* ½ Out of 5
Tagline- Evil Has a Whole New Rap.
Release Date- December 30th, 2003
Running Time- 89-Minutes
Writer/Director- Steven Ayromlooi
Starring- Warwick Davis, Tangi Miller, Laz Alonso, Page Kennedy, Sherrie Jackson and Sticky Fingaz
When it comes to the Leprechaun franchise I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the series, but I enjoy them for what they are and that’s silly B-movies. Leprechaun 3 is the one film in the series I actually really enjoy and while it wouldn’t make my top 100 or anything its a fun B-movie romp and the one I find myself revisiting. Fans of the series usually cite the 3rd as the best as well. Based on part 3 it seemed perhaps the Leprechaun series hit its stride, but than part 4 happened, which isn’t the worst film I’ve seen, but it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the 3rd or as its concept. As of Leprechaun 4 most cited it as the worst. After a few years off somebody decided there should be a 5th film and decided to set it in the hood. As silly as it may sound it actually worked as video sales were quite strong and while I can’t say I was a huge fan of the 5th it was however fairly enjoyable in spots. 3-years later we get Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, which for me is easily the absolute worst of the original series. The interesting thing about the Leprechaun series is each part is pretty much its own film with no connection to the last one. Despite the hood setting being used again this is also its own film. While each film may not be connected that doesn’t change the fact this is still the 6th film and not many horror franchises or any franchise for that matter can still remain going strong 6 films in and when you really break it down none of the Leprechaun films were really all that great and it stacks the odds against the film even more. It’s hard to hate a film that never really attempts to take itself seriously and even has a scene with the Leprechaun (Davis) smoking weed from a bong than getting the munchies. Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood is an ultra low budget film that aims to simply entertain and again never takes itself serious, but that doesn’t mean it deserves a free pass. Going into this film I wasn’t expecting a film on par with Rosemary’s Baby. I knew exactly what I was in store for, but even with that I still felt this was absolutely awful and 90-minutes felt like 190-minutes. Outside of the one scene I mentioned there really isn’t many redeeming qualities to this outside of maybe one other scene. Perhaps my rating is too low, but I can honestly say outside of a scene or two I was mostly bored out of my skull. Again I wasn’t expecting Rosemary’s Baby, but I was expecting a film that at the very least was fun and Back 2 Tha Hood has its fan-base, but for me again it was bottom of the barrel in a series that isn’t really all that great to begin with.
When a group of friends down on their luck come across gold coins they think things have finally changed, but all they did was awaken the Leprechaun who is in search of his gold.
Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood was written and directed by Steven Ayromlooi and the script is simply awful with a couple of somewhat amusing bits mixed in. The script plays up to almost every black American stereotype and if not for the fact it was meant to be a little satirical it could be seen as offensive, but I know that wasn’t the intentions to offend anyone. The film is poorly plotted and characters are rather bland and really nothing Steven Ayromlooi writes works very well as its neither funny or suspenseful or even interesting. As director Steven Ayromlooi doesn’t handle things much better as Back 2 Tha Hood is very sluggishly paced and my biggest issue is I found it boring, which for me is what really sinks this film as I found the film devoid of any fun. The more dramatic scenes are a sloppy mess and the comedy too forced. One thing clear is the budget was quite low so there are limitations, but the horror genre can sometimes be better when there’s a lack of budget since it forces the filmmakers to be more creative and creativity is something this film doesn’t have. The death scenes are poorly staged and I get the fact there wasn’t a lot of money for F/X, but there’s ways to work around that. Really at the end of the day Steven Ayromlooi gave it his best shot, but its just a poorly written and directed film with lousy production values.
I’ll give the actors credit as the main cast really isn’t bad at all they just have lousy material to work with. But the cast at the very least gave respectable performances and made this a little more bearable. Sadly this was the last film with Warwick Davis in the title role and too bad he didn’t end his run in a better film. I’m not even sure why Warwick even returned, either he was under contract or he just really loved playing this character. Unless he got 95% of the budget (or black mailed) I’m surprised he came back. Warwick Davis is a terrific actor and with the Leprechaun films he really brought so much to it and its clear he truly enjoyed playing the character. These are low budget films and while I’m sure he got a decent paycheck in most its a lot of make-up to be applied to him and to go through that its more than just money. In each film you can see he loved the role in particular Leprechaun 3, which gave him the best material and even in Back 2 Tha Hood, Warwick Davis is fun to watch, but even he doesn’t seem to have the same energy as past films at least in spots.
Overall I found Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood quite a chore to sit through and outside of a moment or two I was quite bored. Some have hailed this as one of the worst films ever made and the scary thing is there are films out there far worse and its also been dubbed one of the worst sequels. I’ve seen films where I was just in awe at how terrible they were and it looked like a home movie by someone who shouldn’t be allowed near a camera. At the very least Back 2 Tha Hood while cheap looking is still professional, but as for one of the worst sequels well I’m not sure where this would rate, but I would rate it as one of the worst. I very rarely rate a film under 2.5 and its even rarer I go under a 2, but if I’m being totally honest this is one of the films I felt was worthy of the low score. I’d be willing to bump it up a notch, but the negatives far outweigh any tiny positives. Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood actually has a following so there people that enjoyed it, but I’m not one of them. Outside of Leprechaun 3 I can tolerate the series, but as mentioned I’m not a huge fan, but this was for me by far the worst of the original series.