Only Cityfolk Can Save the Heartland: Leprechaun

03/13/2013 4:00 AM |

Leprechaun (1993)
Directed by Mark Jones
March 16 at Videology

After starring in Willow and way too many Ewok adventures, 23-year-old Warwick Davis headlined this half-assed horror-comedy that treats little green men like Irish vampires. Davis’s monster, who rides a tricycle and is repeatedly compared to the Lucky Charms character, reacts to four-leaf clovers like a vamp would a cross and feels compelled to shine shoes in the same way that the bloodsucking undead supposedly have OCD about counting grains of salt or rice. But while writer-director Jones (Rumpelstiltskin) takes himself more seriously than anyone that directed a sequel to his inept tentpole film, his ideas for Davis’s monster are similarly, uh, crude.

After Davis escapes decade-long imprisonment (the four-leaf clover that sealed him into a crate was removed!), he terrorizes a group of New Mexicans, including Jennifer Aniston’s snooty LA refugee. Jones condescends to his viewers in many ways, but especially by championing Aniston, in her film debut—no, being an extra in Mac and Me does not count—as Tory, the one character whose newfound faith in monsters save her poor podunk friends from Davis’s mythical menace. By assuming that only a cynical, but also neurotic (she’s from LA!) urbanite like Aniston’s character can save superstitious heartland Americans, like more-slow-than-autistic Ozzie (Teen Wolf‘s Mark Holton), from themselves reveals the extent of Jones’s cynicism. Meanwhile, only Warwick Davis takes his job seriously, cackling about his gold in a terrible Irish accent while riding his trike. You don’t have to be a fortune-teller to know that this guy would go the distance.

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