Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Leprechaun (1993)


*
Warwick Davis was well known to me prior to this awful series of killer Lep films as Willow and as an Ewok. Later he returned to quality films in the Harry Potter series. Under heavy makeup and in a green costume, Davis offers cringe-worthy quips and might call to mind Chucky, the killer doll, considering this was around the time Child's Play was on the mind of slasher fans.

Jennifer Aniston (obviously) has disowned the film. I reckon all actors of some considerable stature have that early film best not to mentioned when looking back over their career. Aniston would move on to far better things than Leprechaun. All in all, though, she’s not too bad in the film. She is the damsel in distress always trying to stay one step away from annihilation as Lep pursues her with bad intentions. Lep has lost his crock of gold and is freed from a case holding him. Meanwhile Aniston, Ken Olandt (Amy Steel’s beau in “April Fool’s Day” (1986)), Mark Holton (of “Teen Wolf” and “Gacy” notoriety), and Robert Gorman (as the kid) try and keep Lep from visiting violence upon them. They are fixing up a farmhouse and Lep was released from his prison not far from them. Holton (as a simple-minded child-adult) and Gorman (the mischievous kid who knows how to talk him into stuff) find the gold in the wreckage of a rusting, gutted old car leaning against a tree. Holton swallows one of the coins (which becomes a significant threat towards the end when Lep realizes he’s missing one coin) while Gorman hides the rest of them in a well for safe keeping. Visiting a pawn shop owner, Holton and Gorman look to see if one of their coins has any value to it. Holding on to the coin for research, he becomes an unsuspecting victim-in-waiting as Lep identifies him as one of the culprits who stole what belongs to him. Then ole Lep heads back to the farmhouse where Aniston and company are to find the rest of cache. Aniston’s father, played by John Sanderford, reaches in the hole of a tree to try and rescue what he thinks is a cat as her and Olandt look on. Lep bites him on the hand and he’s taken to a hospital. Returning to the property, Lep reveals himself and starts his pursuit. I think at one point he pogo stick tramples one victim while reaching into the face of another before snapping his neck. He drives a little car and is pulled over by a police officer he eventually kills. He goes after Holton with plans to open his tummy and get his coin, just ripping away at his torso and face.

Some quips:

“Try as they will, and try as they might, who steals me gold won't live through the night.”

“Curse this well that me soul shall dwell, till I find me magic that breaks me spell.”

“I got you in a bear trap / That'll make you shut your yap / I got you in a bear trap / You look like a stupid sap.”


Lep gets even with the man who held him captive and informs Aniston that to take him down she would need a four leaf clover. Of course, there is a four leaf clover not far from the well holding Lep’s gold. Lep can mimic people and disappear/reappear wherever he so chooses. He basically toys with them. Hiding in a truck or the house does very little to keep him at bay. He wants his gold and will do what he can to get it back.

Aniston, much to her regret I guess, will bring curious eyes to this first film in the franchise. This is before her nose job and stardom in the revered ensemble of Friends. She has spunk and her reaction to Olandt eating meat (she admonishes him as he offers her some beef) in a diner is priceless. In this film's ensemble, fascinatingly, they aren't the kind of slasher cast that would be part of the body count formula. Holton is the closest victim to depart on a tragic note, and is more than a little worse for wear until a four leaf clover is introduced to Lep when he least expects it.



The film does enjoy spending time with Holton and Gorman as essentially they are two kids off from the young adults who are painting and doing renovations on their fixer-upper. Olandt gets his foot caught in a bear trap which wounds him enough he’s injured and in need of help. Packing a shotgun, the motley group basically just has it as a weapon to hold off Lep. He is never down or away too long before returning in anticipation of getting his gold.

The gold, while a point of emphasis in that Lep sold his soul for it and covets it dearly, is a Macguffen in that it serves only a purpose in bringing the villain and group of actors we follow together. As the series continued, the gold would be less a factor (for instance, Leprechaun 2 has Warwick Davis looking for a new bride) as just having the evil, giggling Lep making the lives of innocents totally miserable.

Admittedly, while I think Leprechaun (1993) is quite wretched and wholly undeserving of a mess of sequels, it wasn’t boring which I guess is something of a positive. Davis is imminently watchable even if the humor, which plays off the character (Lucky Charms cereal is featured in the comedy some), can be [well often is] quite lame. Series to series, Leprechaun can’t hold its own against Child’s Play as the direction and set pieces favor the latter significantly. When the franchise went “to the hood” and “into space”, it just derailed into sheer inanity. But that was the intention…to go the route of the absurd. Davis just heartily followed that signature character off the deep end, thankfully allowed to regain his credibility. 



As you can see, Anniston is pimped later on so that her participation and likeness are attached to the first Leprechaun with the two movie posters.

There are fans of the franchise, though. I found myself inexplicably almost picking up the Lep set not too long ago just to review them for the blog. I had the dvd set in my hands and decided, when my wits returned to me, to set it back down. Watching them on syfy or AMC or premium channels (I watched Leprechaun (1993) on Starz-Encore) late at night after renting them on VHS in the 90s is probably for the best. Well, not watching them at all is for the best, but I digress…

No comments:

Post a Comment

Dexter - Seeing Red

Sure enough, Pellegrino pops up yet again, as Rita's loathsome, trouble-making ex. Tonight's episode presented Dexter with yet anoth...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.