Here you go – a bonus and awesome submission for the SquidFlicks festivities this St. Patrick’s Day – an article from THE Tim Gross! Enjoy! This is a super SquidFlicks exclusive, and I have to thank Mr. Gross for his participation and Patrick for setting this up!
Be sure and stay tuned for the FINALE! Part TWO of the SquidFlicks St. Patrick’s Day Special is going live at 12:00 PM CST! See Part 1 if you have not already!
The Leprechaun Series
By Tim Gross
Hello horror movie fan, my name is Tim Gross. You might know me from my books or blogs “Gross Movie Reviews” But anyhow we are here to talk about the ‘Leprechaun’ series. Our little green pint size terror that has been to North Dakota (or South Dakota, depending on the trailers you see for the original Leprechaun film), back to the past thousand years before us, Las Vegas, in space, in tha hood, and even back to tha hood! The great actor Warwick Davis has played the Leprechaun character through all six films and has more wit than a Freddy Krueger. The films have been pretty much been you get what you think you get. The box art never swayed you any other way than there is a little evil Leprechaun that is going to fuck people up who steal his gold!
- Leprechaun – The film most horror fans have seen or heard about just because before rumored nose-job Jennifer Aniston starred in the film and became huge star a couple years later when she starred in the TV series “Friends”. For the most part Jennifer doesn’t acknowledge the film but even you could see why everyone still drools over her today. The film also starred Mark Holton who is famous for his role as Pee Wee Herman’s nemesis in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” who plays a retarded man who swallows one of the Leprechaun’s gold coins. I have seen actually theater posters for this film and they use to have the tagline on it as the DVD does, “Your luck has just run out”. Now for the most part in this film the Leprechaun character is kept simple as he is trapped in a crate in a basement of a house for the past ten years by a four-leaf clover until Mark Holton moves the clover and the pint-size green terror breaks out. He terrorizes Jennifer and her friends have has his gold. The evil Leprechaun chases them in turbo go-kart, tricycle, and gets pulled over for speeding. The first film was just classic cinema! Now there wasn’t much blood but evil rhymes of the Leprechaun character as he kills his victims keep the film amusing.
- Leprechaun 2 – 1994 gave us the first sequel and just becomes another movie instead of picking up from the first film. This time the evil Leprechaun claims to be thousands of years old and on every thousandth birthday if he makes a woman sneeze three times he can have her as his bride. I’m not fucking kidding; remember there are six of these films. But anyhow present time or 1994 the Leprechaun is trying to get in between teenage lovers because the girl looks like his supposed bride of a thousand years ago. The movie has the tagline, “This time… Luck has nothing to do with it.” There is also appearance by the cult movie star Clint Howard and Shevonne Durkin’s very luscious talents for a scene to lure a teenage boy into kissing a running lawnmower blade! Also remember this time around iron can kill the evil Leprechaun.
- Leprechaun 3 – In 1995, in this fun sequel Warwick Davis goes to Vegas trying to retrieve his 100 gold coins that have gone missing while fighting off a person who he has bitten and is becoming a Leprechaun himself. This might be one of the funniest films of the bunch just for being set in Las Vegas. But what makes the movie even that much more appealing is that the film casted Caroline Williams aka Stretch from ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ for a co-starring role. The film also carried the tagline, “Welcome to Vegas… The odds are you won’t leave alone!”
- Leprechaun 4: In Space – Going strong but running out of ideas quickly, the evil Leprechaun’s story is set years into the future where he has finally found his princess to marry and he’ll live his dream of becoming a king. Problem is space marines rain on his marriage and kill him for a little while until they go back to the ship and he is born again from a marine’s dong! Again, I’m not kidding, I couldn’t make this shit up! The film also starred ‘Home Improvement’s’ Debbie Dunning and she looks yummy! The film had the tagline, “One small step for man… One giant leap of terror!” and was released in 1996.
- Leprechaun 5 aka Leprechaun in tha Hood – After the fourth film almost killed the series off a surprise came four years later in the form of the series reinventing itself and set the evil Leprechaun character in an urban setting. Ice-T plays a pimp who finds the evil Leprechaun in statue form and steals his gold and magic flute and twenty years later is a huge record mogul. Three dumb ass rappers break into his house and steal some of the gold, the magic flute, and lift the magic amulet off the Leprechaun which of course brings him back to life. As the three rappers try to become famous with the help of the magic flute, the Leprechaun becomes a little preoccupied with making ‘zombie fly girls’ and smoking the chronic when he isn’t killing people. The movie is amazing on how it was able to not only reinvent the character but revive a dead series and make it interesting again! The film was released with the tagline “Evil’s in tha hood!”
- Leprechaun 6 aka Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood – Three years later Warwick Davis goes back to the hood with rap star Sticky Fingaz. Four friends stumble upon the Leprechaun’s gold and use it to buy things for themselves until they found out it comes with a price when the evil Leprechaun comes looking for his gold. Highlight of the film has the Leprechaun character taking hits from a bong then killing a person with the bong! Also another highlight was the Leprechaun getting sucked into the ground ‘Jason Goes to Hell’ style at the beginning of the film. The movie not as good as the last hood film but still entertaining and the tagline in 2003 was “Evil has a new rap!”
Now for some random thoughts and useless crap you could have gone another hundred years without knowing.
A) The first film was the only feature to be released to a full wide theater release. Now the second film was released to a few midnight theaters two years later as that I’m told, but personally I don’t know anybody that seen it or heard about it being in the theater in 1994.
B) Outside of the first film unless you take in consideration the maybe true info on the second film, all the Leprechaun films were released ‘straight-to-video or DVD’.
C) Now for real useless info on the film series… Now, the company Trimark Pictures that gave us the goth classic ‘Warlock’ that starred Julian Sands in 1987 was looking to make a horror film, a slasher film that they could build a series on, something every film production company seemed to have by the early 90s. But by then the slasher genre was a dead issue and horror seem to be on the decline also, but that didn’t stop Trimark Pictures giving us a new holiday and creature to be afraid of.
D) Trimark Pictures had a successful run but like most of the smaller film companies they were bought up by Lions Gate Films in the late 90s and Lions Gate Films gave us “The Pot of Gore” Collection shortly after the release of ‘Leprechaun in the Hood’ in 2000/2001. The collection didn’t last long. How many copies they made are unknown and it was only available for about nine moths and then disappeared. You can still find the “The Pot of Gore” on EBay and a random horror convention at a reasonable price mostly because there are few horror fans willing to abused themselves as myself and claim they own it with pride.
E) All six films have been released to DVD, but the first film has been re-released several times along with the fourth, fifth, and sixth films. In fact the fourth film in the “Pot of Gore” collection was released R-rated. When a special edition (possibly Canadian version) was released unrated. Weird?
F) Leprechaun 4 came in at 98 minutes making it the longest feature out of the six.
G) It is rumored that the fifth film which was in the hood is actually the most successful film to date, but info is scarce to for sure or not that this is true.
H) The make-up for the evil Leprechaun barely changed over the series and had the same special make-up person for the character throughout the series.
I) I own a theater ticket stub for the film ‘Leprechaun’ as I seen it opening night with only three other people in entire theater.
J) None of the Leprechaun films continue any storyline from the film previous to it. It might be the only horror series that has ever ignored what happened in the films before it?
K) Last but not least somehow Charles Band had no connection to the projects at all.
To wrap everything up the series has seemed to outlast the bad times of the 90s in horror and seems to be still talked about between horror fans but as of now in early 2009 there is no Leprechaun sequel in the works or even a remake. There was rumors in early 2008 there was going to be another sequel in the works but I think Lions Gate Films is way too busy anymore with the “Saw” franchise to care as that was squashed quickly. You might laugh at the notion of a Leprechaun remake but look at horror in the past two years, I wouldn’t doubt it has came up in somebody’s meeting in Hollywood. Remember people rent from your local independent video store and you’ll keep horror alive…
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