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Try as they will, and try as they might, who steals me gold won't live through the night.
on 16 April 2012
When drunken Irishman Dan O'Grady returns home a little worse for wear in a limo, his wife thinks he's gone mad. He explains to her that he caught a leprechaun and took his gold, she's obviously a little skeptical and goes inside to make a pot of tea. While Dan is outside hiding the gold, the leprechaun climbs out of Dan's suitcase and scares Mrs. O'Grady into falling down the stairs. Dan returns and discovers that the leprechaun has killed his wife, and with a four leaf clover he manages to trap the leprechaun in a box. He goes to set the box on fire but succumbs to a stroke before he can, leaving the leprechaun imprisioned. 10 years later Tory Reding and her dad J.D are moving into the old O'Grady house, where Tory very quickly meets Nathan, Ozzie and Alex who are fixing the house up for them. Ozzie finds the gold that O'Grady had hid years earlier, prompting the leprechaun to escape his shackles and reclaim his precious gold.
Warwick Davis is hilarious as the leprechaun, he has some cracking one liners and is clearly having a great time. Davis is best known as Wicket the Ewok in Return Of The Jedi, Willow Ufgood in Ron Howard's brilliant 1988 adventure film Willow, and Filius Flitwick in the Harry Potter series of films. He's recently come to the attention of many people by starring in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's Life's Too Short. Leprechaun was Jennifer Aniston's first feature film role, and as is the norm in Hollywood, one she probably leaves off the CV and rarely if ever talks about. She gives a decent performance but basically just plays Rachel from Friends getting chased by a leprechaun, she was a little more curvaceous in a good way here, as opposed to the super slim actress she would later become. Ken Olandt, Mark Holton, Robert Hy Gorman and John Sanderford all offer good support, but this is Warwick Davis' film and it's him that really shines. It's written and directed by Mark Jones, he did a great job considering this was his debut. He followed Leprechaun with Rumpelstiltskin two years later, another decent film that's worth a watch. His last film was called Triloquist that went straight to dvd in 2008, it's similar to Leprechaun in the way it's made, but it's nowhere near as good. The film was originally meant to be a scary film for kids, the studio decided it would do better business if they filmed a few gore sequences and aim it towards adults. It's easy to see that this would have been ideal for kids if it weren't for the gore, but thankfully the murders are done really well as are the effects.
The dvd is very basic, there are no extras but the sound and picture quality seems a little better than the older copy, not worth double dipping though. There's only English subtitles available, so it's a very disappointing release. Leprechaun was made for $900,000 in 1992 and hit the cinema's on January 1st 1993, making it the first theatrically released film of the year. It went on to make a respectable $8,500,000, and later made plenty of money through vhs sales. It quickly gained cult status and the studio's eyes lit up, deciding to make Leprechaun 2. So far there has been six Leprechaun films, one was set in "the hood" and another set in space. For a film that was a little daft to begin with, the sequels are very poor and just get more ridiculous. Leprechaun is by far the best of the series, it's funny, gory, reasonably well acted, decently directed and deserves a special edition. It's not worth buying if you're after a serious horror film, if you like a lot of humour with your horror then Leprechaun is great. Not a great film or a bad film, it's somewhere inbetween being good and so bad it's good. Whichever way you look at it, it's wildly entertaining and worth watching for Warwick Davis alone and a pre Friends Jennifer Aniston. If you want to buy the film, it might be worth looking at the box set with all six films, there nowhere near as good, but the price is great and if you love this one, you might like the sequels.