After the trauma that was Thundercrack! I’m ecstatic to return to my natural home.
Leprechaun 3 is where the Leprechaun series abandons any pretense at horror. Sure, people die messily, bit they don’t die either in a frightening fashion or in a realistic one. Leprechaun 3 is an out and out comedy, and anyone that pretends it isn’t is lying.
Once again they kick continuity out of the window and introduce a new Leprechaun. This one is scared of magic amulets apparently, and can only be hurt if you destroy his gold. However, if you gain possession of his gold, you will eventually join “the green side” and will be forced into a hilarious Lep off with the little green maestro himself. Because that all makes sense.
Anyway, plot- Leprechaun gets free, guy finds coin makes wish gets bitten by Leprechaun, coin gets passed around like a hooker on a stag night. Guy now infected with Leprechaunitis finds original Leprechaun, they have hilarious Lep-off, guy destroys crock of gold and thus kills Leprechaun and cures himself.
There is again, I’m sorry to say, some crap in this film and it all falls on Lee Armstrong, who struggles as showgirl/ love interest. She’s a terrible actress and the exploitative costume that they stick her in makes her look less attractive than she actually is. This is a shocking waste. Still, at least she gets the goodies out for the camera.
However, this film is a veritable piñata of awesomeness- were it to be hit with a big stick it would split open and shower a bounty of golden moments on to appreciative children everywhere. The Lep-off is priceless, Warwick delivers his side of the lines with no little relish (and he has some pearlers this time: “Join me on the green side”) but poor old John Gatins is just hopelessly outclassed. He makes a decent fist of it, being as it’s his first effort as a Leprechaun, but it really is a case of apprentice being crushed by master. Warwick really enjoys himself here- he gives a twisted Leprechaun’s tour guide to Vegas, plays dice, and revels in the part, poor Gatins just can’t compete with that masterclass.
The murders are hilarious. For example, the lecherous casino owner is electrocuted while nailing a robot, a woman that wishes to be young and beautiful is detonated, and best of all, Warwick chainsaws a magician in half live on stage. The audience think it’s a trick, and cheer along, then he opens the casket and the magician’s guts fall out. Cue screams.
The film is stuffed with little comic moments. For example, there are a pair of comedy hitmen/ loan sharks, that argue over the finer details of underwear, before getting clobbered by the Leprechaun. These instances actually make the film, and I laughed out loud listening to the doctor scheduling appointments around his golf game, or watching the Leprechaun revelling in playing craps.
The greatest comic touch of all, and why I’m giving him special praise, is John DeMita, as the Great Fazio who perfectly captures the essence of a sleazy (possibly homosexual) Vegas Magician. His look of disgust when Warwick places a green turd in his hand is worth the price of admission by itself. The man is a veritable comic genius, and clearly needs more work. Fazio’s naked vanity and gross incompetence form many of the highlights of the movie- and even though his death is both inevitable and deserved it’s still a shame when it comes.
It wouldn’t be a Leprechaun film without atrocious poetry- and Warwick gets more than his fair share of dodgy couplets. Whoever, Leprechaun in training also gets some good ones- the “penis au gratin” one leaping to mind. I love the bad poetry in these films, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to why the Leprechaun can only speak in rhyme.
Finally, this is the first film that introduces a “dummies guide to killing Leprechauns”, in this case it comes from a cheesy animated computer program. It’s absolutely hilarious watching this stuff, and a great plot device for schlock cinema as it saves the writers the bother of actually having to explain anything. The Leprechaun is vulnerable because the computer program says so.
Overall, this is when the series abandons any horror pretentions. This is now all about the Warwick show, and a mighty burden is easily held on those small shoulders. This is an excellent comedy, gross when it needs to be, sharp and witty when it wants to be, but never less than entertaining.
I really like this installment, it isn’t up there on the level of the real bad boys in the series, but it’s not fair off and there are more than enough chuckles to be had to keep me entertained. It’s absurdly entertaining and at this stage the series was on line to be the only horror movie series that gets better with each one.
It’s hilariously entertaining. Get some beer, and laugh at the antics in this film. Recommended.
To be continued,