Tonight I watched Leprechaun, the low-budget horror movie released in 1993. This was the first of what would later become a five-movie franchise, a fact that I find rather mind-boggling. It had a budget of only $900,000. The majority of the movie was filmed in a single remote location, so I suppose a large budget wasn’t necessary.
Let me begin by saying that this movie is obviously very dumb. I certainly knew that going in. It moved a little slow near the beginning of the film when the main characters were being introduced. The movie had its funny moments, though. At no point did I find the movie to actually be scary. I believe they were attempting to make a somewhat scary movie, but the final production came across as more silly than anything else. The Leprechaun’s silly voice and constant use of puns played a large role in that.
Jennifer Aniston is in the movie! I didn’t know that before I watched it. It was actually her first movie role. She looked young and hot. She was wearing a skirt or shorts for the duration of the film; despite the fact that during some of the night scenes, it was so cold outside that you can clearly see everyone’s breath. That didn’t make a whole lot of sense. There was no explanation of what time of year any of this took place.
One element I found surprising is that Aniston’s character Tory owned a cell phone. The phone was thinner than I expected it to be. Remember, this was 1993. The movie was released in January of that year, so it was probably filmed in 1992. Those were very early days for cell phones. Despite that, she makes calls on it from the remote farmhouse where most of the movie takes place. I have my doubts that in those days a call could be made from a location like that.
The acting was not all that great. The movie had a fairly small cast. A few seemed like very rookie actors. Having said that, I felt that the acting got better overall as the film progressed. Either that, or I simply grew numb to how lackluster the performances were.
Tory moves into an abandoned house and two painters appeared on the scene shortly after she moves in. I have no idea where they came from. She walked outside and they were suddenly out there painting. I don’t know what vehicle brought them to the house, or who hired them. If that was explained at any point, I missed it. The painters amounted to a mentally slow adult named Ozzie and a kid named Alex. Why was a kid painting the house? Beats me. It was not explained what their relationship to each other was. They weren’t father and son because they both used their first names with each other. I was baffled by their presence for the duration of the movie. The actor who played the role of Ozzie was probably the weakest of the bunch. His performance bothered me at times.
One bit of praise I will offer is that Tory and the attractive male lead, Nathan, never kissed despite a lot of on-screen flirting. I expected there to be a kiss or some sort of hint that they were going to end up together after the drama with the Leprechaun ended. None of that happened. That was refreshing.
The previous owner of the house had been living in a nursing home for the past ten years. We met him in the opening scene, which took place ten years in the past. When Tory later goes to visit him to ask about the killer Leprechaun, the man hadn’t aged a day. I thought they could have at least tried to show some passing of time using makeup or something, especially since he has been in a nursing home. That was pretty sloppy.
The plot contained a lot of worn out tactics to build suspense. The truck wouldn’t start at the most critical moment, and that alone happened more than once. The trusty shotgun jammed at a very inopportune time. Every time someone was running from the Leprechaun, that person fell down at least once. That happened several times. Typical!
I noticed many times where the filmmakers sped up the motion to make it seem like something or someone was moving faster than they were. The trick wasn’t even done subtly. It was very deliberate and cheesy. The effect made those scenes look very silly, reminiscent of something like The Three Stooges.
A joke about Lucky Charms was made not once, but twice. I figured as much. The first reference came in the form of a prominently placed box of cereal in the cabinet, except the cereal was named Lucky Clovers, using a design that was intentionally similar to that of Lucky Charms. I suppose they didn’t get permission to use the real cereal in the movie. Do you have to get permission to use a product in a film? I don’t know.
At the end of the movie, the Leprechaun falls in a well. Nathan pours a can of gasoline in the well and tosses in a match. Everyone darts away and it suddenly explodes into a massive fireball that was comically large. One can of gas is not going to cause an explosion of that exaggerated magnitude. I thought I would point that out.
Overall, this movie is definitely not good. It is 93 minutes. It is amusing in places, but it’s not worth watching the entire movie to find those moments. I would only recommend watching it if you are home sick and have nothing else to do. I rated it 2 out 5 stars on Netflix.
The Film Sack podcast reviews this movie in episode 221. Now that I’ve seen the movie, I’m going to give that episode a listen. I wanted to write my review before I heard it so that the podcast wouldn’t skew my opinion.