Or maybe you are out of luck. Even when Leprechaun went to space, he still had a certain magical charm (I hear this in an Irish brogue in my head as I’m writing it). You would think that once the Leprechaun horror theme had been turned into a long-running franchise with an iconic killer, no one would bother to try it again—unless it was a remake. Think again.
UNLUCKY CHARMS (2013)
Unlucky Charms is a leprechaun movie that does not feature the demonic leprechaun pictured on the cover of the DVD. At all. Okay. That’s wrong. There’s a still shot of him after the closing credits start to role. Leave it to Charles Band and Full Moon Features!
Full Moon features have always been cheesy, but the company still delivered some b-movie goodies, so I had high hopes when the intro music to this movie captured the classic spirit of the Puppet Master theme song. But it was all over after that. It’s like Full Moon doesn’t even care anymore about the tradition of loveable low-budget horror and is relying completely on its brand name to get an audience.
So there are these five female models staying in a castle to win a modeling contract. There are also three judges: a gay dude, a woman, and Jerry O’Connell’s brother Charlie, who is in the movie mostly just to get shirtless in one scene. And, you know, to have a famous name in the cast….
Meanwhile, there’s this Leprechaun in red who has acne or something. Again, he’s not the monster on the DVD cover, just a nice little dude who needs Proactiv. But his three friends are gnarly little monsters. Together, the foursome thinks earth has gone to shit. They are summoned by someone in the castle, so they come down to earth to find out who’s conjuring up trouble.
There are endless bitchfests with the five divas reading each other, and every once in a while, one of the jabs is slightly funny. There are some nice boob flashes. The four little monsters start killing the models off so the person who summoned them can stay young. But then the Leprechaun realizes that one of the models is a good person so he helps her stop the real threat.
It seriously feels like you are actually watching the actors rehearse their lines while reading them for the first time. But I thought the little witch monster was freaky and she deserves her own movie.
RED CLOVER (2012)
Red Clover is also known as Leprechaun’s Revenge. I much prefer the title that does not try to cash in on the Leprechaun franchise name because a) a red clover plays a crucial role in the movie and b) this Leprechaun can kick the other Leprechaun’s ass.
This is a straight up creature feature. It has an uber freaky “leprechaun.” Fuck the hat, buckled shoes, and one-liners. This thing is a monster. He’s gnarly, moves freakily, and totally rips you a new one. I was surprised at how gory this movie is for a cheesy SyFy original. I was also surprised at how charmingly humorous it is.
The movie has your standard setup. Our very Irish main girl plucks a red clover from a garden of shamrocks, causing the leprechaun monster to rise up from the ground! Not good, considering there’s a big event coming up in her small town: the St. Patrick’s Day parade! To vanquish the leprechaun monster that is now after her, she has to turn to her grandfather for help because he knows all about the history of the town and believes in the legend.
Much of the humor comes thanks to the performances of William DeVane as the grandfather (it took me a while to adjust to him as a drunken old man and not Gregory Sumner from Knots Landing) and Billy Zane, who plays the main girl’s father and the town’s sheriff. Actually, it’s a great, small cast all around, including lovable characters: the sheriff’s deputy, the main girl’s male friend, and a local blogger.
On top of all that, there are plenty of fun, cheap scares and unpredictable kills—some of the victim choices break the paint-by-number template of this type of flick. There’s also a rather abrupt final scene, but it actually makes more sense than your standard tidy happy ending considering what takes place as the film progresses. The only scene that was absolutely ridiculous involves the leprechaun monster driving a car. What were they thinking?
But I can let that slide because, heck. Red Clover even has a Sharknado joke…and came out a year before that movie! Plus, the main girl gives a great self-referential speech about feeling like she’s in a bad monster movie. Red Clover is quick-paced, popcorn movie fun, and is pretty much my favorite St. Patrick’s Day horror flick!
And here’s me gettin’ my big gay Irish on: