Leprechaun Collection: Leprechaun 5: In da Hood Review
The surprise is that, by this point, they're still making Leprechaun films. Although given what it looks like, I would wager that the profits earned on Leprechaun 4: In Space amounted to £6.50 or thereabouts, all of which, after tax, was ploughed back into this. And most of that went on hiring Ice-T. But it was worth it. This series of films has lacked much, including money, a better sense of humour, more breasts, a lot more blood and maybe somebody actually born in Ireland, but when Ice-T takes a phone call and says, "You don't wanna fuck with me, okay? I hope you had sex last night, 'cause I'm gonna come over there and I'm gonna cut off your dick, then I'm gonna feed it to my pit, then I'm gonna burn the shit when it comes out my goddam dog's ass, you hear me? Don't fuck with me, bitch!", it's possible to forgive Leprechaun much. Had Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross been so poetic on their voicemail messages to Andrew Sachs, there would have been a whole lot less outrage.
Fresh from being blown up in space, having been involved with the snatching of a princess from the planet Dominia, the Leprechaun returns to Earth and finds himself buried in a cave in Los Angeles. With the medallion from Leprechaun 3 around his neck once again, he has been turned to stone but the be-Afroed figure of Mack Daddy (Ice-T) sees to that. Looking for the gold, Mack Daddy finds himself fighting our little friend, using up a whole lifetime's worth of luck to get the medallion back around his neck. Stealing away the gold and taking the stony figure of the Leprechaun with him for safe keeping, Mack Daddy builds himself a business empire in Compton, one concerned solely with, "...Uzis, blowing motherfuckers' heads off. Know what I'm saying? Smack-your-bitch-up, shoot-your-motherfucking-homeboy-in-the-face-type shit!"
But there are three young rappers not far away. Stray Bullet (Rashaan Nall), Postmaster P (Anthony Montgomery) and Butch (Red Grant) are looking for a way out of Compton and see their getting a record deal as one means of escape. Only one person stands in their way...Mack Daddy. Breaking into his office during the night, they steal the Leprechaun's gold, shoot Mack Daddy and even free the Leprechaun by taking the medallion off his neck. With help from a flute stolen from the Leprechaun, their rap career starts to take off. They even have Coolio coming to their shows. But now they have two people on their tail, Mack Daddy and the Leprechaun, and it's questionable as to who represents the greatest threat. Mack Daddy will stop at nothing to get his stolen gold back but neither will the Leprechaun.
This is a really terrible film. I grant you that, having made my way through five of these films and now watching Leprechaun 5: In da Hood, that's not far off complaining that the chocolate-bar-shaped turd that I've been handed doesn't actually taste of chocolate but this is a low point among a run of films that have been getting progressively worse since Leprechaun 2. By this point, there is barely any more blood than there is in the average episode of Casualty while the ladies of Leprechaun 5 are steadfast in keeping their clothes on. I'm not exactly desperate to see breasts but it's part and parcel of exploitation movies that actresses undress for the cameras. On the contrary, the only skin that Leprechaun 5: In da Hood reveals are those of its actors, often while wearing dresses. Taken all together, it's only Ice-T's inventive swearing that pushes this in the direction of a 15 certificate.
On the other hand, this is the first of the five films that actually has some connection to those that have gone before. This film opens in such a location as to suggest that it fits in after Leprechaun 2, while the fact that it ends in Las Vegas means that it probably fits in before Leprechaun 3. And the rhyming is back, be it "I'm here to claim me golden shillings...give them back or there'll be killings!", "I'll take it from you, homie, you'll see, cause you know the Leprechaun is the real OG!" and "I didn't come to play with fruit! I only came to get me flute!" That Davis says to the most outrageously camp actor in the film shows that it's not entirely without a sense of humour. But trying to find any sense to this is like knitting with spider webs. Not only is such a thing pointless but even if you did manage it, it would still look like shit. And then Warwick Davis starts rapping. This alone is so bad that I felt the world tilt as I listened to it. Dogs howled, cats mewled and babies cried. But then I remembered that we survived Stutter Rap and the sun set and then rose again. Still, with lines like "From the Emerald Isle to your place in da hood, I'm the man of green come to do no good!" and "Sit with the lad who's lean and green and let me show you why I'm a love machine!", it was a close-run thing.
By this point, there was no chance of Leprechaun 5: In da Hood making it into cinemas, not unless it paid for a seat like anyone else. So what we have is a fullscreen presentation that looks blurry enough to make one think that either the camera they used to make this was faulty or that in between rehearsals and the actual shoot, everyone stepped back a foot. It looks terrible, so much so that I would think twice about comparing it to anything I've seen on television. Nothing, not even the no-budget middle-of-the-night pieces of reality television in which a jobbing presenter interviews those who gut fish on the night shift looks this bad anymore. Add to that colours that look washed-out, dirt and stray lines on the picture and a slight wobble and it really doesn't appear at all well.
The DD2.0 soundtrack isn't as bad as that of Leprechaun 4 but it's not great either. At least the dialogue is clear this time around but it all sounds pretty much as it looks, being very cheap. The sound is flat, the music has been bought off the shelf and even the hip-hop wouldn't trouble the most amateur of outfits. But there are English subtitles, which shows that someone invested time and effort on it.
There are no extras on this DVD release.