If you really read a lot of folklore like I do, you know the Fair Folk aren’t really all that fair. Long before they became the mascot for Lucky Charms, leprechauns and other fairies toyed with humans in ways that wouldn’t make it into even the grimmest of fairy tales. The Leprechaun movies continue this proud tradition with a murderous little gnome (Warwick Davis of Willow) who will stop at nothing to get his pot of gold.
The four pack includes all four Leprechaun movies, and a better pick for a bargain bin you won’t find. The 1993 cult classic has the Leprechaun menacing an unfortunate farmer’s daughter (Jennifer Aniston. Yes. That Jennifer Aniston) as he tries to recover the source of his power – you guessed it – a pot of gold. Unfortunately, he has a weakness – you guessed it – a four leaf clover. The less-successful Leprechaun 2 has the tiny terror searching for a bride in the ‘burbs and running afoul of teenagers during his quest (this was before the introduction of online dating). Leprechaun 3 takes the Leprechaun to both Las Vegas and the direct-to-DVD market, where campy catastrophes ensues. But none of the previous three entries has anything on the campy fourth installment, which takes the Leprechaun to the place all horror series ultimately end up – outer space.
The Leprechaun himself is a diminutive derivative of Wes Craven’s Wishmaster. Both are magical beings who derive their powers from wishes. But while one is an evil genie, the other is a trash-talking midget with a horrible Irish accent. Guess whose a lot more fun to watch? In truth, Warwick Davis saves every movie no matter how bad the script is. The actor, famous for roles in Willow and Return of the Jedi, clearly has a lot of fun playing this pint-sized perpetrator. Davis really hits his stride midway through the series, as the movies transition from semi-serious horror films to all-out camp cult classics. This all culminates in the fourth film, where the Leprechaun gets a very unique send-off unlike any other villain.
Whenever I picture the great horror franchise villains – Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Hellraiser – I always picture the Leprechaun among them. Even though he’s not as successful (or honestly, as intimidating) as these characters, he just fits a colorfully twisted icon. That, and he makes a much better stand-in for Chucky, who I never really cared for.
There were two subsequent Leprehaun movies not included in this set, bringing the total Leprechaun movie count to six with Leprechaun: In the Hood and Leprechaun: Back 2 the Hood. I have only seen the former film, but I can tell you it includes the Leprechaun rapping hip-hop style. If that’s not incentive enough to go out and see this movie, I truly don’t know what is.