Leprechaun 3 (1995) Review

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LEPRECHAUN 3

*** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- Welcome to Vegas. The Odds Are You Won’t Leave Alive.

Release Date- June 27th, 1995

Running Time- 93-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- David DuBos

Director- Brian Trenchard-Smith

Starring- Warwick Davis, John Gatins, Lee Armstrong, John DeMita, Michael Callan and Caroline Williams

When the original Leprechaun was released I don’t think anybody involved thought it would spawn a franchise. The original was produced on a budget of under a million and ended up grossing over 8-million dollars and it also became quite successful on cable and video. The 2nd part wasn’t nearly as successful, but I guess the studio saw possibilities and starting with Leprechaun 3, which was released in 1995 the Leprechaun series now became DTV. I can’t confess to being a huge fan of this particular franchise, but I suppose if anything they make for decent time killers. I first saw Leprechaun 3 sometime in the 90s on cable and while I didn’t love the film I do remember having fun with the silly, but intentional nature of the film. Than I never saw the film again until I picked up the blu-ray for Leprechaun: The Complete Movie Collection and it was Leprechaun 3 I figured I would start with since based off memory it was my favorite part. And Leprechaun 3 still holds up as my favorite and the only film I generally enjoy in this series. It’s absurd with little plot, but its just a complete blast to watch.

The screenplay was written by David DuBos and while Leprechaun 3 is very light on plot it is also in my opinion the best written of the series. The dialogue by the Leprechaun is more often than not quite hysterical and the film also has perhaps the strongest characters of the series. They aren’t these deeply developed characters, but they are however effective and add to the enjoyment of the film. David DuBos writes a silly and campy film and it works rather well.

Leprechaun 3 was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith best known for such films as The Siege of Firebase Gloria and Night of the Demons 2. Smith would also return to direct Leprechaun 4: In Space. In my opinion Leprechaun 3 is his best film if for anything due to the fun factor. From the opening until the closing of the film Smith establishes a fun and light tone and maintains that throughout. Smith knows exactly what he’s making and never tries overly complicates it by trying to make more out of it. Rather than go for suspense, Smith directs the death scenes more comedic and fun than scary. Brian Trenchard-Smith has had quite a successful career because he knows what his audience wants and delivers that. The pace for Leprechaun 3 is quite strong as Smith always as stated keeps it light and fun and the Leprechaun doesn’t start his killing spree until roughly the hour mark and yet the film is still quite fun. The only minor issue is by the final act Leprechaun 3 does begin to run out of steam a tiny bit as Smith took the light plot only as far as it could go, but even as the film runs out of steam a bit Leprechaun 3 still remains a fun watch.

Warwick Davis is a terrific actor and he brings so much to the title character and it seems he truly enjoys playing the title role. Davis was hysterical and his Elvis impersonation was the highlight of the film. The magic show scene was also classic. The fact Davis gives his all each time out helps elevate the films even the more subpar ones. John Gatins who played Scott would later have a successful career as a screenwriter and even received an Oscar nomination for Flight, which starred Denzel Washington. I read a quote by Gatins where he said the scariest thing about Leprechaun 3 was his acting. Ok sure nobody will watch this performance and think Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. But I liked the performance by Gatins and I think he’s being too harsh on himself though its good he has a sense of humor about it. So who cares it isn’t the greatest acting job, but Gatins was enjoyable and I liked the character so he was better than he gave himself credit for. Lee Armstrong as Tammy was also a lot of fun. Armstrong was simply stunning and she would only appear in one other film before leaving the film industry. From what I heard she doesn’t look fondly back on her work, which is unfortunate. Leprechaun 3 may not go down as a great film, but she did get an opportunity 95% of actors never will. Regardless on her thoughts on her career I thought she was quite solid.

Overall Leprechaun 3 is such a fun film. Watching the Leprechaun walk around Vegas and even do a little gambling was hysterical. The film simply wants to entertain and everybody involved made it a blast. Leprechaun 3 is a silly B-movie and it knows that and doesn’t attempt to be anything else except that.

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