Leprechaun Collection: Leprechaun 2 Review
Leprechaun 2 opens in Ireland on St Patrick's Day one thousand years ago. The Leprechaun is making his way across the land of saints and scholars (and vicious little green men) dragging his servant behind him, one William O'Day who longs for nothing but his freedom. The Leprechaun is celebrating his one-thousandth birthday and while every other year has brought him a new pair of stripy socks, a shining of his silver buckles and perhaps even a brand new pair of leather shoes, this year permits him to marry any girl of his choosing. And he chooses to marry O'Day's beautiful young daughter. Knowing that interrupting his master's plans will mean certain death, O'Day's interjection proves fatal but he dies knowing that the wizened little gold-hoarder shall not that day. Only the Leprechaun has one final surprise for O'Day. Perhaps not today but a thousand years from now he will wed an O'Day!
One thousand years later and without any mention of the well in which he was trapped at the end of the first film, the Leprechaun pitches up in Los Angeles searching for another bride. As fate would have it, he meets Bridget O'Day (Shevonne Durkin) on the night that she's fought with her boyfriend Cody (Charlie Heath) and made her own way home. The Leprechaun takes his chance. Breaking into Bridget's home, she sneezes three times and before Cody can say, "God bless you!", snatches his girl and whisks her away to his home within the roots of a tree. But Cody isn't going to lose his girl to a two-thousand-year-old Leprechaun and with the aid of his alcoholic uncle Mort (Sandy Baron) keeps the Leprechaun busy while Cody figures out a way to rescue Bridget. But the young O'Day isn't waiting to be rescued and while the Leprechaun seeks to recover his gold and enjoy his wedding, our modern-day Los Angeleans do for the Leprechaun what William O'Day did so long ago...to speak now or forever hold their peace.
"That is one pissed-off Leprechaun!" They aren't many films that could get away with a line like that. Well, given that I'm in the middle of reviewing the Leprechaun Collection, I'm well-placed to know that there are only six films in which anyone could say such a thing and keep a straight face and this is one of them. Compared to the first film, this one is actually funny. Rodman Flender might have been cursed by his parents when they came to choosing a name for their boy but he understands that you would be better served setting one's own hair alight to keep warm than to take Leprechaun seriously. In a film in which the Leprechaun is cheered on in a drinking contest by dwarves dressed in green, when a waiter asks the Leprechaun if the lean times outside the festive seasons will end with a spell as a dwarf in the theatre - "Ho ho ho!" says the Leprechaun as he treats the waiter to a steam bath so cleansing that it strips the skin from his face - and a theatrical agent hands the busking Leprechaun his card and loses not only his gold ring but also his finger, there can be no doubt that Flender and Davis had this as a comedy. Even the little green go-kart is back.
Leprechaun 2 is also better served by the horror. The Leprechaun's nasty severing of a finger is rather mild by horror movie standards but there's an inventiveness to the film that's very much better than the typical slasher movie. In an early scene, the Leprechaun tricks a young man into kissing what he thinks are a pair of very-much-larger-than-average breasts but which are actually a pair of spinning blades. The sudden loss of nose, teeth, eyes and anything else that's usually fitted and in one's face decorates the walls of the Leprechaun's apartment. Later, someone who thinks they have the Leprechaun tricked inside a cast-iron safe gets their three wishes and wants for nothing but the little man's gold. The Leprechaun, not to be outsmarted by any mere human, grants this wish but cackles as the gold appears inside his victim's stomach. Granting his second wish, the Leprechaun removes the gold but does so by cutting through flesh to recover his pot of coins and jewellery.
Otherwise, though, you can take or leave the story. That it doesn't open with the Leprechaun at the bottom of the well means that it pays bugger all attention to the first film but, as yet another movie in the slasher genre, that's note much of a complaint. What's more of a problem is that it's unlikely that you'll care very much about any of those in the cast. This viewer would have been quite happy for the Leprechaun to have married Bridget, moreso than the long drip of water that is Cody, but it wasn't to be. Other than a long kiss that's more dribbly than sticky, there's very little Leprechaun-on-girl action. Bridget even avoids having that staple of the cheap horror movie, that of the nude scene. Her character might have a topless scene but it's so clearly a body-double that had her stand-in shown his chest hair, an Adam's apple and a glimpse of beard, it couldn't have been any less obvious. There's some fun to be hand with Morty but only in the various indignities that the Leprechaun (and others) throw in his way. And that, alongside the comedy, is probably what matters.
After the pan-and-scan-ness of the first film, we do at least get a widescreen picture this time around. Leprechaun 2 arrived in the cinemas with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is presented so here. It still doesn't look all that great, mind, with there being some noticeable faults with the picture, such as white lines and other bits of dirt, in between such other problems as some dull colours and a grain that borders on grittiness. The picture isn't that sharp either, which leaves this as being no more than fair. Otherwise, in DD2.0 and with English subtitles, it sounds fine but it's not a very involving soundtrack, there being plenty of dialogue but not much ambience to set the scene.
There are no extras on this DVD release.