Man, can you believe they’ve actually made six of these things and a remake? Okay, okay, I’m not normally one to condemn a bad horror movie. If even ten minutes on this site has taught you anything about me, it’s that I love bad horror movies. But the Leprechaun franchise is different. These films are just… SO bad, even I can’t muster up the wherewithal to defend them.
I mean, I’ll admit that they can be something of a guilty pleasure from time to time; I like Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun… it’s just everything else I can’t stand. However, of the six original Leprechaun films, Leprechaun 2 is probably my “favorite”, and by “favorite” I mean that it’s the one I hate the least.
Leprechaun 2 (1994)
In case you didn’t know, a Leprechaun is only allowed to take a mortal wife on its thousandth birthday. A thousand years ago, the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) was thwarted from taking a comely lass by her father and vowed to take her fairest ancestor on his next thousandth birthday. Well, fast-forward to the present: It’s St. Patrick’s Day and the Leprechaun has his heart set on a wedding. He comes to take his bride (Shevonne Durkin), but in the process, accidentally leaves behind one of his precious gold coins in the possession of her boyfriend (Charlie Heath). Before he can enjoy his wedding night, the Leprechaun must first retrieve his missing coin, but all the boyfriend wants is his girl back. Lots of limericks and Irish jigs follow.
I’ll give the Leprechaun franchise credit for one thing: It has zero continuity. That may not sound like much of a compliment, but I actually like how every Leprechaun film stars a different Leprechaun which just so happens to look, act and talk exactly like the previous one. It keeps the franchise kind of “refreshing” in a way, as the writers don’t have to worry about bringing the same Leprechaun back to life at the beginning of each film or play by any of the established rules.
Unfortunately, while you’d think that kind of creative freedom would lead to some interesting films, you’d be wrong, since it really doesn’t. Future installments in the series will reach such creative heights as the Leprechaun killing teenagers in space or slaughtering ethnic stereotypes in “tha hood” (he does the latter twice).
Anyhow, there’s plenty of Irish-themed kills to help get you through this picture. These include but are not limited to: A man having a pot of gold materialize in his belly, a guy being duped into making out with the blades of a lawnmower and a security guard getting run over by a go-cart. Actually, now that I think about it, most of those kills weren’t very Irish-themed at all.
Despite how gruesome some of the described deaths may sound, the gore in Leprechaun 2 remains surprisingly tame. Frustratingly, the camera almost always pans away from the money shot, only returning for a brief glimpse of the aftermath. I’m a bit confounded by this, as I was under the impression that all the Leprechaun sequels were ‘so good they went straight to video’, so I don’t get the self-censorship on the part of the filmmakers.
I’m not even going to waste any time commenting on the acting. When the most qualified actors to have ever graced this series have been Jennifer Aniston (Leprechaun) and Busta Rhymes (Leprechaun in tha Hood), you should just resign yourself to suffering through the worst performers the early ‘90s straight-to-video market had to offer before even sticking in the film.
Warwick Davis delivers his usual fun performance as the Leprechaun and that’s really this franchise’s one saving grace after all these years. But even then, his antics can get annoying pretty quick. Even the most unflinching of porn enthusiasts will likely be left feeling uncomfortable as the hideous midget tries to have his way with the female lead time and time again.
The story for Leprechaun 2 is, surprise-surprise, pretty stupid. The plot rotates incoherently between the Leprechaun trying to get his gold back and simultaneously trying to rape his bride-to-be. And yet, somehow, it’s far more tolerable than Leprechaun in Space (honestly, if you compare every potential disappointment in your life to Leprechaun in Space, you’ll be so much happier).
I rather liked the set design of the Leprechaun’s cavernous, maze-like lair beneath his enchanted tree. As a kid, that was the only part of the film I managed to commit to memory, having completely purged the “horny Leprechaun” plot from my brain. Re-watching the film now, it’s probably the only part of the film I enjoy.
I feel like this should go without saying, but Leprechaun 2 is an awful film. But, then again, all six Leprechaun films are awful films. I guess you have to grade these things on a curve.