The Leprechaun films are loosely based on the mythology of Ireland’s ‘Little green man’
Every now and again, a stroke of creative genius leads to the creation of films that simultaneously entertaining and really, really bad. The Leprechaun franchise is one such creation. It has amassed a cult following of fans who aren’t afraid to admit just how terrible the films are, but at the same time can’t help but derive enjoyment from watching them. This is a celebration of the very worst of the horror genre!
There are seven films in the Leprechaun series. The first was released in 1993, while the latest addition, the prequel ‘Origins’, came out in 2014. Each installment of the comedy-horror film featured Warwick Davis, perhaps the film’s only saving grace, apart from the last one. For those who still can’t get enough of the Leprechaun, SyFy is rebooting the series for release in 2019. Can’t wait…
If you are looking for a gripping and coherent plot please, look elsewhere. You won’t find it in the Leprechaun series. You won’t even learn anything remotely interesting about the Leprechaun mythology or get any sense that you are indulging in anything that could actually be considered Irish.
If you want a vague sense of ‘plot’ in the Leprechaun series, there is one common thread you can cling on to. The murderous leprechaun, known as Lubdan, has had his gold taken from him and will do absolutely anything to get it back – including gleefully killing everyone who gets in his way. He’s eventually defeated in every movie, each time by a different ‘only way to kill a leprechaun’ story. Here’s a breakdown:
Leprechaun (1993) – Character O’ Grady captures the Leprechaun in Ireland and smuggles his gold over to North Dakota. The Leprechaun has followed, but O’Grady locks him away in a box. Ten years later, Lubdan is released by Jennifer Aniston and goes on a killing spree before being shot down the throat with a four-leaf clover.
Leprechaun 2 (1994) – The Leprechaun seeks a bride in LA, holds and captures his chosen spouse while terrorizing her boyfriend, before being impaled with an iron wrought.
Leprechaun 3 (1995) – The Leprechaun has been changed into stone by a magic medallion and is in a pawn shop in Las Vegas. It’s surprising that the franchise took until the third installment to head to Vegas, considering that Leprechauns are so strongly associated with gaming and casinos to the point that there are even Leprechaun themed slots. In this film, Lubdan goes on a bloody mission to find his magic wishing coins and is eventually destroyed by a flamethrower.
Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997) – Our little friend is in space for some reason, courting his intergalactic bride. He is on a rampage again, before being ejected into space and exploding in a scientifically impossible conclusion.
Leprechaun: In The Hood (2000) – The Leprechaun is turned to stone by none other than rapper ‘Ice-T’, who is using his mind-controlling flute to make it big in the music industry. Once again Lubdan’s gold has been stolen (this time by ‘Postmaster P’) so once again the Leprechaun goes on a rampage.
Leprechaun: Back 2 Da Hood (2003) – Here he is again, but this time with no Ice-T. Shame.
Leprechaun: Origins – The biggest disappointment of the series, a leprechaun that looks more like an orc terrorizes towns. Okay, serious yawn now…
Out of seven films, none of the Leprechaun series received anything higher than 33% critical response on RottenTomato.com, and several were even rated absolute zero. The best things about the Leprechaun franchise are the brutal deaths and the occasional funny dark humor. If you want to laugh while watching Warwick Davis bounce on someone’s lungs with a pogo stick 15 times, then this is the franchise for you! Just don’t take it too seriously and you will be fine. You may even start to enjoy yourself.