May 28, 2015

Movie Review: Leprechaun in the Hood

Five movies in to the Leprechaun series and still I wonder how they kept getting made. Of course, logic tells me that enough people were buying or renting them versus how much they cost to make, making it economically viable for the studio to continue making them. You will notice that the idea of quality never enters the picture. Of course, everyone watching, everyone buying, anyone paying attention always goes in with the highest of hopes only to be let down time after time. I sort of knew from the start watching them all was a fool's errand, yet here I am. Just me and Leprechaun in the Hood.

I guess there was a lot of thought that went in how they wanted to continue the series after they sent him into space in 1997. It took them three years before bringing Lep back to Earth and sending him to the Hood. It sounds like an insane idea, the kind of insane idea that usually shouldn't get past the joke some executive was trying to make. The idea of Leprechaun in the Hood is ridiculous, it is almost like they were trying to spoof their own series. Well, that or the great idea of seeing a rhyming Leprechaun go toe to toe with rhyming rappers, in that case the idea is nothing short of brilliant.

Leading the way is director Rob Spera, who also directed the first Witchcraft (of which there are currently thirteen) and Bloody Murder 2: Closing Camp (I have never seen it, but seems notable for cover art featuring a Jason Voorhees lookalike with a meat hook). As for the writing, well, the story was written by William Wells and Alan Reynolds, and by Rob Spera and Doug Hall, then the screenplay was written by Doug Hall and Jon Huffman. I looked through their filmographies, but nothing really jumped out me. That doesn't surprise me based on the overall quality of this Leprechaun outing.

Leprechaun in the Hood begins in what looks like the 1970's. A guy called Mack Daddy (Ice T) breaks into a bricked up room looking for rumored gold. What he finds is a Leprechaun statue with a medallion around his neck (shades of Leprechaun 2) and a pit of gold. Also with the loot is a small flute, this thing is key. Anyway, Daddy's buddy takes off the medallion, the Leprechaun comes to life and the buddy is soon dead. However the flute has powers, and Daddy figures it out.

The time jumps to the present and we are introduced to a young rapper named Post Master P (Anthony Montgomery) and his two buddies trying to get ahead. They are rebuffed by Mack Daddy and decide to rob his office. Of course, this leads to the freeing of the Leprechaun and the changing of hands of the flute. What comes next is a battle between Mack Daddy, Post Master P, and the Leprechaun trying to get his possessions back.

There really isn't much more to it than that. The Leprechaun movies are not built on subtlety, nuance, and complexity. If it takes more than a few sentences to sum up the plot, it is not going to be a Leprechaun movie! This is no different. The funny thing about the exercise is that it is probably one of the better made of the series. It looks like it has a higher budget than it predecessors. Plus, the structure actually makes a little more sense. They bring back the medallion and overall seem to play by its rules. So, once you get past the racial stereotypes, you may actually find yourself smiling.

Once again, Warwick Davis is at the center and is the main thing worth watching. He seems to be having a bit more fun here, or that may just be the fact he is rhyming again (something he did not do in the fourth film). So, besides his silly and terrible rhymes, you also have some terrible terrible raps. Man, are they bad.

I am not sure I can exactly recommend this one, but it actually seems pretty good. Actually it seemed better this time than when I had seen it in the past. Sure, it is a seriously goofy idea, but it somehow works ever so little to make me smile. You will not miss much by skipping it, but if you do watch it, you may find yourself smiling in spite of yourself. Make sure you watch into the credits for Leprechaun's rap video!

Mildly Recommended. (sure, why not)

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