I adore crappy trashy movies; it is like hobby, I go out of my way to find entertaining pieces of low budget trash that the casual viewer would either not give a second glance or just not be able to grasp the understated enjoyment of these badly made films. Thankfully due to the internet there is whole communities/websites and film forums which are dedicated to awful yet entertaining trash classics, one series of films in particular which I are great drinking movies (or even post drinking) is the Leprechaun series staring the instantly affable Warwick Davis (from star wars and willow fame) as the lead menace. So far there are six Leprechaun films each one a different story (each subsequently new film never followed on from the previous instalment) with some having him rhyme over others where he just churned out cheesy one-liners. Some of the best pieces of fried gold from this Irish rhyming lyricist include such classics as:
“Ahhh… lovely golden palaces completely full of riches. I’ll rip ’em off and rob ’em blind, those dirty sons of bitches”
“You may think this line is getting old, but believe me son, I want me gold!”
from Leprechaun 2.
So I thought in honour of this series of monumentally ludicrous films I would show my love and respect of these trash classics with this retrospective post, you might well get hooked and decide to seek these films out yourself.
The brain child of low budget filmmaker Mark Jones (who seems to have a fetish for horror films and mythical creatures after leprechaun he directed and wrote the little seen Rumplestiltskin) starting Jennifer Aniston in her first film role a year before she started “Friends” and Warwick Davis as the troublesome Wee man after his stolen gold. As quality filmmaking goes, this is certainly nowhere near to being any such thing; it is instead a low budget direct to video horror come comedy (although unintentionally). Of the six Leprechaun films this is not as good as some of the later films, but it does contain some fun scenes, for instance the sequence below, it is inventive and different and you can be utterly sure that it has yet to be done before this or since.
There is also one line contained within this classic piece of tosh that cheers me up each and every time I hear it, and if it was not for the leprechaun element it could easily be retrofitted for a muscle bound action hero in a direct-to-video action film. So I will leave you with this quote and if it does not sway you to even give this film a rental it truly is wasted: “Fuck ya lucky charms”
Leprechaun 2 (aka: One Wedding and Lots of Funerals):
In 1994 just over a year later this fine, yet shoddy beast of a sequel appeared in humble video shops across the globe having absolutely no connection to the previous film other then staring an evil little leprechaun (again portrayed by the irrepressible Davis). But what makes it stand out from the first is the scope of the film (which is on a grander scale then the first) and demonstrates a more professional touch both in front and behind the camera, that ultimately makes it more enjoyable. With this instalment the deaths are again played for laughs not scares and it is because of this particular aspect that as a fan and avid viewer of this series that I also find it the most outlandishly enjoyable.
Here are just some of the reasons I myself find for this to be a great viewing experience with friends or the fellow “Lep-Obcessed”: Ripping a yuppies finger off to retrieve a piece of gold, making a horny teen believe a set of lawn mower blades are the voluptuous breasts of his ideal woman (with much bad taste and blood spray), one of the main characters attempting to out drink ol’lep with a very drunk and defeated leprechaun finding the best way to recover from a hang over involves burning a barista to death with his own coffee machine (both hilarious and painful at the same time) obviously a fry up was unavailable at the time, just imagine the crazy deaths involved in that idea.
Then there is the rampage with a supped up and demonised go-kart taking out the local town security guard.
And finally granting the very painful placing of his gold pot via a wish into a characters stomach, it really has to be seen to be believed. All of which just further cements the reasons for my crap film love affair with this continuing series.
“Scream as you may! Scream as you might! If you try to escape, you’ll be dead on this night”
Obviously because of the monumental success (read: more then 10 people watched the second one) of the previous instalment this part arrived in 1995 again direct-to-video, and while not as enjoyable as the second film personally speaking, it does contain some hilarious and down right awful moments in equal measures. For starters the leprechaun is again not related to the first two while the story actually changes the formula by having the protagonist “Scott” being bitten by the leprechaun causing him to slowly through a strange metamorphosis become a leprechaun himself (eg talking in rhyme, having his appearance change etc). With this subplot of Scott’s change the rest of the film (or rather second act) decides to go all kinds of crazy on the viewer by having Leprechaun go even further in the outlandish kills and allowing him to talk primarily in rhyme which makes for a more interesting representation of a horror killer. But what of the ingenious methods of dispatching his victims I hear you cry, well fear not this is the most over the top of the series in terms of cartoonish violence just check out this video of his unique take on the over use of plastic surgery as evidence of his menacingly playful tricks.
Then there is the cheesy but highly entertaining (if only for a “did that just happen” moment”) of an Elvis impersonator getting out of the car seeing the Leprechaun and having them both do an impression of the king, an unbelievably surreal moment (whether under the influence of alcohol or not) together with a death involving (and this is to the best description I can muster) a half woman half television puppet which electrocutes a villain to death has to be seen, particularly as said puppet is the physical manifestation of the porn actress the character is getting his jollies to at the time, Viva Las Vegas indeed.
Well so concludes the first part of this Leprechaun film retrospective, its been an odd start to these wildly over the top and cheaply made horror films, but you really have not seen anything yet just wait until the second and final part.
“There once a man of Madras
Whose balls were made of fine brass
So in stormy weather,
they both clanged together
And sparks flew out of his ass!”