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Leprechaun In The Hood
Reviewed by Shane Ivey, © 2010

Format: Movie
By:   Rob Spera (director)
Genre:   Leprechaun related horror
Review Date:   March 17, 2010
Audience Rating:   R
RevSF Rating:   3/10 (What Is This?)

"Look at these glittering goods! I've got more loot than Tiger Woods!" The Leprechaun, in 2000's Leprechaun in The Hood.

It's a cardinal rule to pretend you have no clue what any other reviewer thinks about anything. But Entertainment Weekly gave Leprechaun in the Hood a B+, calling it "blaxploitation at its finest." Well, damn. That's throwing down the gauntlet. I got Leprechaun in the Hood that night, sat down with my notebook, and gave it a spin.

You can tell how a movie's going to treat you from the opening trailers, and this was no exception. The first trailer is for Held Up, a Jamie Foxx extravaganza about white rednecks and the little redneck boy who turns hip-hop to show they aren't all so dumb. Take that, D.W. Griffith!

Next up, a trailer for Cannes winner Beautiful People, an ironic drama of "chaos and coincidence" set in London. Because they want to hit the vast UK audience that must flock to every Leprechaun movie. I mean, Irish-Americans love the hell out of Lucky Charms and Irish Spring, right? Because they're Irish. Duh. Kind of like that big outpouring of Arabic support for Disney's Aladdin.

Unfortunately, the rest of the trailers weren't quite as instructive: Warlock III: The End of Innocence, conspicuously lacked a Don Henley credit for the theme song. Its slogan: "Familiar Madman . . . Fresh Meat!" I hope somebody got an extra-nice tie from the VP of Marketing for that.

Cue the main event. I had hope for Leprechaun In The Hood in the first few minutes. After a brief vignette of the Leprechaun himself ("the Lep") waddling around in some kind of cave, Ice T is the first on the screen, as the 1970s Mack Daddy, wearing big platform shoes, tight plaid pants, and a gigantic, humongous afro straight out of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.

He breaks into an unlit shack with hamburgers and a six-pack of "Cold 54" on a dusty table. The dialog includes "Midget Midas motherfilker!". Ice-T's friend suffers Death By Afro-Pick, which is just not realistic. The thing does not have the tensile strength you need to properly impale someone's throat. But I digress.

And there's a fight scene where Mack Daddy pulls a switchblade out of his hair, then a fish-thumping club, and then roots around in there frustrated, when he drops both of them.

I expected too much. It's the optimist in me. After that first scene, we cut to the present day. Sort of. The liner notes say it's set in 1993. The movie is handed over to its real stars, three Struggling Young Rappers Struggling To Escape The Los Angeles Ghetto and Make It Big With Their Music. Stray is the foul-mouthed, streetwise Struggling Young Rapper (SYR, for short); Butch is the chemistry-geek SYR who's still a virgin; Postmaster P (for his positive message) is the good-natured SYR reluctant to get into the shenanigans that his friends dream up to try to get themselves the equipment they need to make a big audition.

We learn Mack Daddy's full name is Mack Daddy O'Nassas, because he's an old-school pimp who used to "own asses." But, notes Stray, "Bitches and hos ain't all my man knows."

Bitches and hos ain't all Mack Daddy knows, indeed. He has the Leprechaun, a petrified statue since he found it back in the 70s, and its magic flute, which can enchant people into stupefaction with just a tone.

One thing leads to another, and our three heroes wake up The Lep and steal the magic flute. They spend the rest of the movie pursued by Mack Daddy and the Leprechaun, which visits limerick-enhanced death on anyone who buys its gold or gives shelter to the SYRs.

The Leprechaun speaks mostly in rhyme, ("Many a year has come and past, but still I see your big fat ass."), but he quickly gets jiggy, as they say, with his surroundings. He learns to appreciate rap, he smokes weed, he summons Zombie Fly Girls "from the depths of the netherworlds."

While The Lep's Zombie Fly Girls are good at cracking safes and have keen green-glowing eyes, they can't hold a candle to the non-zombie Fly Girls of In Living Color.

Hijinks ensue. There' s chasing, there's shooting, there's evisceration, there's a cross-dresser who meets a gruesome end, there's sporadic rapping.

There's a Scooby Doo scene where one SYR asks the next, "You okay?" And he turns to the next: "You okay?" And he turns to the Leprechaun: "You okay?" And then they all scream and the Leprechaun giggles.

There's one thing that always impresses early-on about movies such as Leprechaun in the Hood. Somebody paid money to make this movie. Cash money exchanged hands, with the purpose of getting this movie made. Actors, gold spray-paint for the coins, everything. But that shouldn't surprise me too much. I paid money to see it. But that's the price I pay for the work I do.

In its release year of 2000, Leprechaun in the Hood missed a Saint Patrick's Day release by only a week and a half, which must have caused consternation in the Trimark offices, what with their marketing toward the Irish community and all.

Maybe the film got caught up in editing of the critical Douche-KY Jelly-Heating Pad Fire Trap scene. Or the scene where the SYR serenade a church on Sunday to "Jesus Loves me? Hell If I Know," with special guest star Coolio in the crowd. He has no lines, but he does throw down slightly.

I had this hope, a crazy, over-the-rainbow dream, really, that Leprechaun in the Hood would be some solid camp entertainment. Well, it was solid something, but entertainment's not it. As camp entertainment it's mediocre: it has a few funny moments, but most of the time it's bad without giving you enough material to jeer and laugh along with it.

Where Are They Now?

Ice-T> is one bad mother on Law and Order: SVU.

Anthony Montgomery, who delivered the touching portrayal of Postmaster P, played Travis Mayweather on Star Trek Enterprise. We knew !

Here's the Amazon link, if you dare.

The movie should have been as fun as the Zombie Fly Girls in their moving ballad, "Lep in the Hood, come to do no good." Here's the video. Watch and be moved.


Beware the evil wanderer in search of Shane Ivey's loot, lest you suffer the wrath of his golden flute.

 
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