Archive for leprechaun

Leprechaun 2 (1994) Review

Posted in Leprechaun 2 with tags , on March 13, 2015 by Last Road Reviews

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LEPRECHAUN 2

*** Out of 5

Tagline- This Time Luck Has Nothing to Do with It.

Release Date- April 8th, 1994

Running Time- 85-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- Turi Meyer & Al Septien

Director- Rodman Flender

Starring- Warwick Davis, Charlie Heath, Shevonne Durkin and Sandy Baron

After the original Leprechaun was a surprise hit I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise there was a sequel, which was released the following year in 1994. The Leprechaun franchise wouldn’t rate as one of my favorites as I find most of them either average or below average. The original film was an ok film that every few years I’ll revisit and its one of the better ones, but I guess that isn’t exactly a compliment. Leprechaun 2 is a step in the right direction and generally improves on the original and even though I give both films the same rating, but that doesn’t mean I like them equally and Leprechaun 2 while by no means a great horror film is a lot better than the original. Leprechaun 2 had a limited release and actually pulled in roughly 2-million dollars and this would be the last of the series to receive a theatrical release as the rest would all be DTV. As I mentioned Leprechaun 2 was a step in the right direction even if its still only about average though the 3rd film would actually turn out quite enjoyable and in my opinion the best of the series and this one would probably be the 2nd best. I actually never saw Leprechaun 2 in its entirety until the blu-ray release of the complete collection since as mentioned I’m not really a fan of the series outside of the 3rd film and while I knew what to expect based on what I saw of the film and based on the other installments and by no means would I rate this as a favorite, but it does turn out better than expected even if at the end its only about average.

On his 1000th birthday the Leprechaun (Davis) looks to take a bride, but when tricked he vows to return on his 2000th birthday for an ancestor of his would have been bride.

The screenplay was written by Turi Meyer & Al Septien who also have written such films as Chairman of the Board, Candyman: Day of the Dead (with Meyer directing) and Wrong Turn 2. They’ve also written for several shows including 19 episodes of Smallville. The script by Septien and Meyer is quite fun with entertaining characters. Septien & Meyer never attempt a serious horror picture and write it as a campy comedy. Like the original film the sequel isn’t action packed and while I didn’t mind the characters in the original, but here they’re a bit more fun, which helps keep the film fairly entertaining when there isn’t any action. While the script fun, but around the middle it does become a rehash of the original with the Leprechaun in search of a missing gold coin, only it plays out better. The script isn’t anything special, but Septien and Meyer write an entertaining script.

Leprechaun 2 was directed by Rodman Flender who made his directorial debut in 1991 with the horror film the Unborn and followed that up with In the Heat of Passion and Leprechaun 2 would be his 3rd feature film. Flender also has plenty of TV credits with episodes of Tales from the Crypt, Chicago Hope, Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek. Flender is however probably best known for his 1999 cult horror/comedy Idle Hands. Rodman Flender started his career working for Roger Corman and was at one point the head of production for Concorde Pictures. From the very start of the picture Rodman Flender establishes a fun tone and stages some highly entertaining moments. The pace of the film is fairly strong, but by the final act Leprechaun 2 does begin to run out of steam and despite only running at 85-minutes it probably would have been better served with a little bit of editing. Despite any flaws for the good bulk of the running time, Flender crafts a fun film and even as it becomes a rehash of the original it plays out as mentioned a lot better.

Like the original and what would follow, Leprechaun 2 is at its very best when Warwick Davis is on screen. As mentioned I’m not the hugest fan of the Leprechaun franchise, but what keeps me coming back and even revisiting the films is simply to watch Warwick Davis who really is quite a joy to watch as he truly gives it his all and is a vastly underrated actor. Warwick really gives such spirited performances and you can see how much he enjoyed playing the role. Sandy Baron as Morty is also a lot of fun to watch and he’s probably best known for his guest spots on Seinfeld as Jack Klompus (take the pen). Also look for Clint Howard in a brief, but funny role as a tourist.

Overall Leprechaun 2 is campy fun and Warwick Davis alone is worth viewing this. Leprechaun 2 isn’t gonna go down as a horror classic, but for the brief 85-minute running time it serves its purpose. The highlight of the film is the Leprechaun in a bar getting drunk!

Leprechaun (1993) Review

Posted in Leprechaun with tags , , on March 12, 2015 by Last Road Reviews

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LEPRECHAUN

*** Out of 5

Tagline- Your Luck Just Ran Out

Release Date- January 8th, 1993

Running Time- 91-Minutes

Rating- R

Writer/Director- Mark Jones

Starring- Warwick Davis, Jennifer Aniston, Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, Robert Gorman

Leprechaun was filmed in 1991, but wasn’t released until 1993 and originally the film was meant to be aimed for children, but it was decided later to aim at an older audience so there was some gore added in to secure an R-rating. Leprechaun was a surprise hit for Trimark as it was produced on a budget under a million and ended up grossing roughly 8-million dollars and was quite successful on home video and spawned a whole franchise with Leprechaun 2 getting a small theatrical release and starting with part 3 they went DTV. I’m not really a big fan of the Leprechaun franchise, but I can tolerate some of them enough to revisit certain parts every few years. The 3rd film is my favorite of the series and the one I actually quite enjoy. The Leprechaun franchise has its fan made obvious by the amount of sequels, but what the original has become most known for is starring Jennifer Aniston early in her career as up to this point she wasn’t very well known with her only real notable project being the short lived Ferris Bueller’s Day Off TV series. The following year after Leprechaun, Jennifer Aniston would get the role of Rachel Greene on Friends, which became one of the most successful TV shows of all time and launched Aniston into superstardom and not long after Friends she also became a bankable film star when Friends was on hiatus. When looking back at 90s horror there were plenty of solid films, but the biggest issue even in the better ones is they kind of lacked an identity. What was working well in the early to mid 80s began to grow tiresome by the end of the decade and some of the top horror filmmakers were hitting a bit of a rut. It really wasn’t until 1996 with Scream the 90s found their identity. Leprechaun was fairly successful thanks in part of using a type of villain we haven’t seen before, but at the end of the day while Leprechaun is a fair enough film it isn’t really that different than what we’ve seen before.

After his bag of gold coins are stolen an evil Leprechaun (Davis) kills anybody who stands in his way of getting them back.

Leprechaun was written and directed by Mark Jones and the script is fairly decent with characters that are quite fun. Leprechaun isn’t an action packed film as the script is very much built around the main characters and while I actually liked them, but the longer the scripts focuses on them it does hinder things. Leprechaun is decently plotted, but it feels as if there was something missing. As director Mark Jones crafts a fairly fun film and he establishes a light tone quite early and the fact Jones never really attempts to make a serious picture you can just sit back and enjoy it to some degree. Despite running at only 91-minutes, Leprechaun does have some pace issues when the focus lingers on the main characters for too long and there’s nothing really suspenseful so the final act can feel a little overly long, but Jones also keeps a sense of humor about the film, but I can’t help but think the film would have been better served with a bit more action mixed in. Leprechaun isn’t gonna go down as one of the great horror films and some have complained how the film is inconsistent due to originally being aimed at children to being an R-rated film and I’d disagree there’s no shortage of films like Leprechaun in regards to the tone and violence and the sequels, which were made for an R-rating really aren’t that different than the original.

The cast is fairly solid and Jennifer Aniston gives a fun performance and it isn’t difficult to see why she became such a major Hollywood player. Leprechaun is at its very best when Warwick Davis is onscreen. Warwick is a terrific actor and as the Leprechaun you can clearly see he was having a blast and this also shows in the sequels and even in the weaker films in the series Warwick makes them a bit more bearable. Warwick Davis is quite hysterical, but there’s also something quite sinister about him and his performance here was quite fun and again Leprechaun works best when Warwick is onscreen.

Overall Leprechaun is a fun silly little film that serves its purpose. Nothing here is really meant to be taking seriously and while this isn’t gonna go down as a horror classic its fair enough to make a fun viewing.