The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

LEPRECHAUN 3 (1995) ***

When I was in high school, this was the first movie I ever reviewed for our school TV show.  I liked it back then, and it’s just as much fun now.  Leprechaun 3 is simply the best film in the franchise.  This is the Goldfinger of the series.  (I think Leprechaun would like that bit of praise because it has the word “Gold” in the title.)  This is the one where all the elements clicked.  The one that was more than a sum of it’s parts.  The one where they finally got the formula down pat.  It’s as if director Brian (Night of the Demons 2) Trenchard-Smith said, “The audience wants to see nothing but the Leprechaun killing people then saying funny rhymes afterwards, so by God let’s give it to them!”

 

3 finds Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) in Las Vegas.  Scott (John Gatins) loses his college tuition at the roulette wheel until he gets a hold of one of the Leprechaun’s gold coins.  He makes a wish on the coin to be on a winning streak and it comes true.  An incompetent magician (John DeMita) and a haggard looking casino worker (Caroline Williams from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) quickly steal the coin to get their own wishes.  This of course doesn’t set well with the Leprechaun and he makes sure that their wishes backfire drastically.

 

Leprechaun went to Hollywood in Part 2, so Vegas was a natural setting for the little bugger.  As with the previous installment, the rules are all different from the original.  This time instead of shamrocks or wrought iron being the bane of the Leprechaun’s existence, it’s his gold that is his Achilles Heel.  He also awakens from being imprisoned in stone by a magical amulet, which is different from his tree house prison from the last picture. 

 

In addition to the inconsistencies in the Leprechaun lore, the film also takes too long to get going.  Far too much time is spent on the Indian pawn shop owner who does battle with the Leprechaun in the first act.  I did like the part where he bit the guy’s ear off though.  (“I like Indian food… so spicy!”)  Once Gatins gets a hold of the Leprechaun’s loot, the film really starts to cook. 

 

What makes Leprechaun 3 so memorable is the rhymes.  This one has the best of the entire series.  (“With all of this killing, I’ve lost me schilling!”)  The funniest ditty comes right after Leprechaun kills Williams.  She wishes for a perfect body and he makes her boobs, lips, and butt grow to enormous proportions until she literally explodes.  Afterwards, Leprechaun quips, “What a lovely lass, I had to blow up her ass!”

 

There’s also a lot of random bizarre shit in this movie that I enjoyed.  Like the CD-ROM program that tells the Leprechaun’s back story.  That was original.  There was also a quirky kill in which Leprechaun made a gangster’s fantasy dream girl turn into a cyborg with boobs.  It didn’t make a lick of sense but it was cool nevertheless.  The weirdest thing about the flick though is the subplot involving the hero being bitten by the Leprechaun and becoming a Were-Leprechaun.  How much Mad Dog 20/20 do you have to drink before you come up with THAT idea?

 

I also liked how Leprechaun runs around Las Vegas (“Golden Nugget!  I’d like one of those!”) and nobody even blinks.  The best of these scenes comes when he runs into an Elvis impersonator who says, “Nice shoes, do they come in blue suede?”  These exterior shots also provide us with a good look at Las Vegas’s Fremont Street in the 90’s.  I was there recently in ‘07 (when I got married) and the downtown section has definitely taken a turn for the worse, so it was nice to see the old part of Vegas perfectly preserved in time.

 

Leprechaun 3 delivers on the gore (the bloodiest scene is when he saws the magician in half), clever kills (he turns a guy into a human slot machine), and hilarious rhymes (“For that trick, I’ll chop off your dick!”).  The flick also contains some intentional humor that’s actually quite funny.  (Like the Mafiosos who have a debate about boxers vs. briefs.) What more could you possibly want from a Leprechaun movie?

 

Trenchard-Smith also directed the next installment in the series, Leprechaun 4:  In Space.

 

<Tomorrow’s Horror Franchise Movie:  (Fittingly enough) Leprechaun 4:  In Space> 

Tags: horror, l, leprechaun series, sequel
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