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  Leprechaun 3 Gold Over Love
Year: 1995
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Stars: Warwick Davis, John Gatins, Lee Armstrong, John DeMitta, Michael Callan, Caroline Williams, Marcelo Tubert, Tom Dugan, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Richard Reicheg, Linda Shayne, Ian Gregory, Roger Hewlett, Terry Lee Crisp, Jennifer Stein, Susan Skinner
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Las Vegas, and in this pawn shop a one armed, one legged, one eyed man blusters in and plonks a large sack down on the counter. The owner of the establishment, Gupta (Marcelo Tubert) is interested enough to open it up whereupon a statue of a leprechaun is revealed, one with a ruby red and silver medallion around its neck, but when Gupta makes to take it off to examine it, the customer warns him that he must never do that. Leaving with twenty dollars for the lot, the man exits the shop and the proprietor sets about examining his find, paying no heed to the man and taking the medallion. This revives the evil leprechaun (Warwick Davis) and kicks off a battle of wills between them both...

This third instalment of the franchise wasn't the sole outing as a leprechaun for star Warwick Davis, as much to the bemusement of anyone happening across 1998's A Very Unlucky Leprechaun or 1999's The White Pony, both cheapo movies for incredibly undemanding children, he played them there are well, which you would have thought would prompt him to declare a conflict of interests: surely you cannot be of the nice, little, green faerie folk one moment and a horror movie villain the next. It made you wonder what the producers were thinking - one of them was Roger Corman - which was presumably, well, Mr Davis has experience in this role, why not hire him? Did they tell him to tone down the general murderousness?

Director Brian Trenchard-Smith assuredly did not say that to Warwick in this, one of two consecutive instalments in the franchise that he helmed, as you could observe the whole premise had really hit its stride with this entry. Just as the Nightmare on Elm Street series found its template by Part 3, this was much the same, though really it was the second one which was emulating Freddie Krueger that had set this up as the long-lasting proposition it was becoming here. By setting it in the gambling capital of the world, it appeared to have a finger-wagging message about betting and wagering being a fool's game, one which it promptly dismissed in about half an hour where a more basic "be careful what you wish for" moral was brought up for your edification.

We had to have a hero and heroine to act as adversaries to the little guy, who by this stage was making a point of speaking in rhyme (though not for the pithier quips and threats), and in this case they were hapless student Scott McCoy (future blockbuster scribe John Gatins, so at least he found something he was successful at) and the magician's assistant he gives a lift to after her car breaks down, Tammy (Lee Armstrong). She isn't especially interested in him, but she is grateful enough to warn him away from the roulette tables so naturally he heads straight over there to blow the cheque from his parents on losing big time there. Except somehow he gets his clammy hand on one of the Leprechaun's coins from his pot o' gold, and can have his wishes granted.

Which is where the being careful business enters into it, as though Scott wins big, it sets off a course of action that sees him bitten by the little chap and gradually infected enough to turn into a leprechaun himself in an example of eighties-style body horror - if there's one thing this series was trying to bring back it was the heyday of effects-ridden shockers of that decade, which surprisingly was still relevant in the mid-nineties, just proving how the genre really needed shaking up by then. Nevertheless, such daft nonsense as the Leprechaun movies did have its fans, mostly among those who were less discriminating in their choices on a visit to the video rental store and wanted a dose of unpretentious entertainment of an evening and nothing too weighty to concentrate on. With the villain conjuring up various novelty deaths like surgically enhancing a woman who wanted to be beautiful so much that she explodes or sawing a man in half on stage, that was the real draw rather than any kidding commentary on humankind's propensity for greed. Music by Dennis Michael Tenney (basic synth stuff).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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