Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)

Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)

Evil’s in the house

Three young rappers are looking for a big break but when a deal with a local record producer called Mack Daddy falls through, they decide to break into his apartment and steal some jewellery to get even. But one of them takes a medallion off an ugly-looking statue in which the evil leprechaun had been imprisoned. With the medallion gone, the leprechaun is free to go hunting for the magical flute that Mack Daddy stole from him years earlier and built his success around – and the leprechaun will kill anyone who gets in his way.

 

You read the title correct. Not content with surviving Las Vegas and conquering space, the little Irish bugger now has his sights set on the toughest place of them all – the hood. Come on, just who comes up with these ideas? How can a franchise destroy itself so easily with such a truly awful array of ideas for its sequels? From the vault of cringe-worthy, hysteria-inducing ideas comes Leprechaun in the Hood, the fifth instalment of a series where quality and assurance control was never part of the post-production process.

It’s Leprechaun meets Boyz n the Hood and if that combination doesn’t immediately sends shivers down your spine, I don’t know what will. It’s cheap. It’s poorly made. It’s scraping the barrel to keep the series on life support. It’s a film that only die hard lovers of truly bad films will be able to appreciate. Leprechaun in the Hood plays out as wacky as you’d expect from such a titled film and the novelty value is seeing the culture clash between the diminutive Irish fella and his hood brothers. It’s such an absurd contradiction that it actually works to a degree but a more talented set of writers would no doubt have made more of the situation than simply playing on stereotype.

The script is peppered with ridiculous dialogue which does little to change stereotypical views of black people, ghettos and such like. It paints almost every black character as some form of criminal, even the reverend at the church. The three young rappers immediately turn to violence when things don’t go their way. Talk about playing the race card. I guess it was only a matter of time before the leprechaun came up against someone who shared his ability to produce rhyme out of thin air and with the rappers, he finds such opponents. Your tolerance of rap and of the whole culture associated with it will go some way to your appreciation of the film. Most of the songs in the film are dire and although the rapping ability of the black actors is not in question, it all gets tiring rather quickly for someone like me who isn’t a big fan. To top it all off, the leprechaun busts out some moves and cuts a rap during the end credits. It’s not the film purists, that’s for sure.

I  must admit, the idea of the characters attempting to kill the leprechaun by getting him to smoke weed which had been laced with four-leaf clovers is amusing and leads to the film’s best moment. But the rest of the film involves the leprechaun, Mack Daddy and the gang all getting in each other’s way and killing off a whole host of random people in the process. Death scenes are relatively gore free and somewhat low key considering the previous films and they’re played entirely for laughs rather than have any sort of scare value. In fact, between scenes of the leprechaun getting high and the gang getting dressed in drag to go undercover, the film would have been better off posing itself as a full-on comedy – it’s certainly more unintentionally funny than some of the Wayan Brothers films have been intentionally funny.

Warwick Davis can move from the sadistic to the camp and from the evil to the comedic in a heart-beat and he has always been the best thing about the series. Though his height will always unfairly overshadow him, his acting range is top drawer and though the series was hardly one to challenge any actor, Davis always gave it his best shot. He seems to be having a blast in this one, although his character gets less screen time than before and becomes somewhat of a supporting player for a large chunk of the film. Ice-T plays, well the stock Ice-T characters he’s been playing for a while now. He’s hardly what I’d class as star power but I bet a few people were fooled into thinking that this was an Ice-T vehicle and not just some third-rate sequel to a long-flagging horror franchise.

 

Leprechaun in the Hood – what did you honestly expect I was going to say about it? It’s virtually impossible to criticise as the film was released straight-to-video and still turned a small profit, proving that the lure of enduring ever-diminishing horror franchises remains as strong as ever. Definitely not one for everyone.

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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