Halloween Endurance Test: Leprechaun 2 (1994)
I guess the Leprechaun’s studio, TriMark Pictures, was listening to all the “What are the rules behind Leprechaun-ing?” talk with the first movie, as its sequel tries to give a backstory. Leprechaun 2 starts off a 1,000 years in the past (inexplicably shown as medieval times), where we learn that on a leprechaun’s 1,000th birthday, he can take a bride. Any woman, so long as she sneezes three times. Yes, that’s right, the entire plot rest on a girl having a uncontrollable sneezing fit.
The girl has the fit, but the Leprechaun’s (Warwick Davis) slave interrupts it. Causing the Leprechaun to curse his slave’s family; promising to wait another 1,000 years to marry the slave’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughter, Bridget (Shevonne Durkin).
Bridget lives in LA, dating perennial loser Cody (Charlie Heath). Cody works for his scam artist “uncle,” Morty (Sandy Baron); running the Darkside Graveyard Tours. Cody spends the film trying to free Bridget, as one aspect of the Leprechaun’s marriage agreement not covered in the opening is the lack of oversight into how his bride must sneeze. Forcing Bridget to sneeze three times doesn’t disqualify the Leprechaun from claiming his prize, sending Cody on a search to reverse the curse.
Luckily for Cody, he finds one of the Leprechaun’s gold coins, giving him some leverage in dealing with his problem. Luckily for us, Leprechaun 2 keeps the high gore quotient from the original, while fine-tuning some of the particulars. The Leprechaun is less physical here, instead using his magic (illusions, telekinesis, etc.) to fight his battles.
We then learn that one of the Leprechaun’s weaknesses is wrought iron; which burns the creature upon touch. He also lives in a hollowed out tree, and drinks Irish whiskey all the time. Which, on further inspection, posits him closer to the were-hobo then the Trolls as one would assume. A were-hobo mixed with evil genie.
In one particularly Monkey Paw-inspired scene, Morty captures the Leprechaun in a iron safe, and demands three wishes. First wish, the Leprechaun’s gold. A wish the Leprechaun grants, transporting all his gold into Morty’s belly. Wish two is spent removing the Leprechaun from the safe, and wish three is (obviously) removing the gold from Morty’s stomach. Which the Leprechaun does using his claws.
Continuing with the theme established in the first movie, the Leprechaun also breaks out another vehicle. Rather than the wide assortment he had last time, here the Leprechaun goes for quality over quantity, opting for an awesome Death Race 2000-style Formula One go-kart. A death machine that would’ve worked wonderfully if the filmmakers hadn’t made one last change to the mythology…
The gold coin. Now whoever holds the gold coin can’t be hurt by the Leprechaun’s magics. Which invalidates almost all the deaths in the first movie, not to mention poor “Uncle” Morty’s death from just a few moments ago. (Granted, Morty didn’t start with a gold coin, but after wish one he had 300-400 lbs of the gold in his stomach! He’d be ultra-immune by this logic.)
For the finale, Cody ends up fighting the reanimated skeleton of Bridget’s great x10 grandfather. Apparently, once Cody has the coin the Leprechaun can’t hurt him, but the Leprechaun’s henchmen/constructs still can.
It’s amazing that even though all the Leprechaun films were rated “R,” none of them really play like it. Maybe the critics are right when they bemoan just how depraved the ratings board has allowed modern movies to become. While, as mentioned earlier, the gore still holds up, and there’s also some truly disturbing scenes (such as when Bridget tries to seduce the Leprechaun), the series is undermined by its own plot.
It’s just too hard to take a Leprechaun seriously as a villain. Especially as a villain whose own mythology changes from film to film. Sure Elm Street’s kids found at least 10 different ways to finish Freddy Krueger off, but Krueger’s basic weaknesses were already set in stone. You had to pull him from your dream. This constant shifting of weaknesses on the Leprechaun’s part ultimately making the series too unreliable to take “seriously.”
At least he still dies in an explosion of electricity…
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