I want Me Gold Coins!
Here in the United States of America, every March 17th a really annoying thing happens. Everyone who you have ever met will suddenly tell you that they are Irish or part Irish or, you know, are pretty sure that they came from the same country as Mel Gibson somewhere in their background so of course they are Irish. To them I reply, surely you have seen the cult masterpiece film that is Leprechaun then right?
The answer is usually no. I would say as cult classic/trash cinema goes the whole Leprechaun series is a must have. I’m not saying they are good, far from it, but there is nothing like them in cinema, I can guarantee you that. I am going to review all of these films right here on my blog, starting with the first and basically only kind of decent one, Leprechaun.
This film stars Warwick Davis as the eponymous Leprechaun and a very young Jennifer Aniston. That’s right, Brad Pitt’s future ex was a lead in Leprechaun in 1992. Take that Friends!
I am going to review this and give away some of the plot here so if you want to be surprised by the schlock-fest that is Leprechaun, you have been forewarned.
The movie starts off with a little Leprechaun descending some stairs and counting coins in his pot of gold. He says a deadly rhyme about how he will straight up murder anyone who takes his gold. This dude keeps his promises too.
Some guy arrives home in North Dakota (we never get a more specific location than that) from Ireland after his mother’s funeral. He asks his wife if the package has arrived from the funeral parlor. Funny thing though, this dude has randomly shown up in a limo and is talking about how he is rich now. I think we can all guess that he stole some Leprechaun gold and is in big trouble.
Moments later the Leprechaun shows up, knocks his wife down some stairs and we have victim number one dead on the spot. The man, O’Grady by name, is more prepared than his poor wife though. He has a freshly plucked four leaf clover that seems to hurt the Leprechaun. He forces the magical creature into a crate, leaves the clover on top of it, and goes on his merry way, I assume to live the good life while he can.
Fast forward ten years and we get Tory arriving with her father to take up residence in the same house the Leprechaun struck ten years ago. It’s dusty and creepy and Tory doesn’t want to stay but is convinced to because she gets a good look at Nathan, a beefy dude who is there to paint the old house. Nathan has along with him Alex, a young kid who seems to know more about how things work than anyone else in this movie, and Ozzie, a grown man who is several times referred to as a kid but is also sometimes referred to as an adult. It’s clear that he is developmentally slower than other adults but the dude does not look a day younger than forty, probably because the actor was born in 1958 and this was released in 1992 so, yeah he was older. I am guessing that character was a kid in the original script and they decided not to have two kid actors and just went, yeah it’s fine, leave the dialogue.
Once all our characters are assembled, I think you can guess how this goes. They spend an uncomfortable night trying to keep their lives while being pursued by a ruthless, magical Leprechaun who just wants his money back, ok? Alex and Ozzie early on actually do find the gold and try to hide it but that doesn’t work out too well. To add to the trouble, one of the gold coins has been swallowed by Ozzie so they have to find out how to kill, or at least stop, the Leprechaun before they are all killed to death.
It’s kind of a silly romp of gore and weird jokes from there. I don’t want to spoil everything for you here so I am just going to tell you some thoughts I had while watching this.
- In the beginning, O’Grady captures the Leprechaun to steal the gold but they never show how he did it. Maybe he should have written this down because I think it would have been good to have in the future wouldn’t it?
- When the Leprechaun is trapped in a crate for ten years it is because a fresh four leaf clover was placed on top. Wouldn’t that biodegrade in a decade? Also, what is considered fresh here because it seems to me that a decade is definitely no longer fresh for most things (Paul Rudd excepted).
- Speaking of which, why would you leave that crate in the exact same spot in the basement for ten whole years? I mean, the dude is rich with ill gotten gains, surely he could cement the place over right?
- Also, why would you go opening a single crate like that? In the movie it’s because Tory spills a drink on it (which is 100% Nathan’s fault and Nathan is no good for Tory, I tell you) but who thinks, yeah I will go to all the effort of opening some crate that has been in an old house for a decade because it might get a juice stain?!
- Tory takes one look at the house, and says she doesn’t want to spend the summer in New Mexico, at which point she is corrected that this is North Dakota. They clearly drove there or flew in and rented a car, so uh, is she just so illiterate that she couldn’t read any of the signs around here when they traveled or what?
- Nathan shows up with an open BUCKET that is apparently filled with paint thinner. How do I know it is filled with paint thinner? Because Tory bumps him, knocks the bucket over, and he exclaims, “You knocked over my CAN of paint thinner!” There’s a few issues to unpack here and I am going to take this bucket incident as seriously as an in depth analysis of a democratic debate. 1. How does this guy not know he was carrying a BUCKET not a CAN, especially if he is a professional painter?! 2. Who in the world fills a bucket with paint thinner then carries it one handed and waltzes it right past a front door without looking to see if anyone is coming out?! I mean, this dude doesn’t even lay out plastic or a tarp underneath the house where he is painting and then gets mad that someone knocks over his bucket/can. I say that is 100% on him. Tory is innocent in this whole interaction, yet Nathan acts as if she is the scum of the earth because she is from Los Angeles and can’t identify what state she is in. Get over yourself Nathan!
- Alex shows up and tells Tory that she can’t help them paint because liability insurance says only they can handle the tools. Then two minutes later, Tory is helping Nathan paint. Listen to the smart kid whenever you are in a horror film. Trust me on this. They are so getting sued for that paint incident.
- If you watch this movie one of the things I want you to seriously consider is what the heck kind of a paint job were they even trying to do here? They have blue and red paint in no pattern that makes any sense, and no house painter worth their can of paint thinner would paint like that. So, why does Tory listen to everything Nathan tells her to do in this film? Seriously, Tory, you can do better than this.
- Pretty early on the dad is bitten by the Leprechaun. Basically Tory is there grabbing stuff from Nathan’s truck and she thinks Nathan is under the truck feeling her leg. The Leprechaun scratches her and she screams. Nathan and Tory’s father come to check it out and Tory says that she thought Nathan was the one feeling her leg and insists that a man was essentially groping her. Nathan’s response to this? “And you let me?” with a wide grin on his face as he says it. Again, Tory, you can do BETTER! This guy is a creep. So, dad tries to catch the Leprechaun but then gets bitten. At this point they are not 100% sure what is attacking them although Alex and Ozzie probably have a pretty good idea. Anyway this leads me to the next point.
- Tory’s dad is in the hospital and they go with him. Nathan and Tory have dinner while Ozzie and Alex try to find out how much their gold is worth. Point is, there is a bit of a town that they could stay in overnight but they go back to the O’Grady house. While they were gone someone (bet you can guess who) destroys the kitchen but shines every shoe in the house and leaves them on the kitchen table. So obviously something weird is going on but they don’t call the police or do the most sensible thing in the world at this point which is, INVITE TORY TO STAY WHEREVER NATHAN LIVES! Do that and the movie and night of horror is completely over.
- If you want to have a chest shaped like a barrel and arms like tree trunks, do push ups ever time the Leprechaun mentions gold or coins. It’s incessant. So uh, maybe they should just give the dude his stuff back yeah? Just what I would do in this extremely likely scenario.
- I don’t want to give all this movie away but the deaths are hilariously gruesome at times and honestly kind of creative. But one thing I never understood is why the Leprechaun doesn’t make better use of his voice mimicking power. I mean just fake like the voice of Nathan and Tory will do whatever that dude says, cause apparently he is an expert at not only painting, but knowing the difference between buckets and cans, and hoping that women think it is okay for him to grope their legs from under a truck.
- Also, exactly how do the Leprechaun’s powers work? They seem to be fueled by gold but he essentially can’t be killed except by a four leaf clover, and that only seems to slow him down. I think his powers are more based, “that’s what we need the Leprechaun to do right now, so he’ll do it!”. Plot powered magic maybe? If there was a plot here that is…
I am sure the next movie is going to leave me with more questions so I am gonna stop there for now. Next I will be reviewing Leprechaun 2. The Leprechaun from the first one is definitely dead right? So that means we get 2 Leprechauns don’t we?
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Want to see all the murdery-magical gore for yourself? Check it out here.