Awfully Good: Leprechaun: Origins + Mirror Mirror (Video)
We're less than a week out from St. Patty's Day, so grab a Guinness and do anything but watch…
Leprechaun: Origins (2014)
Director: Zach Lipovsky
Stars: Hornswoggle, Stephanie Bennett, Andrew Dunbar
Four teenagers encounter a deadly creature while on vacation in a cabin in the woods. Since it takes place in Ireland it must be a Leprechaun.
We've covered the majority of the LEPRECHAUN series here at Awfully Good over the years and each movie had its (lucky) charms. There was the hilarity of young Jennifer Aniston in the first LEPRECHAUN, the complete sci-fi insanity that was LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE, and the urban appeal (i.e. pimping and rapping) in LEPRCHAUN: IN THE HOOD and LEPRECHAUN: BACK 2 THA HOOD. And franchise MVP Warwick Davis was there through all of them, embracing the goofiness and making the most out of each movie in spite of its quality.
Irish Simon Pegg weeps for Warwick Davis.
So you know what would be a great idea? Losing all the humor and B-movie fun of the series and rebooting LEPRECHAUN as a bland, run-of-the-mill slasher flick. Thanks WWE Films! That's exactly what a grand total of nobody wanted. What's worse is that the 2014 film makes the cardinal sin of taking itself seriously and trying to pass off a movie about a killer gold-loving nymph as a gritty SyFy Channel movie. The result is boring and wrongheaded on every level, from concept to execution. And for a movie with "ORIGINS" in it's title, the filmmakers make no effort to tell any discernible origin story for the character whatsoever. I bet X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE is their favorite mutant flick.
Irish kissing is a little different than French kissing.
The worst part is that they couldn't even get the title character right. The Leprechaun in this movie isn't really a leprechaun in the traditional sense; he's some sort of generic beast that looks shockingly similar to the Nazi Santa elf in the Awfully Good classic ELVES. (Seriously, it's so non-Leprechaun if you changed the setting from Ireland to any other country, it wouldn't affect the story whatsoever.) The creature's anatomy makes little sense, with long gorilla-like arms and inverted legs. Not that it really matters, since the design is so stupid the director does whatever he can—shaky cam, out of focus shots, random filters—to never show the main monster. You know, the entire reason anyone was willing to rent this stupid movie. They also never bother to really explore what the Leprechaun wants or demonstrate his powers. (*cough*whyisyourmoviecalledORIGINS*cough*) We know he has Predator vision for some reason, occasionally purrs like a cat, and is not very powerful. At one point someone throws a small cot on top of him and he struggles underneath it for an embarrassing length of time. The icing on this excremental cake, however, is that they made a big deal about getting WWE star Hornswoggle (who ironically plays a more traditional Leprechaun on TV) to star in this—in a role that could've been played by any stuntman. The poor actor never talks or is seen without heavy mask-like prosthetics. It could literally be Kristen Chenowith in the Leprechaun suit and no one would know.
It's always easy to spot a fan of SURF NINJAS. Motosurf!
Sadly, the human characters don't fare much better. I can't even be sure we ever learn their names, honestly. There are two couples: the good pair, who read and talk about their relationship, and the bad pair, who drink and have sex. Ironically, it's the good girl, who the script makes a point to tell you is currently enrolled at Harvard, that continually makes the worst decisions. The first of which is meeting a stranger in a bar and immediately agreeing to go with him to a secret cave that's seven hours away. This guy couldn't be more obviously sketchy if he was wearing a shirt that said BAD GUY IN 3RD ACT. So of course the Irish stranger ends up locking them inside his house as a tasty treat for their village Leprechaun. (This leads to the actual line "This door is locked from the outside! Where is the key?" Just think about that one.) From here on out, the movie follows a predictable pattern: The kids escape a cabin, run around in the woods, get chased by the Leprechaun or villagers, and go to another cabin. Repeat ad nauseam for 70 minutes.
You know how I know you're gay?
During one of these cabin trips the characters stumble in to a basement where they find an Irish history book already turned to the exact page with an explanation about what's chasing them. Somehow they immediately deduce why the Leprechaun is there—he was dug up by the Irish who owe him some sort of debt. This leads to the film's dumbest subplot, which involves the villagers and their internal struggle with sacrificing innocent tourists to their Leprechaun. (One guy keeps remarking that the monster hasn't "fed" yet, but at no point do we see the Leprechaun try to eat anyone, which is another disappointment.) Eventually it's revealed that there are strict boundaries where the Lep can't go, meaning all the townspeople would have to do to escape their curse is move a few miles down the road. Holy crap, this movie…
3D and High Frame Rate movies are just gimmicks. Crotch-O-Vision is the future of cinema.
Eventually the teenagers finally get free of the Leprechaun and instead of running the hell out of town, Harvard Girl says, "We have to go back to the cabin. We're going to kill it." (WHY?!?) Her brilliant Ivy League plan is to trap themselves alone in a house with the creature, then kill him first before he kills them. (THIS MAKES NO SENSE.) Of course this backfires and they end up murdering their friend with an axe to the face, which is hilarious no matter how sad this tone deaf film tries to make it. There is also one other decent kill, where Leprechaun In Name Only rips a guy's spine out with his bare claws. Don't worry, both of these are in the Best Parts video below, so you won't ever have to watch this.
Ironically, Devin's girlish screams leading up to his murder suggested that he had no backbone.
LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS sputters along so boringly I couldn't even muster the energy to hate it… until the final five minutes. Harvard Girl predictably finds a way to kill the Leprechaun and spouts off the line, "Fuck you, Lucky Charms!" as she does it. That's nice and all—except that's also the final one-liner from the 1993 LEPRECHAUN movie.
Oh, so the filmmakers DID watch the previous LEPRECHAUN films, despite their merciless attempts to ignore and defile it. That makes this so much worse.
A bunch of embarrassing dialogue said with the utmost seriousness.
Some of the best kills and laughable moments.
There are two potential sex scenes, but one guy falls asleep and the other refuses to put down his book. Ugh, this movie...
Take a shot or drink every time:
- A friend gets abandoned by another friend
- Grass moves
- There's a Leprechaun POV shot
- The Leprechaun gets a piece of gold
- Someone drinks a beer
Double shot if:
- The Leprechaun kills somebody
Stick around! Take a bite of this tasty apple as we delve into the video column for Awfully Good, venturing into the woods for director Tarsem Sing's adaptation of Snow White, MIRROR MIRROR, starring Lily James, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, and Nathan Lane. Enjoy!