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Review: ‘Leprechaun 2’ (1994) – Why Am I Watching Every Movie in the ‘Leprechaun’ Franchise

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Review: 'Leprechaun 2' (1994) - Why Am I Watching Every Movie in the 'Leprechaun' Franchise

Well, here it is. The turning point at which point a movie became a franchise. While I could just slap five stars on this second movie for its gratuitous Clint Howard use, I will instead, very sincerely, say the following: So far, I am really enjoying my first watch-through of the Leprechaun movies.

I don’t know why, but this one felt a little scarier for me. It was a similar-enough tone to this first movie: Sure this leprechaun’s a threat, but it’s a silly, fun time with lots of gags and jokes. But there was just something a bit creepier in the way they used the Leprechaun character here. There was something close to frightening about the way he’d just pop up out of nowhere and scare the bejeezus outta everybody. He was maybe even more wise-crackin’ than in the first movie, but there’s something more surprising about where and when he jumps out this time around.

I’m still not totally sure why I’ve decided to watch the Leprechaun franchise in its entirety for the first time. I guess, if I really examine it, there’s some sort of completist desire to see everything ever. But, if I dig a little deeper, I find that the truth might be a bit more curious. This is, after all, an 8-part series featuring an iconic villain. And I’ve all but ignored it my whole life. Maybe I haven’t even done it intentionally, but I will say for certain that I had not watched any of these before beginning this journey.

Leprechaun 2 Movie Image

I know full-well what I’m getting myself into though. I know that the franchise will take me to outer space and to the hood (twice). Two movies in, and I’m getting a sense for what this franchise values, and it’s certainly not subtlety. I think by Leprechaun 2, the powers behind these movies understood that this wasn’t ever going to be Citizen Kane. And that’s ok! In fact that’s really, really good! Because we already have Citizen Kane. What the world needed, instead, was Leprechaun 2.

So this one starts with another bit of lore. In an extended flashback sequence, we’re transported to Ireland, a thousand years ago. Things there look suspiciously like a meticulously-lit movie set. We find him chasing around some indentured servant (and somewhere, somebody’s drunk uncle is pointing out that the Irish were “slaves too”). The leprechaun tells his servant that today is the leprechaun’s birthday, and he’s chosen a bride. The bride is the servant’s daughter. He may be 1,000 years younger, but this leprechaun is still a real dick! So anyhow, all this little Gaelic jerk has to do is get this young lady to sneeze thrice, and boom, she’ll forever be Bride of the Leprechaun. But that’s not what the servant had in mind for his daughter’s life. So he risks his own freedom and ruins the leprechaun’s chance by breaking the curse. She sneezes, her father blesses her, the leprechaun is thwarted and he kills everybody.

Are you still with me? I’ll get back to the movie in a second. Seriously though, if you have made it this far into this review, please email me at billreick@gmail.com. I can’t really figure out why I’m reviewing every movie in the Leprechaun franchise. I don’t know what that says about me or who I am or how I spend my time. What I’d really LIKE to know though, is who is interested in this? Who are you? Thank you, and all, but also… Who are you? What does it say about you that you’d spend all this time reading some guy’s writing about Leprechaun 2? What’s your favorite color?

Leprechaun 2 Warwick Davis

Anyhow, back to the fun stuff. Or at least… Back to the stuff that sets up the fun stuff. Because now we’re in Cali, baby, ow OWWW! It’s 1,000 years later, so present day (or at least what was present day back in 1994). We are introduced to Cody, who is going to be our protagonist. It’s great too, because he doesn’t wear a shirt that says “Protagonist,” or anything like that. We just follow him long enough that we know he’s going to be our main character.

Cody, when we first meet him, is out on Sunset Boulevard roping in tourists. This young man is part of a (disreputable) organization that leads tours through some of the seedier elements of the surrounding City of Angels. So he’s out on the streets of LA doing his best to dupe unsuspecting tourists. The best part? One of those tourists is CLINT HOWARD! I don’t care what kind of movie you’re making… If you put Clint Howard in it, the movie is worth another full star on the ratings scale. If it’s a five-star movie, Clint Howard makes it a six-star movie.

Oh also! Guess what day it is? Well it’s St. Patrick’s Day, naturally. This is kind of a brilliant move, as it expands on the universe established in that first Leprechaun. And speaking of leprechauns, none have really shown up yet, which is good news for Cody. Because what’s going to tie him to that little bastard? Enter Bridget. Bridget is the spitting image of her ancient ancestor; it’s clear as day that Bridget is a descendent of the woman the leprechaun tried to marry. That’s bad news for Bridget. Because if she was maybe brunette, or wore glasses, she may have gotten away. But the resemblance is too uncanny.

Leprechaun 2 Warwick Davis Image

What’s 2,000 years old, 3-foot nothing and horny for Bridget? Why it’s Warwick Davis’ leprechaun, of course! He’s here for more violence, more gags, and more pursuit of that same lust he felt centuries ago. Cody’s gotta stop him, and he’s only got Morty for help. Morty is Cody’s… Boss? Legal Guardian? Creepy uncle-type with a drinking problem? I don’t know, but he’s a good guy, which makes it all the more f’ed up when the leprechaun puts a big pot o’ gold in Morty’s belly. Be careful what you wish for indeed!

All-in-all, this sequel IMPROVES on what was established in the first movie. It expands on the Leprechaun mythos, establishes some great lore, and, most importantly, it features some awesome kills. Leprechaun 2 is available to stream on HBO Max right now!

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