Whassup my ninjas? You know, my teenage years have a lot to answer for. When other normal Scottish teens were out drinking underage before passing out in a puddle of their own puke or setting fire to buildings, I would rent films from Certex (best video shop ever in existence) as often as I could during the Falkirk High School summer holidaze and just roll like a celluloid-loving pig in s**t like ‘Metalstorm 3D: The Destruction of Jared-Syn’ or ‘Ghoulies’ or ‘Trancers’ (ah, Tim Thomerson, whatever happened to ole Jack Deth…and who cares?) or ‘Parasite’ (another 3-D anti-epic not, of course, presented in 3D on video – Charles Band fare wasn’t exactly mine or my brother Tony’s fave, but we watched any new piece of trash that came out and there always seemed to be something new from his unstable stable’s table in the shop almost daily) or ‘My Bloody Valentine’ (the only film a Scottish indie band named themselves after, for some reason, though there is a Lung Leg from Glasgow too) or ‘Stone’ or ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Possession or ‘The Boogeyman’ or ‘Zombie Flesheaters’ or ‘Zombie Creeping Flesh’ (aka ‘Night of The Zombies’ in the USA – remember an having argument at school about how poor this film was in relation to ‘Dawn of The Dead’ and my confused friend Darren saying it was a good film by his standards – even back then I was a contentious wee bastirt when it came to good horror films) or…well…whatever piece of exploitation trash was on the shelf with a cover exciting and enticing to a young horror/trash fan’s eye.
Misspent youth indeed.
Now. You may well ask what the preceding nostalgic ramble down memory lane to a during-day-darkened living room 20 years or more ago has to do with the film I will discuss and dis and cuss here. Ummm…it’s ummm…ah…s**t, I dunno, derailed my brain-thought-train, talk amongst yourselves for a moment, I, ah…oh yeah, right, got it, got it, good. Yeah. So. My years of watching exploitation trash as a kid (and it goes back even further to when I spent five years as a kid in South Africa and would project stuff like The Fog onto my parents’ living room wall on a bona fide celluloid projector – prototype video recorder – 16mm or 8mm? Don’t recall, maybe somebody could clue me into as to the tekspeks of what was available back in 1979 or so; but no wonder I love movies with that great experience to look back on, dramatic scenes whitewall-flickering excitingly in the balmy mysterious Edenvale night) have left a streak of trashlover in me that will never, ever fully go away. Oh yes, I can watch a quality flickershow like ‘Capote’ or ‘La Haine’ or ‘March of The Penguins’ or ‘Grizzly Man’ or ‘Taxi Driver’ or the 1932 Charles Laughton ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and appreciate it for what it is. However, in the deep dark dim-flickering-memory-neuron-and-synapse secret recesses of my mind, buried under sedentary obscuring strata of years of life experience…runs a river pure and deep of love of worthless cinematic shite.
And it will never go away.
Now. To bring us up to date. What would you get if you crossed ‘Boys N The Hood’ with ‘Citizen Kane’? I dunno, but it would be f**k all like the waste of time and effort and energy and makeup and FX and life in general I am writing about here. The ‘Leprechaun’ bowel moviements are a guilty pleasure to me. Well, a guilty displeasure, cos I never really enjoy them; I just watch them to see how much worse they can get, and they rarely disappoint me. I have seen them all except for the fourth one (‘Leprechaun 4: In Space’ – “One small step for man. One giant leap of terror!”) so I think I can speak with vague authority (for what that’s worth) about the series. If you haven’t seen a ’Leprechaun’ film you’re probably better off. All they are is full of a wisecracking Warwick ‘Wicket the bloody Ewok’ Davis shambling around in a leprechaun suit killing invective-spewing people in semi-inventive ways and reciting crap rhymes. Cos that’s obviously what the real Little People of Irish folklore do, innit?
Speaking of which. At the start of ‘Leprechaun Back 2 The Hood’ there is a vague (ir)rationale provided for where the shortarse murdering mythical beast has come from in the preceding five films. (Actually, let’s back up a moment. This is the sixth Lep film, yet here they number it is if it’s only the second one. It’s a sort-of follow up to the fifth film, ‘Leprechaun in The Hood,’ which turns the series in a new contemporary rapsploitation direction. Guess that’s the direction they want to send the thing in now, and who am I to argue?) The back-story for the vertically challenged evil f****r posits that he and a load of his midget minions were under the employ of some English king in daze of yore (whatever the f**k ‘yore’ is) to guard his treasure. However, when the king died, all the other Leprechauns went back to the earth except our wee cinematic zero-height anti-hero. Can you spot the glaring error in this terror explanation? If you can you’re better than the ‘scriptwriter’. Why would an English king be exploiting Irish mythical beasts? It’s a poor piece of culturally inept stupidity. Much like the series itself, I suppose, so it all fits.
Flashfastforward over centuries and oceans to land in contemporary America, through a convoluted series of circumstances those familiar with the first film (which stars Jennifer Aniston and which I bet she leaves off her resume now, after Brad Pitt saw it and left her for that mental bird with the weird big lips) will know of. We are in African American territory in Los Angeles. Lep and some drunk priest are fighting over the gold (and a peculiar pleasure of watching the Lep – short for ‘Leprosy’ – films is shouting “Where’s me gold!!??” at the screen numerous times as you wait for wee Warwick to say it along with you) and the godbotherer consigns the wee shite to hell (or wherever bad killer dwarves go) underneath a soon-to-be-built youth center before expiring. Word ‘bout dat buried treasure s**t filters down troo da hood (don’t I speak just like I’m comin’ straight outta Compton, even though I’m white and Scottish? I use the colloquial ebonics vernacular like a native!) and, though a series of events I can’t even remember though I only watched this film two days ago, (and took notes)(subsequently burned) the Lep gets loose and various boring mayhem ensues.
A brief aside. The ‘plot’ of the 2005 Todd Bridges-in-a-non-ice-skating-cameo waste of time ‘Treasure N Tha Hood’ totally rips off this film’s (very) basic premise. I suppose if you’re going to steal script-treasure from a film you might as well might as well steal from the best, eh? I am the only person you know who will make these kind of celluloid (well, video) cross-references. And I’m not proud of that, believe you me.
It’s funny. In the most of the other Lep films, wee Warwick has been assigned stupid rhymes to say as he dispatches the poor hapless gold thieves helpless before his superior brutal evil force. He doesn’t rhyme in this film. I woulda thought that, this being a rapsploitation show, that he woulda been a shoe-in for that stuff, but apparently not. Oh well. Golden opportunity missed to have Warwick tongue-twist the film away. After all, anything that he came away with certainly couldn’t be any more stupid or worse than the endless intolerable deadbrain parade of braying leering sneering bling-blinging flash-dressing baseball-cap-wearing poor-rhyme-singing gold-chain-dripping tongue-tripping booty-shaking pimp-idolizing mansion-dwelling bitch-hating gun-toting hood-eulogizing ride-pimping grillz-sporting bodyguard-shooting c**k-grabbing knuckle-dragging semi-sentient super-cynical low-riding money-waving kloned klownz who drag their talentless-a*s carcasses across music television crassly selling the worthless arrogant ignorant hateful mess that rap has become these daze.
(Outraged screams from the balcony: “But G, you’re white, you can’t be expected to understand such a quintessentially black art form, you don’t feel the pain of the hood!” To which I reply: “Awa n f**k yersel. Ah grew up listenin tae NWA n LL Cool J n Ice Cube n the Beastie Boys n whitnot. Rap is utter f*****g pish these daze, n yer no gonnae tell me ony better. Ah have eyes, ah kin turn on the telly tae MTV 2 and see the shite drippin doon the screen, n ah wish they’d shot better when they shot that Fiddy Cent c**t cos…ah, why go on, ye get the general idea.”)
So anyway. After that sidestepper ramblerant about the moribund ugly unfly ded jam state of the artless rap game these daze, let’s get on with it. A load of poor young street youths (of course this means that every second word is “m**********r” and every second sentence “youknowwhatI’msayin’?” if you know what I’m sayin’) find the treasure and take to spending it on getting makeovers or buying bud or buying flashy cars. Of course, oor wee pal the Leprechaun (I always want to say ‘on the cob’ after that word, sorry, just wordplayboying) isn’t taking kindly to the theft of his centuries-dead king’s ransom and he takes after the unsuspecting thieves (who kinda-jokingly stop using the word ‘n***a’ and use ‘ninja’ instead, but still call the Lep a ‘mick m**********r’ – guess it’s bad to insult black people using the ‘n’ word but it’s okay to insult other groups using offensive slurring slang) and makes them die hard with a vengeance before…well, I’m not going to ruin the ending, I’ll let the filmmakers do that themselves, you can watch it and see it for yourself. If you have the guts. Or too much time on your hands. Or are a Warwick Davis movie completist. Or are stoned. Or drunk. Or mentally unbalanced. Or off school on summer holidaze. Take your pick. Along the way it’s the usual assortment of, as I said, semi-inventive deaths: a guy being killed with a bong (bong swansong?), a woman having a gold tooth fashioned from one of the Lep’s gold coins ripped from her head along with her whole jaw, a cop’s leg ripped off and used by the Lep to reach the pedals of a stolen police car…and on and on.
After my cynical jibber-jabber, as Mr T would put it, you may well ask why I watched this film. I have asked myself the same thing. Many times. I can only offer in my defense…nothing whatsoever. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the fifth Lep film, the last one I saw, and thought it was such a work of intolerably bad swill that, with its loops of the Lep getting stoned on four-leaf-clover-laced weed (“It’s da bomb!”) and gangsta transvestites and crazed dancing Korean store owners and Ice T pulling weapons from his afro and saying “you midget Midas m**********r” (one of my all-time fave film lines, and one I still quote) before taking on his anklebiter-sized nemesis…I loved it unconditionally. And I was hoping for more creative stupidity from the rapsploitation sequel.
A brief statement about the two-and-a-half stars I have given this film as a rating. I have not rated this unconventional epic conventionally. I wanted ‘good bad,’ I got ‘bad bad.’ So the rating goes from ‘bad bad’ to ‘good bad’ and is stuck somewhere in the middle of that critical purgatory (sure adline-w***e Peter Travesty of Rolling Stone could come up with something better, judging by the sterling examples of his art I have seen on every second trailer or poster or print ad for a film to come along recently) in a landmine-strewn no-man’s-land of faint praise dementia. I genuinely enjoy the ‘Leprechaun’ films. I make no excuse for this. I am still going to see the one where he’s in space, cos I think it’ll be gratingly great.
I suppose I could say I was bitterly disappointed by this film but, well, who would have any sympathy for me? I did it to myself and thus can’t blame anybody but me. It all rests of my shoulders. I have a feeling that I’ll be lying on my deathbed looking back on my life wishing I’d spent the 89 minutes it took to watch this film doing, well, anything else. But we’ll all have moments like that further down the line, so I’m not alone in this, be it thinking about ‘Hudson Hawk’ or ‘Brokeback Mountain’ or ‘Return of The King’ or ‘Pokeahotass’ so at least I’m not alone in this. And I can console myself in the knowledge that, even if I spend an hour or two every couple of years watching some shitty Lep film, I am not in as bad shape as the person who has a website dedicated to he film series and who has done a Body Count (appropriate for the film starring Ice T at least) for the films, who has transcribed all the Lep-raps…and more. You don’t believe me? Check out www.lepconnie.com if you think I’m joking, and while you’re there join the ‘important’ ‘Leprechaun 7’ campaign, whatever the hell that is – never had the guts to look. My cousin Mikey (my old Lep co-conspirator) and I went there a coupla years ago cos for some reason we wanted to know the words to the s**t-hot hot-s**t hit-s**t crap rap theme song Warwick Davis sings (in costume) to zombie hookers at the end of the 5th film. “Lep in the hood come to do no good” is a short-man mantra that will forever haunt my dreams. But it’s my own fault. After all…
I did it to myself.
I did it to myself.
I did it to myself.
I did it to myself.
(Rinse and repeat until I am dragged screaming from the keyboard)