Comedy-horror cult classic ‘Leprechaun’ still manages to disappoint audiences years later

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March 14, 2017

Eleanor Sturt

esturt@uccs.edu

     Did you know the only way to prevent a bloodthirsty Irish elf from slitting your throat for gold is to attack him with a four-leaf clover?

     I didn’t, until I decided to explore the comical gore in “Leprechaun.”

     As you look for ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, consider watching the 1993 cult classic comedy-horror flick, “Leprechaun,” if you have an hour and half of your life you never intend to get back.

     The only upside to watching this film is the privilege of being able to say you made it through to the end.

     Although “Leprechaun” only holds a 23 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this film became a 90’s cult classic with six sequels, including “Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood” and “Leprechaun 4: In Space.”

     The films plot revolves around a leprechaun (Warwick Davis) who terrorizes Tory (Jennifer Aniston), a young woman moving into a new home, and the crew of painters who have been working on the house. The leprechaun thirsts for gold and will gladly kill anyone who gets in his way.

     This film spends the majority of its time focusing on the comedic aspects and nearly forgets its horror title.

     The plot struggles to hold its own, considering the friendly modern interpretation of the leprechaun. It also attempts to incorporate a cheesy romance, which overwhelms the audience with a mess of film genres.

     The movie embraces the physical stereotype of the leprechaun, making him a short Irishman dressed in green, with golden buckles and a hat.

     Contrary to mythological belief, the leprechaun in the film does not use his magic to grant wishes to those who capture him, but rather to mystically close doors and imitate voices, which he uses to capture and mangle his victims.

     The film epically failed in making the leprechaun horrifying, as he was the most comical of the characters, and delivers cheesy one liners while killing his victims.

     Lines like, “Try as they will, and try as they might, who steals me gold won’t live through the night,” plague the film, draining it of any horror quality with cheap humor.

     Although explicit in blood and gore, the murders and attacks were clad in comedy with people tripping into bear traps and being pummeled to death by the small Irishman on a pogo stick. But the comedy in the film is still cheap and lazy.

     Other cheap jokes and plot tactics include references to rainbows, Lucky Charms and poor usage of four-leafed clover mythology.

     The one redeeming quality of the film centered on the odd relationship of two of the painters, Alex (Robert Hy Gorman), a mature and intelligent boy, and Ozzie (Mark Holton), a bumbling, foolish man-child.

     Multiple times Alex expresses wanting to use the leprechaun’s gold to buy a surgery to fix Ozzie. This endearing, yet childish nature would have been far more interesting subject matter.

     The studio would have done better dropping this film and writing an entire drama revolving around the unlikely two. It may have delivered more successful jokes and received more laughs, but it probably would not have received the same attention.

     If you are into gimmicky horror films with poorly timed comedy, this is the one for you, but you may want to accompany it with a large glass of Guinness.

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