Leprechaun in the Hood
Once again, continuity is abandoned in a Leprechaun sequel. By this point in the series, this should really be expected. I do have to admire the inventiveness of the writers. It’s like they sat down, got a bit high, and then thought “You know, it would be fucking funny to do a film with our little cod-Irish magic midget in Compton. This is an absolutely smashing idea, and they don’t fuck it up at all- Leprechaun in the hood is every bit as good, if not better, as Leprechaun in Space, albeit far less insane. It doesn’t even make a pretence at horror this time out- there’s no grotesque monsters, the deaths are laughable rather than frightening, and much of the fun of the film comes from pure comedy rather than inept horror.
This time out the plot revolves around the theft of the Leprechaun’s golden flute by Mack Daddy Onassis (“it’s because he’s a pimp: Mack. Daddy. Owns. Asses”) brilliantly played by Ice-T. A trio of cretinous wannabe rappers (Stray Bullet, Butch, and Postmaster P, so-called because he “delivers a positive message”) rip off Mack Daddy and set the Leprechaun loose. Carnage and Hilarity ensue, and uniquely in the series the Leprechaun wins.
This should, by rights be a completely inept film. That it isn’t, is down to one man: Ice-T who delivers a performance that wouldn’t be amiss in a proper Compton gangland film. He’s pitch perfect and plays it in a thoroughly professional manner- it’s a performance every bit as serious as his Law and Order: Cat Stuck in Tree spinoff. Which must have been a challenge given the material- there’s plenty of absurdity to ignore, such as removing a baseball bat from a giant afro. To be fair, all the performances in this film are pretty good. It is a pleasant change to not see the acting chops carried by Warwick, who is his usual excellent self.
This is far too competent for a DTV sequel, but it isn’t completely perfect. If you want to be really fussy then I suppose you could say the rapping is crap, except in this case (unlike Hard Rock Zombies) it’s meant to be. They’re meant to suck, and only have a chance because of the magic flute.
However, this film scores highly for being, well, fucking hilarious. Firstly, it has the most staggeringly awesome yet completely pointless cameo in the history of cinema. Coolio appears at a concert that the rappers give. He’s on screen for less than 20 seconds before vanishing. They comment on him being there, and then he’s gone never to be mentioned again. I think he buggered off because he was unimpressed by the rapping.
Secondly, the Leprechaun develops a weed habit. We’ve seen him dive into whiskey in other films, but here he actively goes out of his way to get bollixed. The incredibly inept plan that Butch and Post come up with to kill him (dressing up as the 2 least convincing women in the history of cinema) then getting him fucked up on a clover-laced joint is inspired.
Warwick is on-song here, and this particular Leprechaun is a dirty little bastard of the highest order. He smokes weed at every given opportunity, nails a transvestite, and recruits Zombie Hos to get him women that Butch thinks he fucks to death. Eventually, as I said a spliff laced with clover proves to be his downfall- sort of. He’s absolutely hilarious, but his crowning glory has to be his giddily amusing “rap” performance at the end. Let me repeat that. Warwick Davis, dressed in Leprechaun costume, rapping, Irish accent. Gold.
There are so many moments of distinction in this film: Butch, despite all appearances to the contrary, turns out to be a genius who devises the plot to kill the Leprechaun using information gleaned from “Leprechauns for dummies”. To be fair, our heroic rapping trio are all amusing in their own right: Postmaster P and the positive message is intrinsically funny, the kind of thing you’d invent as satire if Christian rap didn’t already exist. Stray Bullet is annoying but hey at least he serves a purpose, and he gives the “I’ll find a ho” line in the church.
The magic flute macguffin (I never thought I’d use that word in the context of Leprechaun) is a vast improvement on the Crock of Gold. It makes sense that a “magic” flute would be the Leprechaun’s priority and not just Shylock style grasping for every coin. It also makes sense that they all strive for it, as it’s a great piece of kit.
Overall, a first rate effort and arguably the best film of the lot. Highly, highly recommended.
Next up is the final and least satisfactory Leprechaun movie- the absolutely execrable Back 2 Da Hood.