May 25, 2015

Movie Review: Leprechaun 3

Sometimes I wonder how Leprechaun became a series. The movies are not particularly good and only two ever hit the big screen. The first one was modestly entertaining, the second was pretty awful, and the third falls somewhere in between. After the second film failed to gain cinematic traction, grossing $2.2 million (it opened in limited release to about $.25 million), the third film was changed from a 3D theatrical release to a direct to video title. To its credit it was the biggest selling DTV title of 1995. Still, the movie is not all that good. Its one saving grace? Warwick Davis.

The movie was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, who also helmed Night of the Demons 2 and early Nicole Kidman outing BMX Bandits. He brings more energy and flash than the second film had, but it still occupies a strange area of horror. It sort of feels like Full Moon Pictures movie if Charles Band used an actor instead of a puppet. The screenplay was handled by David Dubos (Future Shock, Playback) and Mark Jones (Leprechaun, Leprechaun 2).

This time out the setting is shifted to Las Vegas, the little desert town where everyone is looking for a little bit of luck. A guy stumbles into a pawn shop with an ugly leprechaun statue with a medallion around its neck. Its owner is just looking for gas money to get out of town. His only word of warning is to not touch the medallion. The shop owner agrees, gives him $20 and sends him on his way.

No sooner has the guy left, the shop owner removes the medallion and goes about his business. With this motion, we get our first glimpse of the titular Leprechaun. Of course, he also has his pot of gold. The shop owner takes a piece and incurs the little fellows Irish wrath.

Meanwhile, an out of town yokel, Scott (John Gatins), arrives and picks up a young woman, Tammy (Lee Armstrong), who works as a magician's assistant at an Irish themed casino. Obviously, their paths cross with the pawn shop and the pot of gold. What follows is a battle for gold and survival as the malevolent munchkin.

Of course, there is the question of how these movies fit together, and for my money, they don't. The rules change with each film. For example, the first had the little guy imprisoned with a four leaf clover, the second one had him taken out by wrought iron, now this one has a medallion that is his undoing. Sure, they could all just be different ways, but there is also the question of how he comes back. Unlike the other big killers, there is not even a bit of lip service paid to his return. This tells me, these are name only sequels, which feature a different leprechaun each time. It only makes sense.

I don't know. I just could not really get it. I liked Lee Armstrong's Tammy, but the male lead was too goofy for me. The real, and let's be honest only, reason to watch is Warwick Davis and the comically evil performance from Warwick Davis. The guy just jumps right into the role with both feet and chews the scenery like no tomorrow. It was also a little fun to see a cameo played by Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2).

In the end, this is not a movie you need to rush out for. I still think the first is the best with this one coming in second to it. Of course, that doesn't really say much. This has to be one of the more inexplicable of horror series, just popular enough to hang on and low enough budget to make it worthwhile.

Not Recommended.

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