Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Franchise Review: Leprechaun 3 (1995)

The leprechaun in Vegas, baby! Two sequels in and we're still having a great time with the green guy and his whacky exploits. To show that direct-to-video doesn't really mean squat, I liked this entry a lot more than the previous one, and it's maybe even a bit more fun than the first film. But that one still has the pogo stick death, so it can't be dethroned just yet. Anyway, let's see what kind of trouble a leprechaun can cause in Sin City.

A pawn shop owner buys a statue of the leprechaun and tries to take his gold. But by removing the protective medallion from his neck, he brings the leprechaun back to life to continue his quest of protecting his gold from greedy humans. Meanwhile, young Scott is traveling through Vegas when he meets beautiful magician's assistant Tammy, and the two of them get tangled up with the devious and relentless leprechaun.

When you look at how things play out in Leprechaun 3, the plot is full of all these different characters coming in and out of each other's storylines and scenes and changing things around at just the last second. But surprisingly, director Brian Trenchard-Smith (who would also direct the next entry in the series) and the editing make everything all work out and make sense. The movie then becomes a fun series of comedic mishaps and run-ins with the leprechaun, while still providing the audience with more information that adds to the mythology of the leprechaun. However, they do go against one established rule: in the previous films, if a mortal got a hold of the leprechaun's gold, he or she was given three wishes. In this movie, the mortal gets one wish for every piece of gold that he or she was able to take.

This setup, though not in line with the story's continuity, actually works really well for Leprechaun 3, especially because it is set in Las Vegas. Scott and Tammy have their adorable meet-cute at the beginning of the film, and they are the nice, good people in the movie that we are supposed to be rooting for. Everybody else is a greedy, sleazy fuck. These people include the lecherous Mitch; the desperate Loretta; and the deluded Fazio. Of course the best characters ever are Arthur, the guy Mitch owes money to, and Tony, Arthur's muscle. Oh wow, these guys were hilarious. Let me just say that at one point, they have an entire conversation about underwear

Leprechaun 3 actually seems to be making some societal comments, if that doesn't seem weird. The people who take the leprechaun's gold are seen as more of the enemies than the leprechaun is. So then there is a lot to say about the greed of humans, again enhanced by the fact that the movie is set in Vegas, where greed and excess is rampant. Strangely, there are also some jabs at the health care industry. This comes up when Mitch ask Arthur what he wants, and Arthur says jokingly that he wants everyone in America to have health insurance. It comes up again when Tammy takes Scott to the hospital and the weirdo doctor and nurse ask him the most "important" questions - Do you have health insurance? Then they find out how much money he has and order a bunch of useless tests. I don't know what any of this has to do with Leprechaun, but it was interesting.
Something else that I've noticed about all the movies so far in regards to the death scenes is that they are very minimal, save for one. All of the kills are generally bloodless and tame, very comedic usually. But then there's that one scene that just comes completely out of nowhere and is more graphic than all of the other deaths put together. In the first one, it was the leprechaun melting and getting blown up at the end; then in part 2, it was the leprechaun exploding at the end. Now though, the exciting thing doesn't happen to the leprechaun, but rather to poor Caroline Williams. She wishes to be young and sexy and beautiful again, which she does get to enjoy for a little while. But the leprechaun is mad that she doesn't have his coin, so he makes her lips, breasts, and butt get bigger and bigger until finally, she is the one that explodes and it is hilarious. Fazio's death comes close in the extreme department when he is sawed in half on stage at his own magic show, but really... nothing beats an explosion.

I know I say this all the time, but there's a bunch of other stuff that I could've mentioned about Leprechaun 3 - dude, Scott starts turning into a leprechaun! - but I can't have this go on forever. Everything about it is just so much fun, and the movie is so self-aware that I really couldn't help but love it. It is directed well, when the plot might have been a mess in less capable hands. I love Caroline Williams, I love Arthur and Tony, and I kind of really love this movie. It absolutely fits in with the series and it's a good time. Three cherries for this one!


  1. Hence why I usually recommend jumping into this film rather than starting all the way up from the beginning. This is why I love (Most of) the Leprechaun movies, each can stand on their own and they cater to a wide variety of tastes

  2. Hey there!
    I really like your blog, would you mind if I added it to the "links" section of mine?

  3. Oh! You know what? I did see this one too! This was the last one I saw! I did enjoy it - and it's always a good thing when the smokin' hot Caroline Williams shows up!