It’s the luck of the Irish! Oh my Gosh! I can’t believe it’s St. Patrick’s Day already. I admit St. Patty’s day isn’t the best day for me but I always try and celebrate because 1. I love all things Irish… Hey, just because I’m a Polish Canadian doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate all things green. I have a shamrock Tattoo dammit! and 2. I love all things green.
Jack also loves him some St. Patty’s Day, and to go along with it Leprechaun! No, not the mythical creatures who live at the end of rainbows but the cult classic film! The one that stars Jennifer Aniston pre-nose job. Loving it!
I admit I haven’t seen Leprechaun in a long long time, but I think I’m going to revisit it this week.
Before you head to your local pub, check out Jack’s Cult Classic Corner all about Leprechaun and meeting Warwick Davis!
Has it really been 20 years? Hard to believe, but it has been two decades since the cult horror comedy franchise “Leprechaun” first came out starring Warwick Davis. During my youth I absolutely adored and frequently watched the first three films on a consistent basis. If you were a friend of mine in the early 1990s, chances are I exposed “Leprechaun” to you and in the case of one cousin, helped give you nightmares.
By the time the fourth film came out (straight to VHS), I even offered to pay full retail price to the owner of my video store before even watching the film (They initially refused, but eventually agreed a month later to sell me the rental copy). Needless to say, “Leprechaun” is one of, if not, my favorite horror film of all time (No joke) and I want to share my love for this wonderful film series.
Starring Warwick Davis (“Willow,” “Life’s Too Short” and “Return of the Jedi”), “Leprechaun” tells the story of Dan O’Grady, who after burying his mother’s ashes in Ireland, captures a Leprechaun and convinces the mythological creature to surrender his pot of gold. Unfortunately for O’Grady, the Leprechaun exacts revenge by following him home (to America) wrecking havoc (including killing his wife). Luckily, O’Grady manages to lock up the treacherous creature in a crate with a four leaf clover, but soon afterwards suffers a debilitating stroke and the “crated up” leprechaun is forgotten about.
Fast forward 10 years, new homeowner J.D. Redding (John Sanderford) moves into the old O’Grady farm with his daughter Tory Redding (Jennifer Aniston) and hires painters Ozzie (Mark Holton from “Teen Wolf” and “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”), Nathan (Ken Olandt from “Summer School”) and Alex (Robert Gorman from “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”) to help fix up the place. While cleaning out the basement, the naive Ozzie unleashes an angry Leprechaun who “Wants His Gold” and will stop at nothing to find it. Soon the reluctant strangers are forced to take a stand against one pissed off 600 year-old Leprechaun and save their lives in the middle of nowhere.
As the series progressed, “Leprechaun” developed more of a horror comedy attitude and the character created memorable catch phrases with great one-liners and hilarious limericks including:
– “Try as they will, and try as they might, who steals me gold won’t live through the night”
-“Ahhh… lovely golden palaces completely full of riches. I’ll rip ’em off and rob ’em blind, those dirty sons of bitches.”
-“Oh, well didn’t you hear? Bigger is good, but jumbo is dear. I’ll give ya boobs that’ll come out to here.”
-“A Friend with weed is a friend indeed”
Subsequent sequels co-starred Tony Cox (“Bad Santa”), Caroline Williams (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”), John Gatins (future Oscar nominated screenwriter for “Flight”), Miguel Nunez Jr. (“Juwanna Mann”), and Ice-T. Eventually each film created a completely different origin/mythology for the titular character, yet Warwick Davis continually entertained audiences with great comedic performances. Whether it was visiting Vegas (3), Space (4), “going to the hood” (6) or “Back 2 Tha Hood” (6), the “Leprechaun” series has endured as a popular film franchise and one of the most memorable horror characters ever.
At one point due to the success of “Freddy vs. Jason,” there was a proposed Chucky vs. Leprechaun film, but sadly nothing came into fruition after years of discussion. Currently there are plans for a reboot by WWE, but without Davis and I refuse to acknowledge its existence.
Around the time of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” Warwick Davis was scheduled to be appearing at my friend’s show in Northern California. However, due to a filming conflict with the “HP” series he could not make it. My friend later informed me I would have worked with Davis and been his personal assistant for the duration of the show 🙁 Sadly that was my only opportunity for Warwick Davis…until he did a rare California signing at Dark Delicacies on August 21, 2008.
For everyone who lives in LA or considers themselves a horror fan, go visit this amazing horror store located in Burbank. Sue and Del organize hundreds of amazing events each year and continually attract a wide spectrum of cool Horror talent. So when Warwick was scheduled to stop by I made sure NOTHING conflicted with the event. He was appearing to promote the recent triple feature release of the first three “Leprechaun” films and signing additional items.
I brought my Pot O’ Gore Collection (The first five films boxset) along with “Back 2 Tha Hood” to get signed. While there I decided to get two photos signed, including a limited edition print that actually contains a piece of the “Leprechaun” costume.
All my items were inscribed and personalized except my boxset, which I didn’t get signed due to budgetary reasons. When I gushed about my love of “Leprechaun,” Warwick was a complete sweetheart and enjoyed hearing about my “Leprechaun” marathons with friends over the years
When I asked for specific personalization from “Leprechaun In The Hood,” not only did Warwick enthusiastically oblige, but actually did it in character saying, “A Friend With Weed Is a Friend Indeed.”
Meeting Warwick Davis was truly an honor and I hope more people discover these awesome films.
By the way, there’s a great “Leprechaun” drinking game to try during St. Patty’s Day. Whether you’re at a large party or with a handful of friends, it’s quite enjoyable to partake, especially on St. Patty’s.
Have a drink every time:
-Gold is mentioned
-A rhyme is said
-Leprechaun bites someone
-Whenever the Leprechaun shines a shoe
-Someone is killed/dies
Hope everyone has a great St. Patty’s Day and until the next time, happy autograph hunting!
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