Top o’ the Mornin’ to Ya, ‘Leprechaun’ Retrospective
A Little Luck of the Irish Goes a Long Way
Syfy’s latest announcement of Leprechaun Returns prompted me to take another look at the original film that came out in 1993. Leprechaun is a horror comedy film directed by Mark Jones.
The film’s plot revolves around an evil leprechaun who’s determined to reclaim his stolen gold. 10 years prior to the film’s main plot, the leprechaun followed Dan O’Grady, the man who stole his pot of gold. After killing his wife, O’Grady sealed the leprechaun away. A decade later the leprechaun breaks out and terrorizes a girl and a group of painters as he believes they now have his gold.
The plot is absolutely ridiculous but comedic all the way through due to the leprechaun’s performance. He’s portrayed by Warwick Davis, who played the main ewok from Star Wars Return of the Jedi. Davis is comedic and over-the-top. He’s a large ham and attacks people in brow-raising ways, from using pogo sticks to driving in small vehicles. Most of his dialogue is either rhymes or saying “I want me gold”. He walks and runs with a wobble, is uncontrollably obsessive with shining shoes, and most importantly he really wants his gold back.
The heroine Tory is played by Jennifer Aniston in one of her first roles. Tory and her father recently move in to O’Grady’s home. She gives off the typical valley girl vibe, in which she loves looking nice but doesn’t want to be in a dirty environment. Like most other characters in horror movies with a supernatural entity, she’s in denial about the leprechaun’s existence and takes some convincing. Eventually she comes around and helps the others deal with the situation.
The other three protagonist are a trio of painters who calls themselves ‘Three Guys that Paint’. Nathan Murphy, played by Ken Olandt, is a dead-ringer for Kevin Bacon right down to the mullet. He’s somewhat of the hero, though he is thwart by the leprechaun. Only at the end does he have a moment to shine as the hero.
Robert Hy Gorman plays Alex, Nathan’s younger brother. He’s rather intelligent for his age, easily able to fix a truck engine and using profanity casually. Then there’s Ozzie, played by Mark Holton. He's basically the polar opposite of Alex, tall, dimwitted and believes in supernatural entities, which Alex doesn’t. He’s the first to encounter the leprechaun after accidentally freeing him and when he tells the others they naturally don't believe him. He and Alex do find the leprechaun’s gold.
Shay Duffin plays Dan O’Grady, the man at the start who finds the leprechaun’s gold. His main role in the film is a plot device and while the death of his wife, played by Pamela Mant, is slightly sad, O’Grady doesn’t have much of a role in the film in terms of development.
As mentioned, much of the film is fueled by the leprechaun and the things he does while looking for his gold. He’s rather extreme in everything he does, from his introduction to being comedic, even when angered he’s over-the-top. His presence is somewhat like a live-action cartoon, crashing through a fence with a perfect silhouette, eating a spoof of Lucky Charms cereal, and trolling the main cast when he feels that they cheated him out of his gold.
The only thing that felt off about the leprechaun was his weakness, which stated at the film’s beginning is a four leaf clover. A leprechaun being weak against a four leaf clover is almost the same as an Easter Bunny being weak against painted eggs.
Overall, Leprechaun isn’t the most memorable film, however it’s full of comedic moments that will put a smile on your face. As mentioned before, it is Jennifer Aniston’s break-out role and the film did lead to five sequels, a reboot, and another sequel set to appear in 2019. It’s also memorable for Warwick Davis’s portrayal of the leprechaun. It’s worth checking out at least once.
Original Movie Trailer
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Staff Oneil