Usually adding rappers to your horror sequel is a sure sign of creative bankruptcy. If you don’t believe me, check out Busta Rhymes in Halloween: Resurrection. For the Leprechaun series, it actually makes a lot of sense. I mean all the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) knows is rhyming and killing. The same could be said for most rappers.
The opening scene takes place in the 70’s. Ice-T (with the obligatory afro) finds Leprechaun’s pot of gold and uses the amulet to turn the irate Irishman into stone. (“You midget Midas motherfucker!”) When Ice-T blows on Leprechaun’s golden lute, he becomes a big time rapper. Cut to 2000 where a trio of up and coming rappers rob Ice-T’s office and accidentally set the Leprechaun free. They get their hands on the lute and their career begins to take off, but Leprechaun is hot on their trail. And he wants his gold!
Leprechaun in the Hood is the first film in the series that actually follows some sort of continuity. Like Part 3, Leprechaun is encased in stone by the magical amulet in the beginning of the film. There’s also a hilarious scene where he gets momentarily weakened by smoking a joint laced with four leaf clovers. (Four leaf clovers as we all know, was the cause of his death in Part 1.) Leprechaun also gets some funny rhymes this time out. (“A lot of time has come and pass, but you’re still a big fat ass!”)
Speaking of rhyming, the scenes of the heroes rapping on stage are kinda lame (especially their “religious” rap in a church) and bog the film down. I will give the filmmakers credit for taking their characters seriously though. When one of them gets killed unexpectedly, the other two deal with it in an appropriate and believable manner. I mean how many horror sequels do you know of where the characters actually take time out to mourn the loss of their friends?
I’m not saying this flick is Sophie’s Choice or anything. There is plenty of blatant ridiculousness here to please any self-respecting connoisseur of the Leprechaun franchise. How about the subplot where Leprechaun possesses some skanky chicks and turns them into “Zombie Fly Girls”? Is that weird enough for ya, folks? The kills are of a fairly high quality and include death by electrified mike stand, heart ripping, and of course, popping caps in people’s asses. The funniest death though is the throat slashing via afro pick. And for some reason, a lot of the plot revolves around guys dressing in drag.
The highlight of course is when Leprechaun raps at the end. (“Lep in the hood, come to do no good!”) You may think that Leprechaun’s rap name “Lep” sounds stupid, but when you consider that other rapper names like Nas and Pras sound just as dumb, it’s kinda believable. I also like the rap names for the main characters Post Master P (“I deliver a positive message!”), Stray Bullet, and Onassis (“He used to be a pimp; you know… he OWNED asses!”).
Warwick Davis gives another stellar performance as Leprechaun. He seems to be having more fun here than he did in the last film, that’s for sure. Ice-T is also pretty good and gives his best performance in a movie not named Ricochet. If T’s presence wasn’t enough to give the movie “street cred”; Coolio also turns up in a cameo playing himself.
The pacing is erratic, the cinematography is cruddy, and most of the songs (with the exception of Leprechaun’s rap that is) are terrible. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the flick though. Leprechaun returned three years later with Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood.
Leprechaun (naturally) gets the best line of the movie when he smokes a fatty and says, “A friend with weed, is a friend indeed!”
<Tomorrow’s Horror Franchise Movie: Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood>