Reviewed by Mike Brannon
Rating: 8 Beans
s an Irish-American, I must protest the use of leprechauns in our popular culture. It seems they are only used to appear in sappy cartoons, really lousy horror movies and to hustle corn-sweetened cereal to kids.
1993 saw the unwise release of "Leprechaun," the hackeneyed story of a freed malevolent spirit who goes on a gory quest to recover his stolen gold. "Try as thee may, try as thee might, ye who steals me gold shall not survive the night," the troll-like pixie lisps as he counts his coins. This is about as clever as the movie gets, by the way. You've been warned.
Someone needs to set Director Mark Jones straight on Irish folklore. A leprechaun is not an evil spirit. It certainly is not a troll-like murderer. Leprechauns are woodland spirits who outsmart man invariably by mankind's main weakness -- his greed. If Jones was looking for a horror icon in Irish Culture, a banshee (whose wail portends the death of someone nearby) would have been a better choice.
Back to the film. A moron ends up releasing the Leprechuan from centuries of imprisonment, but also takes one of the leprechaun's gold coins. So the leprechaun (Warwick Davis, the Billy Barty of Gen X) starts to go on a rampage, killing anyone who may have his golden coin. Even for a slasher villain, this doesn't strike me as a particularly efficient plan.
Along the way, he joyrides on a go-cart, kills someone by riding a pogo stick on top of him(!) and bites off the moron's ear. Along the way he spouts about every offensively Irish-stereotype catchphrase in the book.
The leprechaun is killed in the end by being force-fed a four-leaf clover. While I am by no means a consummate expert on the folklore of my heritage, I am quite sure I never saw anything about a four-leaf clover being toxic to the little people.
The only reason anyone would want to watch this piece of trash would be either masochism or to see Jennifer Aniston in an early role. I'm sure she'd like to forget about this little chapter in her career.
Otherwise, if you are still intrigued, do yourself a favor and arrange for a double feature of "Troll" and "Darby O'Gill and The Little People" instead. You'll be much better off.
Other reviews for this movie:
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