Leprechaun stars Jennifer Aniston in her first feature as a city-gal, Tory, who is staying with her father (John Sanderford) in the countryside at a shack-like house for the summer. Tory is instantly disgusted by the scenery and demands to leave immediately, until her gaze meets the hunky, Nathan (Ken Olandt). This allurement keeps Tory around. Nathan runs a painting business with his little brother, Alex (Robert Gorman) and a man-child, Ozzie (Mark Holton), who all join together to stop the Leprechaun when it gets released below Tory’s new summer crib.
The Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) wasn’t always stuck in this dirty, web-covered basement; the Irish mascot turned up ten years ago when his gold was stolen by fellow Irishman, Dan O’Grady (Shay Duffin). The Leprechaun will proceed to talk about his gold more times than you’ll care for, hell, you could make a drinking game out of it. Every time gold is mentioned, you take a drink; you’ll be fucked after 10 minutes. O’Grady gets his just desserts for stealing the Leprechaun’s gold, but before the thieving Irishman gets taken out of the game, he locks the ugly fellow in a wooden box, trapping him by placing a four-leaf clover on top of the new prison (apparently the four-leaf clover is the Leprechauns weakness.).
When Ozzie heads down to the basement for paint, the Leprechaun uses his trickery to pretend a child is stuck in the wooden jail, thus, Ozzie unleashes the tiny terror upon everyone. Not only does Ozzie free the Leprechaun, he also hides the gold when he and Alex discover the prize at the end of a rainbow. When Tory’s Dad gets scratched by a cat (really the Leprechaun in disguise playing tom foolery), he is taken to the hospital, where the character is non-exsistant for the rest of the flick. So, it’s the young gang VS the Irish menace for the rest of the film.
The first major fault with Leprechaun is the lack of mystery surrounding the green ghoul; the first shot reveals the look of the character, which is a rare occurrence when it comes to horror – you’d expect some shadow and playful hiding before the reveal (some points this happens, but you don’t care because you know what the little gold hoarder looks like) Also, it’s really difficult to tell what tone Leprechaun was going for. According to Davis, the flick was going to be geared towards a younger audience, but the studio wanted it to appeal to adults, so, some gorier scenes were inserted. This makes sense, as some scenes seem rather childish; like the Leprechaun driving a toy car at quite a fast speed, causing him to be pulled over by a cop or the previously mentioned rainbow scene. It felt like I was watching an episode of Goosebumps or Are you Afraid of the Dark. While other scenes involved intense gore, totally doing a 180.
Movies like; Halloween, Childs Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street became excessively absurd as more sequels were produced, but Leprechaun is so absurd right off the bat, I can’t imagine how ”out there” the sequels are – Leprechaun 4: In Space and Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood – OK, maybe a little.
Not only is the direction bad from Mark Jones, but the cinematography can be brought into question too. Backgrounds, objects and people are lighten with such confusion. A tractor would be lit with a purple filter over it, while the barn door would have a red filter highlighting it – what light sources in the scene are causing this? It makes no sense….this is worse cinematography since Batman & Robin. I felt like I was watching a cartoon come to life.
Even with all it’s fiddly-diddly faults, Leprechaun provides enough hilarity if your intoxicated. Scenes like the Leprechaun killing a man with pogo stick will have you pleasantly entertained. Also, Davis looked like he was having a blast in the role, with an impressive make-up and costume job to boot. I don’t think I could watch this movie again without an audience, so I guess that’s how you should view it. Some friends and a few cold ones by your side.