Well before he ever Crip Walked his green little ass into da 'hood, or took one giant leap for Irish-kind by going up into space, the Leprechaun found himself spreading his particular brand of mayhem in the city of sin, Las Vegas, in 1995's Leprechaun 3: No Hysterical Subtitle to Speak of, Unfortunately.
Directed by Aussie genre-film icon Brian Trenchard-Smith, Leprechaun 3 takes the tiny titular terror, frozen in stone, and places him in a Vegas pawnshop. It isn't long before the pawnshop's owner removes a protective medallion from around the Leprechaun's neck, freeing him from his stone encasement and allowing him yet another chance to wreak havoc on all those who dare touch his precious gold.
"The concentration it takes to look into your eyes right now is incredible"
A great deal of Leprechaun 3's first half is spent with the Leprechaun trying to retrieve a gold shilling the pawn shop owner got his greedy little hands on, but the only thing keeping him from doing so is the power of the magic medallion. However, while the storeowner is protected by the medallion for the time being, I think anyone who knows well enough is aware that our friendly little Leprechaun is one tenacious bastard when it comes to his cherished gold, even when the cards are stacked against him.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Vegas strip, a super sexy magician's assistant named Tammy (Lee Armstrong) runs into some car trouble on her way to work. Luckily for her, an out-of-towner named Scott (John Gatins) comes to her rescue and offers to give Tammy a lift. There is instant chemistry between the two characters, and going against her gut, Tammy allows the under 21 Scott to sneak into the casino, so long as he promises not to do anything stupid like gambling. However, it isn't long before the charmingly naïve Scott cashes in his $23 thousand dollar college tuition, only to lose all of his money to some rigged casino games.
Always bet on black… lipped Leprechauns
Desperate, broke and seeing his future go down the toilet, Scott figures his only solution is to trade in his valuable wristwatch for some cash so he can try to make that big LL come back. And can you guess what happens next? That right, Scott makes his way to a pawnshop so he can pawn off the watch, and it just so happens to be the same pawnshop where the Leprechaun is! What ARE the chances? Well fairly good, I suppose. In any event, Scott avoids a vicious tussle with the Leprechaun after he grabs one of the gold coins and wishes he were back at the casino and on a winning streak. Naturally, Scott's streak of luck cannot last forever, as the Leprechaun is hot on his tail now and forever. And so long as he or anyone else posses the treasured gold, tales of death, murder and destruction will continue to be told.
Now, when most people think of great gambling movies, generally films such as Casino Royale, Rounders, The Gambler, and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels are the types of films that would normally come to mind. Of course, while I enjoy all of those films, and many others that fall into the sub-genre, there is no other that can entertain quite like Leprechaun 3: The Wrath of Chaun. Okay, I made up that "Wrath of Chaun" business to punch up the film's title a little; you know, to make it worthy of the film itself. Sorry for being a liar.
"You mind putting this coin in your slot for safe keeping?"
Anyway, outside of the mildly mediocre leads (though Scott's insanely oversized cargo-vest is a magnificent character in and of itself), the cast is actually quite good, with stand out comedic performances from John DeMita as Fazio, an inept magician, and Caroline "Stretch" Williams as Loretta, a past her prime, greedy casino employee. But while there is a copious amount of hilarity found from those two bumbling characters, as well as a few others, it's the humor that comes from the film's main attraction, the Leprechaun, that really delivers the laughs in spades. As he has done throughout much of the series, the great Warwick Davis deals out numerous memorable moments as the Leprechaun. For example, seeing Lep interact with an Elvis impersonator is incredible on its own, but seeing him do a fucking full-on Elvis imitation, complete with swinging hips and all, is one of the greatest things I have ever seen.
Leprechaun 3 is the type of movie that does exactly what it sets out to do, and that is deliver a few laughs, a few kills and some pure, unadulterated amusement. From Lep's ability to spit the sickest rhymes on the block, to the inventive, Vegas inspired death scenes, you know that Brian Trenchard-Smith and co. went all in when making this straight-to-video sequel, and as a result, Leprechaun 3 truly hits the B-Movie jackpot.