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Sad but true: ludicrous franchises and inferior sequels plague the horror genre. It comes as somewhat of a surprise then, that 'Leprechaun 2' is an even better film than its predecessor. Basically, this delivers exactly what the fans want: more leprechaun action, more rhymes, more murders, and more madness. It is fair to say that this film is quite insane, and that it is not horror in the truest sense of the word. 'Leprechaun 2' is not a film which attempts to scare the viewer, and little effort is made to generate atmosphere or suspense. Instead, it belongs more to the 'Nightmare on Elm St' school of film making, using bizarre and vicious humour to entertain the audience, with a handful of gore scenes to provide the visceral thrills. This is a cult film in the real sense of the word. This is not manufactured, deliberately made art house s**t which panders to the pretentious. The Leprechaun is a genuine phenomenon, a character that has gathered a fan base at the grass roots level, without widespread cinema releases, advertising or publicity. His popularity stems from the fact that he is simply a great character that viewers cannot help but love. All he cares about in the world is his beloved pot o' gold, and he will stop at nothing to remind his potential victims of this fact. His motivation is pure, and we always root for him, despite the fact that he is a plain-faced killer. He is such a charming fellow, who seems to take great joy in his life, no matter how the odds are stacked against him. He has inspired 5 films, taking him and his gold to such diverse locations as Las Vegas, the mean streets of Los Angeles, and even outer space. For my money, however, it is this film, 'Leprechaun 2', which is his best and most entertaining adventure. It is interesting to note that in the United Kingdom, this film is actually entitled 'One Wedding and lots of Funerals'. It is safe to assume that this is
intended as a hilarious reference to the loathsome, vomit-inducing Hugh Grant bore-fest, which came out around the same time. The plot of 'Leprechaun 2' follows our hero's (played again by Warwick Davis) attempt to claim himself a bride. This is something he is apparently only allowed to do once every 1000 years, and having failed in the past, he is understandably keen to finally seal the deal. His somewhat reluctant bride to be is the lovely Bridget (Shevonne Durkin), whose loser boyfriend Cody (Charlie Heath, and his alcoholic Uncle Morty (Sandy Baron) must pit their wits against the Leprechaun to save her from a fate worse than death. Though all seems to be going well for the Lep, the game is made more interesting when Cody manages to get hold of one of the precious gold coins.... 'Leprechaun 2' is directed by Rodman Flender, mainly known for his TV work on programmes like 'Dawson's Creek' and 'Tales From the Crypt'. He was also responsible for the excellent horror comedy 'Idle Hands' (1999), though it has to be said that none of the technical flair he displayed in that film is apparent here. His direction is not bad as such, merely anonymous. There is nothing adventurous in 'Leprechaun 2', and his handling is adequate, is very pedestrian. The acting in the film is luckily quite inoffensive. Although it goes without saying that Davis delivers another superb performance as the 'Genius of Killarney', the rest of the cast manage to turn in performances that thankfully go with the flow of the film. These are not complex characters, and I’m sure that nobody would expect to grow emotionally attached to any of them. However, it is definitely to the film's credit that it does not contain any of the grating, idiotic figures that seem to populate so much of the horror genre. Fans of TV's 'Seinfeld' will be amused to see Sandy Baron (who played 'Jack Klopmu
s' on several occasions), and film fans may recognise Clint Howard and Kimmey Robertson (from 'Twin Peaks' fame). Luckily, this is all that is really required. As noted above, this is a film which rides solely on the strength of the main character's exploits, and for the Leprechaun fans, there is a great deal to enjoy here. Indeed, it has to be said that 'Leprechaun 2' contains some of the definitive moments of the series. As usual, the Lep is incredibly motivated, and goes about the search for his bride and his gold with unrivalled enthusiasm. He has a wacky rhyme for absolutely every occasion, and plenty of strange murder methods to keep things lively. The real appeal here is in the details, in the things that the Lep gets up to. Fans will adore the rather surreal sequence in the bar, when the Lep is challenged to a drinking competition. He maintains 'I can hold me drink', and proceeds to brag 'Drink all you can, drink all you're able, if you're drinking with me you'll be under the table!'. Sadly, this does not prove to be the case, and Lep is soon very drunk, and slurring his rhymes quite shockingly. As a result, the next scene sees him groaning and shaking his head, attempting to sober up in a nearby coffee house. Fans of the original film will be delighted to see the return of the Lep's little car, which he has tooled up, and decorated with spray-painted slogans such as 'I wants me gold !', and an anti four leaf clover sign. You really have to respect this kind of attention to the little things. On another note, film fans may spot a nice reference to Tod Browning's classic film 'Freaks'. I think that this scene pretty much sums up the nature of 'Leprechaun 2'. Sure, there are a few bits of gore here and there, some violence, and even a brief bit of nudity, but overall the film oddly innocent, played for laughs, and for
the love of the Leprechaun. Overall, this is a classic film, which I would recommend without hesitation. For fans of the Lep, it is 86 minutes of pure, unadulterated joy, and for the initiated there is a world of crazy fun waiting....