Saturday, March 16, 2019
A YEAR OF SLASHERS: Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)
Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood.”
As always, we start with a clean slate. A well-meaning priest stole the Leprechaun’s gold, planning to use it to build a community center for his crime-infested town. He successfully buries the Leprechaun underground but succumbs to his wounds afterwards. A year later, Emily is told by a fortune teller that she’ll soon stumble upon great wealth. Just that happens when she tumbles into the abandoned community center, discovering the Leprechaun’s gold. This reawakens the ill-tempered imp, who goes on another rampage through the hood, seeking his gold and the blood of those who stole it.
In the second half of the film, things start to pick up. Warwick Davis’ tiny terror indulges in even goofier shenanigans. He rips on a bong, a genuine moment of dumb comedy, especially once he uses that as a murder weapon. He gets locked in a fridge but is too high to care. The kills are disappointingly low-key. The Leprechaun mostly finishes his victim’s off with his claws, which is a far cry from the magical murders in parts 3 and 4. However, the movie does have some fun with its setting. The Leprechaun’s duel with a pair of racist cops is probably the best scene in the movie, as it involves comical dismemberment. When he gets in the cop car afterwards, realizing he can’t reaches the peddles, I laughed. Once the Leprechaun is on the phone, attempting to score a date, being smashed under the body of a pimp-mobile, and trading kamehamehas with a psychic fortune teller, “Back 2 tha Hood” finally settles into the right kind of ridiculous.
Through it all, there’s Warwick Davis, cracking silly jokes and generally having the time of his life. Davis’ unending enthusiasm for the role – let’s face it, the guy is in “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars.” He doesn’t need these movies – is what kept the entire, ridiculous, hideously dumb but oddly endearing “Leprechaun” series afloat for six movies. “Back 2 tha Hood” is not the peak of the franchise. That dubious honor still goes to the one-two punch of Las Vegas and “In Space.” But it’s not without its moments either. Fans have sat through the rest of the franchise. Odds are good they’ll sit through this too. [6/10]