WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS BODYCOUNT. HIGH RISK OF SPOILERS. ENTER IF YOU DARE.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Luck of the Irish. Ghetto style: Leprechaun in the Hood (2000) and Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood (2003) Double Bill Review

Death to he who sets a Leprechaun free. Steal his gold, it will corrupt your soul, you see. For many a moon the legend has grown, death toll increases, solution unknown. Beware the evil wanderer in search of his loot, lest you suffer the wrath of his golden flute. Flee while you can, the future's not good- for no one is safe from a Lep in the Hood! 

Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)
Rating: **
Starring: Warwick Davis, Ice-T, Anthony Montgomery

Stepping down from the galactic proportions of Leprechaun 4: In Space around the new millennium,Trimark Pictures teamed up with Lionsgate and decided to bring back the (in)famous titular Warwick Davis monster back from the dead, back to Earth and into a place where we least expected him to show up: the hood! 

Why? Cuz he'd been in Las Vegas and in SPACE, so I guess Lionsgate just went "meh, why the f*ck not?" and go with it.

The story, much like any of the other Leprechaun movies, stands on its own continuity and begins with two afro-wearing pimps from the 70s raiding an abandoned building for the Leprechaun's hidden treasure. When they found what they are looking for. but one of said pimps, Mack Daddy (rapper Ice-T), appeared to be more interested with a tiny golden flute among all the other shiny, so he had his cohort haul up the rest of the find. 

Thing is, next to the pot of treasure was the Leprechaun, petrified by the same worn magical amulet from Part 3. When Mack D's partner greedily took the mystical jewelry off the statue, he unknowingly freed the Leprechaun and gets a hair pick to the throat.

A "fight" then ensues between Mack Daddy and the newly awakened Leprechaun, most of it involving weapons being pulled out of a 'fro, and ends with the dwarf being petrified again by the amulet.
The action then forwards to the present, amateur rappers Postmaster-P, Stray Bullet and Butch are in dire need of cash for some new equipment when theirs went fried during a rap audition. After failing to sell a guitar with a forged Jimi Hendrix autograph, the trio decided to try getting their rap sold the easy way: by performing in front of the now-successful music producer/pimp Mack Daddy and hope their positive take on rap music will fly.

It didn't.

Adding injury to insult, Mack Daddy had the boys thrown out after telling them that their idea sucks. At this point, Post and his buds decided to repay Daddy by robbing his joint later that night, but made the fatal mistake of stealing the gold flute and the magic amulet from the Leprechaun statue on display.

Leprechaun was free once more and Mack Daddy just caught the boy in the act, so that's two troubles for the three idiots; things head on for the stranger when Post discovers the flute has magic hypnotizing powers and uses it to build up a reputation, all the while running away from both the Leprechaun and one angry pimp. Folks get killed, rhymes are rapped, and the Leprechaun discovers weed. What else is there to say?

Among the two Hood entries of this series, Leprechaun in the Hood retains the horror-comedy of the first four film, but undeniably cheaper and less lively. The reason for this was that the tone doesn't stay stable; some scenes felt like a horror movie, some looked straight out of a ghetto comedy and the magical element was downgraded to simple telekinesis and mind-control, which is hardly impressive seeing the Leprechaun had done better set-ups like electrocuting robots, tricking people into kissing rotating fan blades and pulling out powertools out of nowhere.

It's hard enjoying a movie that doesn't know where to focus on, more over when the jokes are mostly flat or forced, the gore is barely creative, and the acting was atrocious. On the plus side, much like the rest of the films in this series to feature Warwick Davis, this was under the intention of making a silly cheesy movie; it's terrible, challenges our intelligence, but it's all for the sake of getting a laugh.

Personally, I'm giving this movie a near-passing rating for the efforts the producers made to keep the mindlessness as fun as ever. I'm not saying they did a good job, but it was a commendable one.

Bodycount:
1 male stabbed n the throat with a hair pick
1 male electrocuted
1 male killed offcamera
1 male strangled, later found dismembered
1 male had his throat crushed
1 male blown open
1 male clawed through the back, disemboweled
1 male shot on the head
1 female killed (?)
1 male shot
1 male blown open
Total: 11
Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha' Hood (2003)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Warwick Davis, Tangi Miller, Laz Alonso

Three years after Lionsgate terrorized the hood (and our screens) with a rapping Leprechaun, this happened. Interestingly, Trimark pictures had sold the right of the franchise to Lionsgate, which means we're screwed right? Well, sortah, but they still could have done worse.

We begin the movie with a brief origin; as it turns out, Leprechauns once served a noble king in protecting his treasure from invaders. Once the king's reign had ended, the leprechauns returned to their homes in the woods, save one who grew greedy and corrupt for the gold he was sworn to protect.

Fast-forward to the present, a pastor is seen burying what we all could assume to be the Leprechaun's gold in a construction site, apparently in an attempt to hide away the accursed object and keep the Leprechaun from claiming more victims. The tiny terror, understandably, isn't too happy about this and demands padre to give his gold back or die.

Padre chooses to fight back and gets clawed to death, but not before casting the Leprechaun to hell by sprinkling him with holy water laced with four-leafed clovers.

One year later, hair dresser Emily Woodrow and her bestfriend Lisa, stoner goof Jamie and ex Rory are in a financial hell; Emily needs money for college, Jamie needs it to pay off some thugs, while Lisa and Rory just needs it for a better and easier life. So when the Emily stumbles into the Leprechaun's treasure that one time they decided to do some outdoor barbecuing at the abandoned construction site, the group wastes no time spending their new found wealth. (And apparently for Emily, forgetting her dream of college.)

Unfortunately for them, finding the gold somewhat released the Leprechaun from imprisonment, now vowing vengeance against those who stole his treasure and death to those that got in the way.

Something about this film works a bit better compared to the first Hood entry; the way I see it, this movie tries to stray from the random obscurities the first five films by focusing more on the characters and place the villain in a more realistic ground. Incidentally, the film took 30 to 40 minutes before the Leprechaun got out, spending all that time building its casts by showing their plight, a little bit of drama, and have them visiting mediums just for the heck of it.

Once the Lep got out, however, the movie does the most interesting move I've seen in this franchise; by limiting the Leprechaun's magic to plain immortality, the kills are closer to that of a slasher/monster movie with clawing, dismemberment, and impalement among the fatalities featured. What's stranger is that the sizable killcount was mostly made up of bystanders, with little to none of the main cast being killed off; last time I've seen a movie that relied on death-by-"friendly fire" deaths was the slasher-action-survival hybrid The Zero Boys (1986), and like that movie, Back 2 Tha Hood did just fine.

So the film is closer to a slasher movie with a more workable story. Good? Not quite; While the new take on the Leprechaun does made him more acceptable as a slasher villain, I still prefer magical splatter over hand-made kills since this is what made the franchise enjoyable. I'm also not that fond of seeing my favorite killer dwarf be somebody's punching bag just for the sake of showing how indestructible he is, or the fact that he's just so darn serious in this film. (for an extent)

We got comedy, but it didn't blend too well as they all come out as just random, like how the Leprechaun just decided to smoke a bong with a dude, get high and get the munchies, or a scene where he gave a fat lady a massage just for the heck of it. We also got some scenes where the lep tries to deliver a scary monologue but only to be cut off coz he's not threatening enough or the victim's too impatient. It would have been funny, or could have been funny, but the tone and timing are just off.

Still, I came to like this better than the last Lep in the Hood movie since the positives can hold up their own quite effectively. I just wished they worked on the comedy better, or just ditched it halfway as the serious approach was doing fine. Overall, a good flick to remember Mr. Davis' last hurrah as a demonic dwarf!

Bodycount:
1 male repeatedly clawed
1 male impaled with a bong
1 female had her neck broken
1 female clawed on the gut
1 had her jaw torn off
1 male impaled with a police baton
1 male had a leg torn off, killed
1 male had his heart torn out
1 male clawed on the neck
1 female killed, method unknown
Total: 10
BONUS!
Leprechaun: Origins (2014)
Rating: 0
Starring: Dylan Postl, Stephanie Bennett, Andrew Dunbar

WARNING! THIS IS MORE OF A RANT THAN A REVIEW. LOTS OF CUSSING, SWEAR WORDS, AND SAILOR TALK. I DON'T GIVE A SHIT IF ALL THREE OF THOSE MEANT THE SAME THING. TOO PISSED OFF TO THINK STRAIGHT.

Dear Lionsgate,

What the fuck?

Okay, first of, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?! Why buy the rights to a franchise featuring a wise-cracking, demonic killer elf if you're not gonna continue THAT? Why, of all things, would you reboot the series only to feature A FUCKING MONSTER THAT CAN BE OUTRAN BY ITS OWN VICTIMS AND ONLY HAD THE CHANCE TO SLAUGHTER THEM CUZ THE FRIGGIN VILLAGERS, WHO, SURPRISE! IS IN THE WHOLE SHINDIG, HELPED?!

Seriously, this is the most basic monster/slasher movie I've seen in my 23 years (as of this writing) existing in this plane of reality; so fucking basic I figured the whole thing out in 15 minutes! ANY OTHER MONSTER MOVIE IS BETTER THAN THIS! There's no surprises, there's no thrills, NO FUN! Just random cardboard teenagers being mauled alive by a monster that resembles a naked man with a flat nose, pointed ears, and a misplaced jaw. DID YOU JUST READ THAT? I DESCRIBED THE MONSTER FOR YOU. HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY YOUR CREATIVE TEAM FOR THAT?!

And let's not get started with the gore; HOLY, FUCKING, JUMPING JESUS! MAULINGS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? MAULINGS? I know you're doing a fresh start but, COME ON! THINK CREATIVELY! Oh look, the monster learned to pushed the head of one of the teenagers inside a fucking hole so her friends would mistaken her for the monster and split her noggin open with a fucking axe! Bravo! More to prove that the leprechaun CAN'T DO A DECENT KILL! COME ON!

Y'know, it's a good thing I didn't buy your fucking movie! Cuz it ain't worth a damn nickle! HOW LONG DID YOU BASTARDS THOUGHT OF THE STORY? AN HOUR? TWO HOURS? WHOOOOOAAAAA! THAT'S REALLY IMPRESSIVE! BRAVO! ENCORE! ENCORE! NO! NO!!! 

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...

I would rather watch those two fucking Leprechaun in the fucking ghetto movies than this dreck. The serious approach? Not working. Y'know why the first series is so popular? Because it doesn't take itself seriously! I mean, it's a movie about FUCKING LEPRECHAUNS! How can you guys mess this up?!

You guys better get your act straight and give, not just us fans of the original series, but horror fans IN GENERAL something worth remembering. So far, most your recent horror movie releases sucked. No One Lives? I guess that counts us viewers due to the suicide inducing cliches~! See no Evil 2? Who's bright idea to let those overrated Soska Sisters handle the sequel of your better movies? Oculus? I don't even know what I watched. The Call?

Actually, The Call was pretty good. You guys did well on that one! For those who disagree with me, I DON'T GIVE A SHIT!

Bottom line...

Love,

One Angry Admin

Bodycount:
1 male mauled to death
1 female killed offscreen
1 male found impaled on tractor spikes, mauled
1 male clawed on the gut, disemboweled
1 female axed on the face
1 male had his spine ripped out
1 male mauled to death
1 creature decapitated with an axe
Total: 8

4 comments:

  1. A dang dirty shame they went they went with... whatever the new one was supposed to be, instead of any of the other ideas that were tossed around in years past, like the Lep in Spring Break, or the Wild West.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... ... ...LIONSGATE TOSSED SPRING BREAK AND WILD WEST FOR A NAKED DOG-MAN?!

      sorry, still channeling Jebediah Atkinson...

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    2. Yeah, I think another dropped idea would have had him running amok in the White House, or something.

      Another would've introduced a female Leprechaun.

      Delete
    3. *eyes twitching, mouth foaming*

      Someone should egg WWE STUDIOS for dropping these ideas....year old rotten eggs...

      Delete