Leprechaun 2

leprechaun2-rev

Leprechaun 2  (1994)    Trimark/Horror-Comedy    RT: 85 minutes    Rated R (violence, language, brief nudity)    Director: Rodman Flender    Screenplay: Turi Meyer and Al Septien    Music: Jonathan Elias    Cinematography: Jane Castle    Release date: April 8, 1994/June 3, 1994 (US)    Cast: Warwick Davis, Charlie Heath, Shevonne Durkin, Sandy Baron, Adam Biesk, James Lancaster, Linda Hopkins, Arturo Gil, Kimmy Robertson, Clint Howard, Andrew Craig, David Powledge, Billy Beck, Al White, Martha Hackett, Jonathan R. Perkins, Tony Cox.    Box Office: $2.3 million (US)

 

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 I recall it like it was yesterday. Leprechaun 2 was supposed to open on April 8 but it didn’t (at least not here in Philadelphia). Not until June 3 when it quietly opened on a few area screens with no advance notice. The closest theater to me showing it was in Center City and it had only one showing at 9:45pm, the last show of the night. I made a special trip into town to see Leprechaun 2 opening night thus proving two things: (1) my love for bad horror sequels knows no bounds and (2) I’m certifiably insane. Oh, it was bad all right. I couldn’t believe I wasted my time on it. Now I think it’s cool.

 leprechaun2One of the keys to understanding and appreciating Leprechaun 2 is acknowledging that it was obviously a quickie job. In an early scene, there’s a theater marquee in the background advertising Sister Act 2. A moment later, a bus passes by with a Geronimo ad on the side of the vehicle. Both movies came out in December ’93 meaning they were still filming a few months prior to its scheduled release in April. So why the delay? It would appear that the studio made significant cuts before unleashing it on the public. Reportedly a whole subplot about a love triangle between the two leads and a third party was cut. Maybe they wanted Leprechaun 2 to focus more on the titular character and his latest killing spree.

 Much like Warlock: The Armageddon the previous year, Leprechaun 2 is an in-name only sequel that discards the mythology set forth in the first movie in favor of something new. This time, Leprechaun (Davis, Willow) is in search of a bride (so why not call it Bride of Leprechaun?). The problem is that he can attempt this only once every thousand years. If his chosen mate sneezes three times without somebody saying “God bless you”, she will be his. This is exactly what happened 1000 years ago and he’s determined not to let the same thing happen twice. In present-day, he’s chosen a cute blonde named Bridget (Durkin, Ghost in the Machine) who happens to be a direct descendant of the girl from 1000 years earlier. The fly in the ointment this time is her boyfriend Cody (Heath, 1993’s The Beverly Hillbillies) who finds himself wanted by the police for murder after Leprechaun disappears her back to his hideout under a tree on Harry Houdini’s property.

 Sandy Baron (Vamp), plays his Uncle Morty, a con man with a bogus dark tour of Hollywood operation. He has Cody lure in lame-brained tourists, like Twin Peaks’ Kimmy Robertson and Ron Howard’s little brother Clint, with the promise of haunted murder sites and the like. Although the actor actually died in 2001, he looks like he’s already at death’s door here. He’s pretty funny in Leprechaun 2 especially with the running joke about him trying to entice others (including a couple of cops) to buy their own tour franchise. Davis does just as well the second time as he did the first as Leprechaun. He’s both funny and malicious whether he’s stealing a bum’s gold tooth, biting a talent agent’s finger off or steaming a snarky coffee shop waiter to death with a cappuccino machine. Neither Heath nor Durkin can act but they sure are good-looking. Just two typical all-American teens running for their lives from a killer leprechaun; it’s a tale as old as time.  

 I hated Leprechaun 2 the first time I saw it. The first one was wonderfully bad, this one was just plain bad. That was my initial assessment. I’ve had a change of heart which has a lot to do with the low quality of today’s tepid fright flicks. At least this one is rated R meaning it has bloody violence- e.g. a boy has his face mutilated by a twirling lawnmower blade. Also, the teens are Gen-X as opposed to millennials. Oh, they’re still idiots but at least they’re not self-centered, entitled a-holes. The makeup and special effects are as cheap as ever. The storyline is moronic, a perfect fit for the moronic characters. I’m fully aware of how bad a movie Leprechaun 2 really is but I still get a kick out of it. It’s a fun mindless low-budget horror-comedy that won’t do much to increase sales of Lucky Charms. At least it takes place on St. Patrick’s Day and NOT in North Dakota (like the first one).

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