“Leprechaun”: The horribly fantastic horror film

By Erik Brown

Editor’s note: This is part of the Daily Collegian’s St. Patrick’s Day special issue.

Most gorehounds and horror junkies who grew up in the 90s have fond memories of the video store horror sections. The section’s walls were lined with all sorts of monsters and graphic violence haunting customers from every angle. How could any young thrill-seeker look away?

As a kid there’s always the tendency to find a monster. Some creature or being whose mere look sends shivers down spines. There was Freddy Kruger’s burnt face and Jason’s and Michael’s masks. Going to bed after imbedding images of these disturbing was going be a pain in the arse later, but for that moment the fright excited.

Let’s not lie to ourselves; what’s going to be more fun at a sleepover: “All Dogs go to Heaven” or “Nightmare on Elm Street?” The best part of the process behind horror flick viewing is rifling through film covers. Picking out a movie could take forever, especially if you’re not of the opinion that horror flicks all have the same plot. Back in the day of movie store relevance, horror buffs would often try to find the coolest, baddest looking monster and boom! That was the one to freak out with friends over.

So, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and you want to celebrate with beers over a horror movie marathon.

You’re looking for some insane gut-churning gore, a little white-knuckle terror and acts so depraved you feel as if it marks your soul?` Well, then, your cravings for the sick and disgusting will still persist unless you steer clear of the Leprechaun series this holiday. If you want a funny movie that is easy to watch and laugh at with some friends, you have a winner. Jennifer Aniston stars in the first film of the series in her second acting role (after Camp Cucamonga) one year before her success with Friends. Besides Anistone, there are almost no recognizable names within the Leprechaun series until “Leprechaun: In the Hood.”

Parts 2-4 appear to have hired extras from a Skinimax movie. The plot (of all of them) is pretty simple; the Leprechaun wants his gold. Either someone stumbles upon his stash and pockets some or a group of ragtag intergalactic marines find his space lair and steal the gold after blowing him up (Part 4). In any case, if anyone has the Leprechaun’s gold, he’s going get it back. He’s also going to kill anyone who might have it in a ruthless search and destroy, ask questions later spree. He spits out a joke (sometimes in rhyme) about gold or how he’s going kill the victim, and then his victims die in a hilarious way.

The standout in the series is the aforementioned Leprechaun 4: In Space. By far the most ludicrous of the series, it has the leprechaun vying for the attention of one Princess Zarina.

The leprechaun has an underground lair where everything is made of gold – even the walls are lined with it. He wants power now, and thankfully for him Zarina is just as greedy and insane as he is. They have plans to take over Domainia, her home planet.

That is, until the interstellar marines come and ruin their party with a bomb. Zarina feigns a coma after the explosion and is brought aboard the ship for experiments while the Leprechaun (after entering a marine through his urine stream) wreaks havoc on the marine’s spaceship. There are too many amazing sequences to give away so you’ll have to watch for yourself. It stands as one of the worst, yet most hilariously awful movies that could unfold in front of you; it’s perhaps the worst horror film you’ll see in your lifetime.

Be warned though, these are fantastic bad movies. If you want a real scary movie, stay away from the Leprechaun series and really, from all novelty horror franchises. If you’re someone who likes laughing at moments that probably weren’t meant to be funny, here’s a St. Paddy’s day treat.

These movies are made to scare kids who are watching the sci-fi channel at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. They take some humor to get into so watching any of the Leprechaun movies is suggested with friends, and as is the tradition of the Irish and non-Irish today, with lots of alcohol. If you just met someone you think is special and you want an in-joke with them, watch Leprechaun. Remember the silliest line you hear in any of these flicks and be sure to forsake traditional greetings and say that line to your special someone instead.

Erik Brown can be reached at [email protected]