Leprechaun: In The Hood (2000)


At about the one hour point of part 4, I cheered with the realisation that I was closer to the end of the series than the beginning, and that thought – that it would all be over soon – was one of the few happy moments during part 5. Even though it’s got a fun-sounding premise – the leprechaun is trapped by a lucky human, who uses his power to become a rap mogul; 25 years later, a hungry young group of rappers accidentally frees the creature and all hell breaks loose – it’s not, to be polite, got great execution.


Rhyming is back! As was sort of inevitable in a movie about rap music, with…Ice-T as the second billed actor! This must have been in the wilderness years when his music career had ended but his TV career hadn’t quite started; I think he contributes a couple of songs to the soundtrack, too. I’d love to have been at that creative session, with one of the most famous “gangster” rappers of all time trying to think of words that rhymed with “leprechaun”.


The amulet from part 3 returns, representing the only bit of continuity in any of this series so far (he actually gets locked in a safe again, like part 2, but this time it does him no harm whatsoever). We start some time in the 70s, and a be-afro’d Ice T is raiding an abandoned cellar with a friend, based on a treasure map someone sold them (ah, why not?) They find a leprechaun “statue” and Ice-T takes the only thing he’s looking for – a small gold flute. While his buddy is packing up the rest of the gold, he takes the medallion off, Lep comes back to life, fight fight fight, friend dies and then the medallion manages to find its way back round Lep’s neck. A brief aside – when Lep comes back to life for the first time, he does a version of Martin Luther King’s “free at last” speech, to a couple of black men. I can’t tell if this is the worst attempt at a joke I’ve ever heard or just staggeringly insensitive, either way I really think they could have chosen a different line for him.


In the modern day, our “heroes” are Postmaster P, Stray Bullet and Butch, a rap trio with a conscious, positive message they want to get across.  Thanks to Butch being a bit of a klutz, they wreck their equipment, but a chance meeting with rap supremo Mac Daddy O’Nassas (Ice-T) leads them almost to a record deal right away, only problem being Ice-T wants them to change their sound to talking about “traditional” gangster rap things, like hoes and shooting people in the face and so on. They decide, instead, to rob him and use the money to buy some new equipment, but guess what medallion they steal along with the magic flute and bags of cash? Oh, and Postmaster P thinks he’s killed Ice-T at this moment too, but that’s not all that important.


It’s sort of stupid to try and write sensibly about a movie that clearly cares so little about making sense. I mean, as soon as Lep is re-animated, he starts quipping about mid 90s current events, as if he hadn’t just spent the last thirty years as a statue…did no-one think of popping in a line like “for thirty years, I saw and heard all / now it’s time for you to give Satan a call”? I am available for scriptwriting duties for any future Leprechaun movie, ladies and gentlemen. Lep sees Ice-T smoking a joint at one point, tries it himself and then becomes a blunt-puffing OG for the rest of the movie; and Coolio pops up for one scene for absolutely no reason (I admit, I wasn’t paying the closest attention, so it could well have been someone watching a Coolio video on a TV, or a lifesize cardboard cutout).


Much like so many of the movies we cover here, by the hour mark it’s shot its bolt and spends the last half-hour just running round in pointless chases and fight scenes. The people we’re supposed to be cheering on, the remaining members of the rap group, are murdering thieves, Ice T is a piece of garbage too…basically, Lep is the hero of the movie. All he wants is his money back, but no-one ever listens! Okay, he does create an army of zombie prostitutes near the end, but no-one’s perfect. I wish B-movies would figure out something better to do with their third acts. Warwick Davis tries his best, and some of his line readings are pretty funny, but it’s a complete mess.


The one question I’m sure popped into your head (if you bothered to think about it at all) when you heard about a Leprechaun movie “in the hood” was “oh no, he’s going to rap, isn’t he?” to which the answer is “of course he is”. After a complete bummer of an ending where the person who “wins” becomes even worse, Lep (who we saw get turned back into stone an instant ago) hops on the stage and drops a fresh rhyme on all us suckers. Is this spoiling the ending? If you care, I hate you.


Once again, it’s not so much that it’s terrible – although it is – but that I genuinely can’t fathom why it exists. It feels like an internet meme brought to life, haha a leprechaun, right, but he’s evil, and he’s got a magic flute, and he runs into some rappers! They’re clearly aiming for that trash B-movie comedy aesthetic, but everything’s so laboured and the jokes are almost without exception terrible. We ought to demand better from our entertainment!


Rating: thumbs down


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