Leprechaun 3 (1995)
Director(s): Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writer(s): Mark Jones
Starring: Warwick Davis, John Gatins, Lee Armstrong
The Leprechaun series of horror flicks has already reached legend status with the Leprechaun character himself being a horror icon that’s often thrown in there with the founding fathers of slashers (e.g., Voorhees, Krueger, Face…of uhh Leather). Point is, the series doesn’t need me to hype it up and there hasn’t been anything too new about this series as of late, HOWEVER…the FearTASTIC vault shall always be a safe haven for those flicks that may be considered forgotten gems or at least a place where some history can be learned about a certain flick and that is definitely the case with Leprechaun 3 since in the historical timeline of the series, this movie was certainly the time point where the series decided to switch gears in overall tone.
Now, let me be clear; the Leprechaun series has always had a quirkiness to the tone that blended well with the more macabre elements of the movie which is pretty common in horror in general and one can make the argument that the Leprechaun horror character took its inspiration from Freddy Krueger…at least the later versions of Krueger in the series. The wise-cracks along with the fantastical powers that wreak havoc amongst humanity is what made the series overall wildly successful. Having said that, Leprechaun 3 is where the series decided to expand the overall world of the Leprechaun character by getting him out of random places in the mid-west and catapulting him to the excess ridiculousness that is Las Vegas!
I know placing horror icons in famous surroundings isn’t a new thing; I mean, Jason Voorhees to to check out Manhattan, right? The reason why this flick is important to the history of the series is because it was such a clear statement that the character and the series was going towards a ridiculous direction but in a way that it’ll be FUN instead of sinister. The first two Leprechaun movies centered around the iconic horror character terrorizing folks who unknowingly takes its gold or him looking for a bride. Both flicks did pretty decent (with the first one having Rachel from FRIENDS which I still say is a prequel for the famous character lol), so a third flick was inevitable.
I can only imagine that the writers room for this flick made the correlation that Las Vegas = Gambling and then Gambling = Luck and that Luck = Four Leaf Clover then finally Four Leaf Clover = ….LEPRECHAUN! In my mind, this is what happened that thus why we got the famous character headed over to Sin City. Funny thing though, the movie was actually a FUN watch. The plot, acting, kills were just as over the top as the city itself. It definitely started to veer away from the somewhat intensity that was in the first two flicks and upped the comedy and zingers but since the famous icon was played by the same legendary actor, Warwick Davis, it didn’t matter because he made it legitimate.
The movie itself has a simple enough plot with a guy that’s down on his luck in Sin City and how a lucky coin may be the answer to his troubles but the Leprechaun wants his coin back, wonderful horror ensues. There is however a great twist to this flick that hasn’t been explored in any of the other movies in the series in that if you somehow get Leprechaun blood in your system, then you somehow are bestowed with Leprechaun-is powers! For some reason, I really dug that aspect as a kid and re-watching it as an adult was even better in its absurdity. This is the kind of horror flick that just screams a good time with the movie not taking itself too seriously but they’re also not winking at the camera. It’s ridiculous enough and genuine enough to have the audience enjoy its ridiculousness and those kinds of horror flicks have a special place in my dark heart.
Warwick Davis is an icon in the acting world with roles in the Star Wars series, Willow, Harry Potter, etc. but in the horror community, he is the legendary evil Leprechaun that possesses a myriad of powers throughout the series and backs it up with creative kills and witty/corny phrases (sometimes rhymes!). The voice, the movements, the delivery is all Warwick Davis. His work with the Leprechaun character deserves all the accolades it already has and all the future kudos that it will have in the future. The man has taken this character from the Mid-West, to Vegas, to SPACE (yes, read that again) and then to the HOOOOOOOD…TWICE (yes, I did have to shout that out because that’s iconic in itself). Therefore it is my honor to induct Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun in this year’s FearTASTIC LEGENDS VAULT!
FearTASTIC LEGENDS VAULT 2021 Inductees – Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun in all the Leprechaun movies, YES, I SAID ALL (pic below is from THE HOOD).
Word to your mother.
Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.