St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

Leprechaun Returns (2018)

Me: X-Men movies are garbage. There, I said it, I don’t care if they are an allegory for being gay or trans or black.

Parker: Apparently we’re all going to be brown.

Me: You know that doesn’t mean you and me, right. It means our descendants in like 100 years. White people aren’t suddenly turning brown, that’s not how that works.

Parker: Fine, in 100 years.

Me: I feel bad for all the black people who are going to have to fuck the white supremacists to get them out of the gene pool.

Leprechaun Returns

Off to an uncontroversial start, then. Where were we? Oh yeah, Leprechaun Returns, the latest installment in the long-running Leprechaun franchise. Apparently WWE didn’t want to make another Leprechaun movie after their disastrous “gritty” reboot, so they palmed this one off on Syfy. This gives us not only a new studio but a new Leprechaun played by Linden Porco. It might seem impossible to accept any other Leprechaun than Warwick Davis, but y’know, it’s like whenever they change popes. At first you think you’ll never love again, but then the stupid hat starts to warm the heart of your cockles, and the next thing you know you’re cheering him on as he chases after teenagers and obsesses over piles of gold.

The Leprechaun exploding out of the simpleton.

This film is a direct sequel to the first film in the franchise, Leprechaun (1993), and even features the return of the potato-shaped simpleton who you may better know as the antagonist from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. Unlike Origins, Returns goes back to the original formula that made these movies so camp and well-known — you get a wise-cracking malevolent hobgoblin who goes around exploding out of people and making weak limericks in a semi-Irish accent. Except this movie is… good at it. The earlier films are great because, even though the jokes are awful and rarely land, the whole thing is so over-the-top it kind of works. Returns is just as over-the-top, but I can’t believe I’m saying this — the jokes land. This movie is funny like you wouldn’t believe. It takes its time to warm up, but it shines with some properly witty dialogue that knows it’s silly and isn’t afraid to have fun.

I mean it didn’t start too auspiciously, what with some extremely dodgy movie versions of Instagram and Google.

Funstagram and Boogley
Oh, you never heard of Funstagram? Let me Boogley that for you.

But after a slow build I started to realize that this movie is genuinely funny. The Leprechaun spends a while tidying up this sorority house’s shoe closet but makes a point of chucking out an egregious pair of Crocs in the name of fashion. This was one of a bunch of indications that the writer of this movie had actually seen and enjoyed the other Leprechaun movies, and I’m assuming she was also responsible for the very unexpected level of film literacy (including references to Psycho, Fantasia, and Werner Herzog).

Women running from houses.
“I THINK I PUNCTURED MY TRAPEZIUS!” Actual line from the movie, no word of a lie.

Where’s the Man Candy

Two unappealing men holding Legitimate Pizza.
Given the choice I’d rather have sex with the legitimate pizza.

Veeeery slim pickings in this movie. The writer was a woman but the director was a man and it shows. We get some male gaze early on with the young women exhibiting an unnecessary amount of side-boob, but the two male characters are less appealing than the faux pizza they’re carrying. Parker was repelled by him on the right, but was prepared to settle for budget Prince Harry on the left. He’s welcome to both of them as far as I’m concerned.

The Skinny

Miniature Leprechauns do the hammer dance.

“Eat a dick, ass-baggins!”

Easily the best Leprechaun movie for quality, humor, and creativity. Hands down a winner. I am kind of wistful for the endearingly shit ones (Who could forget Leprechaun 4: In Space?) but this is how to do a Leprechaun movie right.