While out hunting in the woods with her alcoholic grandpa Pop O’Hara (William Devane), Karen (Courtney Halverson) finds a red clover, which gives her the curse of the leprechaun. According to the town legend – which revolves around a horrific massacre 66 years ago that led to the town nixing any St. Patty’s Day festivities – she will die in four days unless she can kill the leprechaun.
Next time you wanna badmouth Samara from The Ring, just remember she gives you three extra days, you ungrateful assholes.
Anyway, lucky for her, her grandpa is drunk enough to buy into all the town legend crap and is willing to help her, despite Karen’s father, local sheriff Conor O’Hara (Billy Zane), who for whatever irrational reason, doesn’t believe the stuff his father says.
You know you’re dealing with a bad film when even the Warwick Davis Leprechaun franchise goes out of its way to let everyone know it has nothing to do with this.
Brought to you by – who else – Syfy, Leprechaun’s Revenge (originally titled Red Clover) is a film so ineptly made that even the most ardent Syfy movie fan will admit the network phoned it in that time. It’s like the network execs said this had to be done in two days, and the film crew thought no problem, then asked around for a Flip Cam. This looks and feels like one of those cheap, garbage films I used to do on a whim back in high school with my friends. The conversations normally went like this…
“Dude, we should make a movie! We can use my mom’s camcorder!”
“Yeah! Wait. How we gonna edit it?”
“Who needs editing? We just film everything in sequence. Worst case scenario, we got Windows Movie Maker on the computer.”
“Score! This is gonna be epic!”
“Boys, come on in. Pizza rolls are ready.”
“Pizza rolls…? I LOVE TOTINO’S PIZZA ROLLS!!!!”
The most obvious distinction with this film not wanting to face a lawsuit from Trimark Pictures is the creature. They not only avoid emulating Warwick Davis’s Leprechaun, they avoid any resemblance to what the average person considers to be a leprechaun. Remember Faun from Pans Labyrinth? This leprechaun here looks more like that creature, if on a three-day meth bender. Parents, you could just tell your kids, “See there? That’s what fame and fortune has done to Lucky. We don’t support rock bottom addictions and that’s why I don’t buy you Lucky Charms when you whine like a little bitch about it at the supermarket.”
Speaking of rock bottom, there’s the cast, hired per Syfy’s Casting Trinity by-law: has-been movie star Billy Zane, has-been TV and movie star William Devane (a two-for-one deal) and the hot chick Courtney Halverson.
Billy Zane, who’s now at that point in his career where he’ll show up in anything, plays the local sheriff of the quaint town. You know it’s quaint when everyone knows each other, there’s only one doctor in the entire area and the sheriff dresses like Ed Norton from The Honeymooners. Zane clearly overplays the part. Anything to make sure his heating bill can get paid by the end of the month. He also gets the highest and lowest point of the movie. The lowest point comes near the end when he’s finally revealing to his daughter what happened to her mother. You expect something sad and heartbreaking, such as the leprechaun killing her before he can save her. What comes out of his mouth is he lost her at a Black Friday event. So, not only is the leprechaun cleared of any wrongdoing, Zane just admitted to how horrible of a husband he was. It makes absolutely no sense, comes clear out of left field, and is most definitely the highest point of the film also for, ironically, the very same reasons.
Remember when he was in Titanic, getting robbed of his redhead bombshell Kate Winslet by Leo DiCaprio? The cast and crew here do, as I’m certain he reminded them of that fact ad nauseam. Just imagine how the caterer possibly felt getting a bottle of Perrier smacked out of their hands as Zane screams, “I SAID SAN PELLEGRINO DAMMIT!! YOU NOT LISTEN THE FIRST TIME OR ARE YOU JUST TOO R-R-R-RETARDED TO PROCESS MY SIMPLE REQUEST INSIDE THAT MASSIVE WATERHEAD OF YOURS?! I WAS IN THE SECOND HIGHEST GROSSING MOVIE OF ALL-TIME! I DEMAND RESPECT!!!!”
That rant would then be followed with him locking himself in his trailer and weeping into a pillow about how Kate Winslet swore she loved him and that they’d be together after the film was done shooting.
William Devane has come a long, long way since the critically acclaimed Marathon Man. Here, it’s interesting ’cause he almost makes this two different films in one. Obviously, you have the cheap monster flick, but if you edit the leprechaun creature out of the film, it instantly turns into a drama about a family struggling to deal with their drunk, rambling patriarch’s drinking problem. You’d think, though, that he wouldn’t have to ask his son what the gold coin he’s using to bait the creature is. After all, he buys his gold from Rosland Capital.
Because he trusts them.
Courtney Halverson finishes off the trinity as the token hot chick, and a ginger one at that, meaning she has no soul. Now, to those that don’t know, the fine print located in the Syfy by-law clearly states that as the hot chick she’s supposed to be nothing more than just that. Don’t be the hero or the smart, quippy one. Just stand there and look pretty. However, she gets what is without a doubt the most intelligent line in the film. “It’s like I’m trapped in some bad monster movie and I can’t get out.” That line may show that the writers wanted us to believe they were in on the joke, but then they follow that with the boyfriend saying that can’t be true ’cause the monster would kill everyone but her.
Guess what happens at the end?
Leprechaun’s Revenge doesn’t sit up there with the more hysterically bad films Syfy has done before. Still, there are enough unintentional laughs to be found here simply over just how little sense a lot of this film makes. Granted, it’s about the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day, so chances are everyone involved here was drunk. Zane’s out-of-nowhere Black Friday confession, pimp-slapping leprechauns, cheaply constructed editing and a leprechaun that looks like a character out of Davey and Goliath, provided you’re on an acid trip – all these ingredients blend together for 85 minutes that have scarred more Irish lives than the Potato Famine.