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1 item from 1993


11 January 1993 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

NEW YORK -- At the end of this rainbow lies a pot of fool's gold.

''Leprechaun'' is neither scary enough to appeal to the horror crowd nor funny enough to be labeled a comedy. It is, however, laughable. No need for Freddy or Chucky to start worrying. Their respective horror thrones are quite safe for now.

Considering the childishness of the story line, it seems surprising that Trimark would opt for an R rating. Young kids are The Only Ones who might not be offended by the lameness of this film, yet the R rating will keep them out. And it's not too likely that mom and dad will be anxious to take them anyway.

A horror movie about a scary leprechaun is not a bad idea, but as executed here it never comes to glorious life. A ton of Irish luck will be needed for this film to scare up any business, though it might do a wee bit better on video.

After a trip to Ireland, Dan O'Grady (Shay Duffin) returns to his wife in North Dakota, loaded with booze and gold. It seems while Over There he caught a leprechaun and forced the little creature to give him his gold. Those are the rules, after all.

This particular leprechaun (Warwick Davis), however, is overly attached to his gold and stows away in O'Grady's suitcase.

When the wife discovers him, it seems the magical elf is not so tiny nor friendly. After a skirmish, the wife is killed, the husband has a stroke and the leprechaun is imprisoned in a crate.

Cut to 10 years later, and we find J.D. (John Sanderford) and his displaced L.A. daughter Tory (Jennifer Aniston) moving into the same house where the leprechaun has been resting. Can you guess the rest?

Predictably, the 600-year-old lep gets loose and wreaks havoc on dad, Tory and three other potential victims. Though it's an established -- and, for the most part, accepted -- fact that people have to act somewhat stupid in horror films, there are limits.

Let's start with dad shoving his arm all the way up into a tree trying to help what he thinks is a cat. We know it's Lep, but even if it WAS a cat, it would be a pretty dumb move.

Then there's hunk hero Nathan (Ken Olandt), who shoots the lep six times with a shotgun. Naturally, it doesn't kill him, but later when he shoots the little pain again, just once, this time he figures he killed him. Talk about short-term memory.

Mark Holton, who played Pee-wee's rich friend in ''Pee-wee's Big Adventure, '' here supplies the only intentional humor. He plays slightly mentally impaired Ozzie, who has trouble convincing everyone that there is an evil leprechaun about.

His 11-year-old friend Alex (Robert Gorman) promises to use Lep's gold to pay for an operation to make Ozzie smart. Yet Ozzie's about the only one involved with this production who DOESN'T need this operation.

There are several mildly frightening moments, a lot of cobwebs, plus a genuine laugh or two, but mostly there is a lot of running away from the leprechaun, which becomes boring. And worst of all, there aren't even any marshmallow treats.


Trimark Pictures

Director, writer Mark Jones

Director of photography Levie Isaacks

Editor Christopher Roth

Music composer and conductor Kevin Kiner

Producer Jeffrey B. Mallian



Leprechaun Warwick Davis

Tory Jennifer Aniston

Nathan Ken Olandt

Ozzie Mark Holton

Alex Robert Gorman

J.D. John Sanderford

Running time -- 92 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

(c) The Hollywood Reporter


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