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March 16, 2012

Midnight Movie of the Week #115 - Leprechaun 2

When you aren't Irish and don't drink alcohol (I also never, you don't usually have much use for St. Patrick's Day.  For me, St. Patrick's Day is generally one of those days where I forget its a holiday until some cruel soul pinches me.  Word of advice - never pinch a fat guy.  It's not nice.
If there's one thing I do like well enough about St. Patrick's Day, it's Warwick Davis as an evil Leprechaun.  Between 1993 and 2003, Davis starred in six films as the diminutive killer folk creature.  From his first appearance in the desert to his forays into "tha hood", Davis carried a totally ridiculous premise to great heights and shocking lows - except I'm not sure there were really "great heights" in there.  I will say there were a lot of fun moments, which generally is enough to get most horror fans to use terms like "cult classic" about a bad movie.
While I won't speak to the quality of the Leprechaun films, I don't deny falling for their charms from time to time. I'm most susceptible to the second film in the series, in which the Lep makes his way to Los Angeles, trying to win the affections of a young woman who is a descendant of the woman he wanted to marry 1000 years earlier.  She's played by a bubbly blonde lady named Shevonne Durkin who was one of Young The Mike's favorite cute things about the early '90s (one time I proposed to her while writing about Ghost In The Machine), and she's still a major contributing factor to my love for this flick.
Even though she screams like this.
Meanwhile, the Lep has to put up with Ms. Durkin's bumbling on-screen boyfriend through a series of escapades that have to do with that old Leprechaun affliction - wanting his pot 'o gold.  The formula is the same as any killer leprechaun film you've seen - funny stalking, wisecrack, abnormally gory murder - but this entry feels a little bit more fresh than the other five films in the series to me.
The majority of the film's comedic charms come from Davis, who really made being a deformed killer Leprechaun an art.  The kill scenes in each Leprechaun film often come with a heavy dose of dark humor, which might be best shown during Leprechaun 2.  Young The Mike was always a little terrified of the scene where Leppy tricks a doofus into sticking his face in a lawnmower by making the blades look like Shevonne Durkin's boobs (though Adult The Mike suspects a body double was involved), but reading that part where I said "tricks a doofus into sticking his face in a lawnmower" and "boobs" is probably all you need to know about the tone of this film.
These movies always jump out at me a little more if I find a hidden bit 'o gold in the cast, and Leprechaun 2 is blessed by a marvelous turn by veteran actor Sandy Baron as Morty, the bumbling boyfriend's father figure/employer.  Baron might be recognizable to horror fans from another fun turn in the '80s camp flick Vamp, though I like to think of him as a guy who could pass for Brad Dourif's crazy uncle or something.  He plays Morty as a smooth-yet-lovable con man, and his battles of wits with the Leprechaun - which peak with a drink off that includes an homage to Tod Browning's Freaks! - are some of the most enjoyable moments in the film.
Maybe you get something out of St. Patrick's Day. (If you do, please let me know!)  But me - I just want killer leprechaun flicks with a wise-cracking star, a charming innocent blonde, and a lovable uncle type con man.  And I get that from Leprechaun 2.  So have yourself a Happy St. Patty's Day and enjoy some killer Leprechaun fun (rumor has it that the SyFy network will have Lep films on all day, leading up to the premier of a SyFy original (non-Davis) killer Leprechaun movie!) while wearing green and being awesome.  That's what I'd do.
P.S. - Hi Shevonne Durkin!  If you're out there, you can still marry me if you want.  Call me! (And sorry about the screaming picture!)


Ashley Shannon said...

Haha I love the Leprechaun movies. I vaguely remember this one, it's pretty funny stuff. I seem to remember the Leprechaun killing someone with a sharp pogo stick too, you're right Warwick Davis owns these films. Here's hoping he signs up for the upcoming reboot.

Would really appreciate it if you check out my blog, I believe I've posted 2 leprechaun related stories in the past week alone lol, cheers Ashley

They Made Me Do It

deadlydolls said...

Haven't seen 2 in years. I remember loving Morty trying to out-drink the Leprechaun, but that's about it. *Maybe* I'll revisit it next year. Part 3 (Vegas!) will always be my personal favorite.