Welcome back to part 2 in this exciting series where I talk about the phenomenon that I shall dub “sequel-itis”. To recap the rating system, I take a comprehensive look at an entire film franchise and give two separate ratings pepper mills and cheese graters. If you missed the last article about Friday the 13th, I’ll clarify, cheese graters are to represent the highs and pepper mills are the lows. The analogy I used was going to a restaurant and yeah, fresh cracked pepper is nice but too much is a bad thing. However, I think we all make the person grating the cheese fear for their fingers. Apologies to those lactose intolerant readers, my heart goes out to each and every one of you. Currently I am only covering horror franchises but could look at others in the future. for now though, Leprechaun!
This series really isn’t your conventional horror franchise, as in the killer isn’t fueled by vengeance, some flesh eating creature, or criminally insane. In fact, most of the time hes just a dick. Okay, some times its about his gold, but that only seems to be the cause when the writers remember that. Actually, that’s how the Franchise starts off. The titular Leprechaun, who is expertly played by Warwick Davis for the majority of the series, leaves his native Ireland to track down his mythical pot o’ gold all the way to North Dakota, only to get tricked and sealed away in a crate with a four leaf clover as a lock. Also, yes, the four leaf clover weakness comes and goes too. As the story goes, Leppy-boy is trapped because the man that sealed him away died from a stroke right after and eventually his farm is foreclosed on and purchased by a new family. If you go by the DVD cover, Jennifer Aniston is the only one that matters. Ill point out that another weakness that’s forgotten about in future installments is that he must clean dirty shoes, and shoes is definitely Jen’s super power. This one ends with The leprechaun getting force fed a four leaf clover via sling shot and then thrown down a well, which is then blown up and imploded on itself. This is important for continuity sake.
The next movie starts with Leprechaun clawing his way out of the well from the last one. No wait, that would have been the logical step for a sequel, but instead we get a totally different origin story for the SAME character, his name is Lubdan and is also the king and last of his species. Go ahead, Google it, I’ll wait. This would have been okay, no better, if this were a different leprechaun but we’re all supposed to believe that its the same magical homicidal maniac, and this time he’s out for a wife. The gold is still a factor here, but apparently its not the biggest deal, because this tiny terror is thinking with his balls. Did I mention this series is half comedy? Leprechaun is eventually defeated, and by that, I mean blows all the way up after being impaled with a cast-iron stake because that’s also his weakness now. And that’s it, He’s dead… except there’s 6 more movies in this series so strap in for part 3, because now, we’ve hit the realm of direct to video sequels and we’re supposed to believe this same specific leprechaun was also somehow turned into a statue by way of a magical medallion and forget that we last saw him blown the eff up. This one is widely considered the least fun watch out of the 8 movies with a whopping zero percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. At least for now this is the bad spot in the series because, yes, there’s five more of these to go through. So part three is about Leppy chasing a guy around Las Vegas in search of his lost gold coin. He never gets his coin, and in fact gets taken out by a flamethrower. What I want to know is what happened to the rest of the big ol pot of gold. I wanna know where tha gold at.
The next Masterpiece in the series of pain is a stretch, but much more fun than part three. However, they got tired of rebooting the origins every movie and just crapped all over the connotation of Irish backstories, and Earth all together because we’re going to space! This movie starts out with Leprechaun getting merc’d by a team of space marines and then bringing himself back to life by literally bursting out of a Marines junk. They really did stop trying to make a good movie here because it only gets worse. Now after both his gold and a woman, Leppy in Space makes for a movie that is part endearing, part awful. This time he gets ejected into the vast reaches of space in the finale, which I guess marks his canonical death because it takes place in the far future. Where do you go from Space? Well you come back home and ditch the numerical title system because ol Lubdan is settled in “Tha Hood” which, Ill be honest is my favorite one in this franchise. it actually has a decent story if you ignore all the leprechaun parts. In this one, we see the return of the magical stone amulet, which would lead people to believe that this series features two, maybe 3 different leprechauns, but once again, its supposed to be the same magical dude. But hey, this one has Ice-T in it in all his glory. Leprechaun actually doesn’t die in this one, in fact he becomes a rap producer, and no, I’m not kidding. Three years later we got a “direct” sequel titled Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood. Why did I put quotes around the word Direct, you ask? Well I ask where all the characters, plots, and development went from the last movie? This one has a whole new series of trouble for the Leprechaun to cause which feels lackluster in comparision to the previous outing. This one ends with Leprechaun getting encased in wet cement, seemingly killing the franchise for good, and ending Warwick Davis’ run as the titular character.
“But Josh, I thought you said there are 8 of these” you may say. Well I answer with “I wish there were, I really wish there were” I dont think I need to explain myself much when I tell you how upset and letdown I was by this movie. It was made by WWE films, following See No Evil and The Condemned and starring a dude I had seen every week, act like hes a real leprechaun in the wrestling world. I thought, “Hey, if anyone can pick up the mantle, its Hornswaggle”. I was incorrect. To save you from ever watching this crap I’ll lay it all out. Leprechaun: Origins has nothing to do with the previous films nor does it provide any insight into why or how the leprechaun can have several different origin stories and starts every movie in a manner that negates the ending of the previous film. There is NO humor, nor does the titular Leprechaun even talk, or even wear a dapper little suit. It is a naked, gremlin looking thing that lives in the forest and is attracted to gold. That’s it. Save yourself the time and just skip this one because not even the gore is enjoyable.
Lastly, I remind you to the beginning of this article. The Well. As in, Somebody actually remembered that continuity is a thing and Lubdan has been sitting at the bottom of a caved in well since the mid 90’s. This one definitely feels like a producer walked on set of the newest Halloween Re-quel and said “Let’s do this”. A sorority moves into the old Farm house 25 years later and of course this is when the only recurring character in this actual direct sequel, accidentally frees the original Leprechaun. I want to point out that Warwick Davis is not in this movie at all but Linden Porco, along with the visual effects artists, because I’ll give this final installment this: It makes up for the lackluster embarrassment that came before it. I actually recommend catching this one if you’re a fan and not letting the stigma brought on by Origins affect your choices with this one.
Ill be brief because I don’t have a lot to say about this franchise. Don’t watch it for the horror elements or you will have a bad time. Definitely watch it for the golden human being that is Warwick Davis. That being said, let’s see the final ranking.
5 out of 5 peppermills- This is going to be bad, and its going to hurt for most of the time, but there are enjoyable aspects of these movies. That said, they should have stopped after the second one bombed at the theaters. be sure to expect to spend some time rolling your eyes.
2 out of 5 cheese graters- Its bad, but not all the way bad. I actually own all of these and watch them from time to time for the comedy aspects, I suppose. they’re better than some of the movie franchises that I will cover. Also, I love me some Warwick Davis and I can’t state that enough.
Like always, let me know what you think in the comments and Il catch ya next time!