Saturday, March 16, 2013

Leprechaun 2

Due to the huge profit that the original Leprechaun made off its miniscule budget a sequel was put on the fast track at Trimark Pictures for release the following year. The result was a film that was on par with its predecessor, but failed to light the box office on fire. In the end this was the last movie in the franchise to be released theatrically.

In Leprechaun 2, which ignores everything from the first film in favor of making each film independent of one another, we learn that centuries ago in Ireland the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) was to be married to a young woman in exchange for her father’s freedom from being the evil imp’s slave. The Leprechaun is betrayed and vows that he will return and wed one of his slave’s descendants. We flash forward to 1994 and the Leprechaun has been unleashed upon L.A. to find his bride to be.
This sequel, directed by Rodman Flender (Idle Hands), is basically the same movie all over again with the country backdrop abandoned for the lights of the big city. It was written by the original film’s director, Mark Jones, who went on to write most of the films in the series. The bigger budget doesn’t show through unfortunately as everything looks even shittier than before. It could be the increased scope that did them in since the action involves multiple places in and around L.A. I’m sure it wasn’t cheap filming their exteriors so the interiors were sacrificed to the bowels of set design hell.

The acting sucks just as much with both leads turning in epically bad performances. Shevonne Durkin and Charlie Heath ham it up just as much as Warwick Davis as the title character, but are less successful. Davis once again shines as the Leprechaun. His goofy little rhymes and all the havoc he causes are quite entertaining. The finale in the cave is the highlight as he gets to attempt to romance Durkin and contend with her protective boyfriend. The go-kart scene ends up being one of the funniest scenes in the movie not only due to the ridiculousness of it all, but the amount of continuity errors that constantly rear their ugly little heads.
The death scenes are pretty laughable as well and none really stand out. There’s one where the main character’s business partner gives birth to a pot of gold, but it’s goreless and looks pretty damned silly. The scene featuring MADtv’s Michael McDonald as a snooty waiter that the Leprechaun kills was kind of humorous, but again isn’t anything to write home about. I guess that goes to show you how memorable most of the film is outside of Warwick Davis’ performance.

It’s a shlocky piece of silly shit that succeeds in being a goofy horror comedy but not much else. Jones had multiple opportunities to send up Los Angeles culture and even Hollywood, but he never really attempts to do so which is disappointing in the extreme. The sad thing is that even as this film played out the idea was beginning to show signs of franchise fatigue. There’s only so much you can do with the concept of a killer Leprechaun (just like the Friday the 13th movies) and it was probably a good idea to relegate this series to the direct-to-video heap after this chapter.
As before it’s not a good film at all and it definitely had the chance to be a funny satirical horror comedy, but the ball was dropped. The end result is barely passable entertainment in every respect. You could do worse than watch this movie on a rainy Friday night, but there are certainly much better horror selections out there to choose from.

1 out of 5

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