Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)
LEPRECHAUN IN THE HOOD
WRITERS: Story by William Wells & Alan Reynolds and Rob Spera and Doug Hall
Screenplay by Doug Hall and Jon Huffman
DIRECTOR: Rob Spera
STARRING: Warwick Davis as The Leprechaun
Ice-T as Mack Daddy
A.T. Montgomery as Postmaster P
Rashaan Nall as Stray Bullet
Red Grant as Butch
QUICK CUT: How do you follow up from going to space? By going to the hood! It's urban adventures with the Leprechaun! Oh, and also there's rapping.
Postmaster P - The lead of a young rap group trying to make a name for themselves and get out of Compton, like so many people. He's a good kid, mostly honest, but sometimes makes the wrong decisions for the right reasons. He's all about spreading positive messages and being a good influence on people through his music.
Stray Bullet - One of Post's two pals, and his right hand man. He's a little more dishonest, willing to bend the rules, and go to greater lengths to get things done. He's also not tied down to the 'positive message' thing with their rap, and is more than willing to toss that aside if it means fame and fortune.
Butch - The other leg of Post's rapping triangle, and he also serves as their tech genius. He's smart, but a bit scattered and goofy. Butch is your typical comedic relief type character. Need someone to set up the speakers and have them explode accidentally? He's your guy! But he's also handy with fire and information later on, so it balances out.
Mack Daddy - The big record producer of the day, with a deep, dark, shady past littered with bodies and blood as he scraped his way to the top. He's probably a bit of a look into Stray Bullet's future, if certain things happened. He's violent, he's amoral, and he'll do whatever is necessary to protect what's his.
The Leprechaun - Back from space, and back to rhyming, our Leprechaun this time out is a bit lazy. He'd rather have other people look for his gold, he's more interested in hooking up with women, and getting high. But when he's needed, he'll show up and make hearts explode.
THE GUTS: The good news is, we are no longer in space! The bad news is, I'm still stuck reviewing Lreprechaun movies. That brings us to the FIFTH in the series, Leprechaun in the Hood. Because of COURSE after going into space, it's time to hit up a more urban setting.
Continuing my quest for continuity and lack thereof I bring up with every movie...are we gonna explain how he went into space, died, and came back? Or are we to assume those are in the future still? I dunno. Anyways...Leprechaun in the Hood!
We at least open up with Puff McDaddy doing a rhyme, which is a good start for a Leprechaun movie. It also at least sets up the corrupting influence of the gold, and the Leprechaun's magical flute and its powers.
Yes, he has a magical flute now. That's our new addition for this movie's canon. Just roll with it. It's better than the random telekinesis while he was in SPAAAACE.
We join up with some normal people, as they're breaking into some place thanks to a treasure map one of them acquired. Unfortunately, there's nothing there, and they get into a scuffle. During which, they bash through a cheap cardboard wall they must have rescued from Leprechaun 4.
Beyond the wall, they find the Leprechaun statue with the necklace around it, much like he was seen in previous movies. Instantly putting this movie on better continuity footing than...any of the other four movies, really.
After all that effort, one of them only takes the golden flute, and leaves the other to gather up the rest. All this effort for a flute? And yes, magic flute, but does he know that? It seems weird.
But of course, we need an antagonist, so the other guy takes the binding necklace from Big O'Smalls and sets him free while gathering up their gold. Which leads to him being killed with his own hair pick. In the hood!
Which leads to a battle between the Leprechaun and Ice-T, which escalates as the little green man keeps making him toss away each weapon the guy pulls out of his afro, like a gun, a knife, and...and a bat. A...a bat. From his hair. A bat.
But again, here we are with telekinesis again. Sigh.
Okay, follow this. The other guy dropped the necklace before he died on a plank. That was propped atop a pipe. So when Ice-T fights the Leprechaun and knocks him back, he falls into the board, flinging the necklace into the air, and watches it sail in an arc, and land PERFECTLY over his hat, head, and down around his neck.
Rube freakin' Goldberg couldn't have done better.
But at least that absurdity also flings us some time into the future from that scene, the present for the movie, but the past from now, so 1990. Which begs the question, if the Leprechaun was in that boarded up room in...what? The 80s? The 70s seems more likely from the fashion...how did he get there? And then back to the farmhouse for Leprechaun 1? So much for Leprechauntinuity...
Which lands us with our protagonists for the movie, a trio of young wannabe rappers trying to make a name for themselves and get out of the hood; Postmaster P, Butch, and Stray Bullet. Great, a whole jolly club with jolly pirate nicknames!
But they need money, which leads them to pawnshop after pawnshop to try and scam some, and eventually has them deciding to rob Ice-T, who has moved up and become one of the great rap producers.
They first try and get him to hear their music, and he actually doesn't *hate* it, and sees potential and the hunger in their eyes. But Mack Daddy wants to change their entire positive rap messages to the more typical gangsta type stuff he normally produces. Postmaster P is against it, and Ice tosses the group out before they can convince him to still give them a chance.
While they were in Mack Daddy's office, they saw he kept the Leprechaun on display, and decide to break in and steal the necklace to pay for their stuff.
The heist goes well, until Mack shows up and gets accidentally shot. So, not only have they stolen from him they've shot him. He's gonna be a bigger threat than the Leprechaun, isn't he?
But, they get some gold, the necklace, and the magic flute, so now the plot can really get going. There's revenge to be had, there's gold at stake, and there's gangsters and Leprechauns gunning for our trio.
They blast the Leprechaun and run, leaving him to say hey to his old pal Mick Mack Daddy Whack. Who also gets up and runs away. He escapes briefly to call for help, but it's not long before Fresh O'Prince finds him in a restroom.
Mack lights up a joint and the Leprechaun shows up, and is intrigued by this strange new thing. The guy references Tiger Woods when he stops being stone, but has not encountered pot? Riiight.
He hands back the joint, and in the process grabs and tears off Mack's finger, to retrieve the gold ring he's wearing. Also, he sends Mack Truck Daddy off to find his gold for him. What, we're outsourcing now? Come on, he's never had trouble with his goldar before.
On his way out, the Leprechaun encounters rap for the first time, and finds THAT quite fascinating. So, we have the rhyming Leprechaun, in a setting populated by characters and an environment where he's exposed to rap music, and goes from rhymes to lyrics. This...this is the entire plot logic behind going to "The Hood" isn't it?
Better excuse than going to space, I guess...
Meanwhile, the Beastly Boys are selling their gold and getting the equipment they need, when Post plays the flute, causing everyone to stop and trance out. Oh, and the Leprechaun hears it too, again asking why not find the gold himself? But eh.
Big Mac Daddy realises he's lost the flute, but discovers they left behind the pendant. Which means at least the kids can't stop the Leprechaun without it, and maybe they'll take care of each other.
Run McDMC starts to try and get his gold back from the pawn brokers, and uses a little mind control on a woman to kill him off. If you're in a Leprechaun movie, you DO NOT want to own a pawn shop, that's where the gold goes, that's why you die. This is the moral of the entire series.
While the trio are partying, Love Shack Daddy shows up to reclaim his flute. The only thing that saves them is that when he goes to shoot them, he forgot that he lost his trigger finger ten minutes ago, and they escape.
The Leprechaun heads over to Chow's pawn shop to gather more of his gold, while the guys stay on the move and shack up with a guy trying to transition into being a woman, and do some rehearsing with their new toys.
After Chow gets strangled, the movie jumps back to Post playing with the Leprechaun's golden flute and realising the entrancing powers of it and how it draws people to listen to their music.
The Leprechaun shows up at Fontaine's where the boys are hiding, and is so baffled by what he sees standing before him, he's easily dragged off into her bedroom. The trio starts to hear moans and go to investigate and there is NO WAY that would end well.
Our heroes realise they're not alone, and set up a trap that would have made the kid from Home Alone proud. They lure him in, and set him quite nicely on fire.
So they escape, and after a brief visit to Postmaster's mom, they head to a church for sanctuary against the supernatural. Not the worst plan I've seen. Certainly not the worse in this series.
Which leads to yet another song from the boys. The movie's kinda hitting a lull point, and the repeated use of music, while it makes sense, does tend to make things drag. The only upside is that the song they sing is so *terrible* it's funny. It also gives P another chance to test the flute, and turn the crowd around on their music.
Everyone starts to leave, but the flute turns them right back into their seats, and they start rocking out to the song.
And uh, this happens...
Mackelmore Daddy is tired of this plot dragging too, and shows up at the church somehow knowing the boys are there. I don't really care how he found out, just glad he's here to shoot things. In the hood!
They hide from Mack in a closet, and make a pact to go down fighting...which is agreed upon by the Leprechaun also lurking in there. There's at least some nice comedic timing as they realise the Leprechaun is sitting right next to them, but as they run out of the closet and into Old Mack Donald and friends, I fear this becoming a Scooby Doo hallway door chase.
Fortunately, Mack Daddy isn't having any of that and becomes Keep the Plot on Track Daddy with some guns. There's a standoff, the Leprechaun appears, and he too wants to get this train rolling, and makes a guy's chest explode. He probably learned that from some Xenomorphs in space.
After that, Mack Daddy runs off to regroup, leaving the kids in the hall to run into yet another room in this mighty big church... Anyways, they hide out with the priest, and bar the door as Tupac MacCur tries to bust in.
They fortunately have a giant vault in the room, and when he busts through, they trick him right inside it, and slam the door shut. This trick didn't work so well in one of the other movies, as I recall...
So with the Leprechaun trapped, the kids try out for their audition once more giving us a fourth song, and meanwhile, Lucky O'Charms calls forth his zombie flygirls. ...Wait, what?
One of the...zombie flygirls...shows up at the church to keep the priest distracted with her curves and tiny gold dress, and the Leprechaun finishes him off.
The Leprechaun and his backup singers arrive, so Stray Bullet tries to shoot him. But those pesky telekinetic powers keep the gun pointing elsewhere. Namely, at Butch's head.
Postmaster hands over the flute, and the Leprechaun actually lets them go. But Post is an idiot and tries to stop the McEwok, so he uses his Force powers to may Stray point the gun at himself again and blow his own brains out.
With Stray dead, the band pretty much falls apart, while the Leprechaun has his girls pick up chicks and he smokes weed. ...I dunno, maybe the movie should be done now? 20 minutes left? Really?
For SOME reason, after his little sexcapades, Leppy heads over and visit's Postmother P. But he gets some free food out of the deal, and we get to watch a blind woman try and feed him because she thinks his hands are all messed up.
We also get to see yet ANOTHER eye removed when she accidentally stabs him in the face. That's what, four? Five?
BUT then Post wakes up screaming, and IT WAS ALL A DREAM. Oh, now it's personal, Leprechaun 5. You brought my least favourite trope to this fight.
He goes to answer the door, and there's a bloody Stray Bullet standing there taunting him, and he wakes up! Again! IT WAS ALL A DREAM. AGAIN!! IN THE HOOD!
At least when he answers the door a second time, it's just Butch standing there, and he's come with a plan to get the Leprechaun dead, and the flute back.
So this brings us to the obligatory attempt to infodump about Leprechauns. Something that IN SPAAAACE was lacking. This time out, the weakness is clover, and Butch wants to administer it through a joint.
...I... Okay. That's actually...that's stupidly clever. It makes good use of the settings, tropes, and characters. But there's no way to say "And we depower the leprechaun with clover based weed" that I will take seriously.
Butch has seen the Leprechaun gathering women, and the rest of his plan involves crossdressing. This is becoming almost as much a trope as the eye gouging.
They first meet up with the flygirls and give them some of the clovered joints, which breaks the hold the Leprechaun has over them. And in return, they tell the guys where to find the little demon.
So they head upstairs, and we have our crossdressing heroes meet a Leprechaun in a run down loft to give him some pot laced with clovers to sap his powers so they can retrieve a magical golden flute. I can't believe I just typed that.
The pot knocks out the Leprechaun, fortunately before the scene gets any weirder, and they swipe the flute and run away. Unfortunately, before they can make good their escape, oh yeah! He's Back Daddy!
Shots are fired, and Butch gets hit by one of the bullets and dies behind the bar. Leaving us down to Post and Ice-T ready to go head to head.
Mack tries to tell Postmaster that only he can stop the Leprechaun, and tells him exactly how, and shows him the necklace. Having the necessary information, and wanting revenge, Post tries to executional Mack Deady right then and there.
Which is a rather dark character arc for the guy. He started off as a happy go lucky wannabe rapper, who only wanted to spread positivity and good vibes about fixing up the hood and such. Now here he is, all his friends are dead, and he's become a killer. Yikes.
But enough pontificating, the Leprechaun's woken up, and he's not too happy. He tosses Post around with his mcmind powers, and demands his flute be given back some more.
The Leprechaun does his usual rhyming deal, and Post responds. Yes, with a rhyme of his own. And the Leprechaun throws another back. Oh dear god, Leprechaun 5 is ending by giving us an epic rap battle.
But surprise! Mack Daddy is Not Really Dead, and clobbers the little guy over the head with a chair, knocking him out. Thank the maker, I couldn't take more rhyming.
The Leprechaun fixes Postmaster's little oversight with the killing thing, and makes Mack's stomach explode.
And AGAIN the necklace gets sent sailing through the air, and the Leprechaun just SITS THERE watching it, as it comes RIGHT DOWN over his head. Come ON. MOVE!
Now, how else are we going to end this movie, but with another song from Postmaster? At least he found some fame after all that, so there's some semblance of a happy ending. ...Right?
But then there's the Leprechaun saying he taught him everything he knows and the kid's eyes glow green like the flygirls...wait what? Is the Leprechaun using Post to live out his rap career vicariously? Should I even take this into continuity? What about the necklace falling? Does it matter?
And ONE MORE musical number by the Leprechaun himself as the credits roll. It's no "Lost in Time" but it's catchy in its own right. Still, I am a bit topped up on musical numbers after this movie.
Video: You wouldn't guess it from the images, but this movie did my least favourite trick of putting the widescreen image into a 4:3 format, which drastically hoses the quality. I messed around and enlarged things for the new site's image size standard I'm going for, and giving that, I ended up with okay images. But as for THEIR video quality as opposed to mine, it looked okay, just it is always SO disappointing when they do things like this. But it's got more darkness than the scifi adventures, but it's got your typical softness from this sort of presentation.
Audio: Decent enough sound.
Sound Bite: "Go on! Hip and hop your black ass home!" Chow the pawn broker.
Body Count: The Leprechaun keeps up his habit of bringing a nice body count, even if he's not responsible for quite a few of these
1 - 4 minutes in, and Ice-T's pal dies from a hair pick to the neck, thanks to the Leprechaun.
2 - Bartender at the Parrot gets electrocuted by the Leprechaun.
3 - The Leprechaun kills off Jackie Dee to get his gold back.
4 - It's just not a good day to be a pawn shop owner, as Chow gets choked.
5 - The Leprechaun catches up and kills Miss Fontaine in her bedroom while trying to find the boys..
6 - One of Mack Daddy's goon squad has his heart exploded.
7 - The priest gets killed when the Leprechaun somehow reaches his entire arm through the large guy's chest.
8 - Stray Bullet's name ends up being a bit ironic as the Leprechaun makes him shoot himself.
9 - Butch dies in a dress when Mack Daddy shows up at the climax.
10 - Mack Daddy's stomach explodes after he doesn't quite die from some gunshots
11 - Technically the Leprechaun gets turned back to stone, but that doesn't even last into the credits
Best Corpse: I am a sucker for a great heart explosion, with bonus looking through the hole.
Blood Type - B+: Largely for effects, but there's that great heart explosion with a meaty, bloody hole to look through. Also, the Leprechaun's eye removal, some finger removals...it could be better, but they have a few great moments that keep this up.
Sex Appeal: Aside from the flygirls wandering around in tiny blue and bl...er, gold dresses, not much to speak of.
Drink Up! Every time someone sings a song, or plays the flute.
Sights and Sounds: There were a few good choices here. I almost went with the freakishly perfect Rube Goldberg like coincidence that got the Leprechaun chained back up at the start of the movie. But instead, the weird encounter with Mack Daddy in the bathroom kinda sums the movie up well.
Movie Review: This movie had a very easy job; be better than Leprechaun in Space. Which is a very low bar, but that just makes it possible to trip over. Still, the movie succeeded on that count, thankfully. The story is solid, the plot moves along, and it makes great use of the urban setting, rap music culture, and the desire of people in these places to try and get out, by any means, and mixing that together with the gold. It's a perfectly okay movie, but it flies off the rails with a weird ending that seemed to be going for weirdness and randomness, and the Leprechaun still being around, which it didn't quite earn. The Leprechaun was much more like the Leprechaun we know and love, with rhymes, and his gold obsession, and a fun character again. He had some new BS powers, but pretty much everything on this is back on the right track, even if it's not a home run. Three out of five remvoed eyeballs.
Entertainment Value: As always, Warwick is fun, Ice-T is a way better actor than this movie deserves, and the plot is actually pretty serious, if you ignore the Leprechaun stuff, with the whole world of rap, and the guns, and all that. The characters are fun, it gets campy and silly a lot, and sometimes even in the right ways. It sometimes tries too hard, like getting the guys into dresses, but for the most part, they are having fun and they know it. The problem is, the music gets in the way some times, and the plot drags. But there's fun stuff to be had here, and it's entertaining enough, and it is a swing back in the right direction. I had fun, and that's what matters. Three out of five zombie flygirls.