Leprechaun

Posted in '90s, Horror, Hotties by - November 11, 2013
Leprechaun

I’ve never really got Jennifer Aniston as a sex symbol. I like that her dad was that old Greek man on the soap opera that my mom watched and that she perpetually acts like a gender-swapped Woody Allen but I never got sexy vibes off of her, until now. Maybe it was her carefree 90s bangs, her tight tank tops, and painted-on, high-waisted jorts. Maybe it’s the fact that I have some strange, unexplainable attraction to girls with pre-op noses?  Whatever it is, I can assure you that the best thing there is to say about Leprechaun is simply that Jennifer Aniston and her birth nose play a hot, young, Valley girl from L.A. who wears pink L.A. Gear sneakers (totally meta). Beyond that, there is nothing.

jenn-hot

Dem nostrils

Conceptually, I like the idea of a horror movie featuring an evil Leprechaun with magic powers. Premise-wise, that gives you a lot of material to work with, but director Mark Jones doesn’t even try to deliver. We’re left with potential energy that never changes states from “cool concept” to “worth watching.”  The execution is so rote and cynical that I had visions of the writer using an R.P.G. character creator to generate all the ideas for the Leprechaun.

 

HORRORMOVIEFRANCHISE11

This is the final draft of the script

 

Perhaps if this film had the subtle strength of Aniston’s supple young body I would have cared. But it didn’t, I won’t bother with a synopsis because the story doesn’t matter, the characters don’t matter. Everything that isn’t the Leprechaun is just a delivery system for him to vomit cringe-inducing puns and dad jokes in the general direction of the audience. The action consists of Leprechaun killing inconsequential characters with overly-complicated traps or toys or whatever—I don’t care, neither will you. There is no joy in this film, there is no horror in this movie.  I was more terrified by the blatant insensitivity towards minorities and, whatever the politically correct term for little people is.  The most obvious example of this is when the leprechaun literally bites a shopkeeper’s ankle.

 

anklebite

This is progress?

In lieu of your typical black comedy, sexual innuendos, or self-aware situational jokes the movie goes out of its way to be petty towards minorities. Why?  The jokes aren’t funny, or clever, or satirical – they’re just sort of there. We’re force-fed yucks about feminism and the hypocrisy of vegetarianism, there is a character who has an undisclosed mental handicap, and this is tapped for most of the comedy relief. I’m not saying I was offended, I’m saying they failed at humor in a particularly graceless way. Like everything else in this movie, the gags are clumsy and ugly. Was it trying to make a point about the 90s sanitization of political correctness? Was it trying to be topical?  Who cares? As a supposed horror/comedy aimed at teenagers why weren’t they trying to be scary? Or funny? Why even bother with picking on girls, vegetarians and the mentally-challenged. Isn’t it bad enough that the titular character kind of inherently exploits a particular minority who until recently were at best, a fetish, and at worst, a practical effect with a consciousness?

 

 

petewins

Wanna know what Peter Dinklage would do if you tried calling him a Leprechaun?  

Not even the music works. It’s a film about a leprechaun trying to kill teenagers, yet we’re treated to cutesy pizzicato plucks and swelling strings?  Between the sometimes sweeping and sometimes whimsical full orchestra, I felt like I was watching a sequel to Home Alone.  Actually, if you consider that the movie ends with the lippy 12-year-old (yeah, there’s one of those) using a slingshot to fire a four-leaf clover down the throat of the Leprechaun and kill him (spoiler alert) maybe I was watching a sequel to Home Alone. That’s how you kill a Joe Pesci, right?

 danny-stern

Still no known way of killing a Daniel Stern.

At some point I was taken so far out of the movie that I began wondering about what wasn’t onscreen instead of what was actually happening. Warwick Davis can’t even do a half-assed Irish accent, which I feel is relatively important for the role of a leprechaun. If you’re gonna do so many obvious dialog overdubs anyway, why not get someone who sounds… Irish?  Why wasn’t there any nudity in this movie? This was Aniston’s first role and gratuitous nudity seems to be 35% of why most people see horror movies, so it seems like a slap in the face to feature feeble gore and zero sex. Was it because of the jerk kid? If so, why not just kill that jerk kid? One of the main characters is a mouthy 12-year-old who notably doesn’t get his face murdered to death by the Leprechaun. In fact why don’t any of the main characters die? They all live! The token handsome guy, the comic relief (who was clearly on the spectrum btw),  Aniston’s dad. Even taut young Jennifer herself. The dead end up being all these useless support characters who we meet for a minute. The movie might as well have cut to footage of death scenes from better films because the characters had fuck all to do in this one besides appearing and dying on cue.

elevator

Except this guy

I said earlier that between the movie and the actors in it there was a lot of wasted potential. The career of a post-nose job Aniston and that one quirky character she always plays notwithstanding, the most promising actor in this film never really broke out of essentially being a living prop for fantasy films. It’s sad because he really is talented and so here is an open letter Warwick Davis:

 

Dear Warwick Davis,

Did you know that you were in Return of the Jedi? Have you ever seen Willow? You were in that as well, in fact the part was specifically written with you in mind! Those were pretty incredible movies for a first time actor and you proved in both of them that you had serious chops. Your future was so bright who knows where you could have went? As long as you didn’t stoop to some pandering, exploitive …

leprechaundance

oh

Well, everyone is allowed a mistake here and there. It’s natural, especially when you’re young. I’m sure one day we’ll all look back on this and laugh and hey, at least you learned what kind of movies you should stay away from, you don’t want to get typecast after all….

 lepprechaun22222

I see

 

O.K. so two bad movies. Probably the result of a contractual obligation. Though they did add a love interest for the sequel. That’s a whole new angle and it gives you a chance to redeem yourself. Your character is already established and you learned from the mistakes of the first film. Now you can leave the franchise with your dignity intact and head held high. It’s not like you wanna make a career out of….

 leppcollec

Oh,  fuck you.

 

I don’t know what they offered you for Leprechaun, but it wasn’t enough. At some point in the movie the Leprechaun says that he “sold his soul for that cursed gold and he’d never let it go,” when you read that part in the script did you think “boy, what a good idea!” Because I don’t think that was the point of the movie. Didn’t you notice all of the terrible murderous tragedies that befell the people who were chasing the gold? But, whatever. You’re probably living in the Hollywood Hills, banging those creepy horror movie groupie girls that hang out at conventions and doing big fat rails of gold dust while I’m here complaining in discrete detail about a movie that came out 20 years ago. I guess you win.

XOXO,

Jimmy

P.S. Could you introduce me to some of those horror movie groupie girls? Tell them I’m a Robotic Vampire with lasers for teeth, chicks like that.

whyevenbother

Wait, this was your fucking end game? Why not just be an accountant?

 

This wasn’t a good movie. It has no tone. It’s a melange of bad ideas that were poorly carried out. For all the power and beauty of her youth, the simple objectification of Aniston’s body in its sexual prime was not enough to make this movie work. Leprechaun is a joke but  not a comedy. It’s not a thriller because there is no tension; it isn’t an action movie unless you count sped-up footage of Warwick Davis piloting a wheelchair down a hospital hallway as a car chase. There is no mystery in it, so suspense is out the window. I guess it has a public domain folklore character so it’s kind of a fantasy? It’s filed under ‘horror’ even though it isn’t scary. Whenever a movie of this sort appears like a pot of pyrite at the end of an oil-slicked sky it really makes me wonder:  Are horror movies supposed to be… horrible? If so, you nailed it Leprechaun, you are the most horror movie I’ve seen in a long time.

Jimmy Andreakos
This post was written by
Goth as I wanna be.

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