being bit by the leprechaun and being infected by green blood; a magician being chainsawed in half; Warwick Davis’ stunt-double flying around in a ball of flame. It’s enough hijinks to make us forget that there was one gold coin left.
Scene of Awesomeness: The leprechaun chainsaws a magician in half in front of an entire audience, which thinks it’s all part of the show until the leprechaun separates the box to show the magicians guts spilling out, and takes a bow for the ultimate gore punchline.
Scene of Ridiculousness: Can I say the whole movie? Seriously, I have to choose between an Elvis impersonation, fake infomercials, a sex android, a werewechaun, and limericks galore, but there is one extremely short scene that takes the crown. The leprechaun sneaks into a hospital wearing pink nurse’s scrubs, which is obviously not where Heath Ledger employed method acting for his role as Joker in The Dark Knight. No offense to Warwick Davis, but its hard to suspend belief for this scene.
Body Count: 9
1 absolute beating until finally being choked to death by a telephone cord
1 death by electro-shock sex
2 beat-downs by shillelagh, complete with eye-gouge
1 exploding death by magic body botox (Awesomely Overkill Award)
1 multiple surgical stabbings
1 leprechaun kiss of death
1 anesthesia overdose
1 injection overdose
1 pair of breasts
Actors/Actresses of Note: Warwick Davis, of course. After that, we have scream queen Caroline Williams and a pile of actors and actresses that look like celebrities, but aren’t. Elisabeth Shue? No, that was Lee Armstrong. Walton Goggins? Nah, that was John Gatins.
Quote: “For pulling this trick, I’ll chop off your dick!” – the leprechaun