Sunday, March 4, 2012

Leprechaun 3 (1995): A Full House… of Horror!

Leprechaun 3 1995 Poster

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.

Leprechaun 3 1995 (2)

"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.

Leprechaun 3 1995

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.  

Leprechaun 3 1995 (1)

"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.


  1. I remember my parents bought a bootleg copy of this movie back when it first came out (or before it came out) and I watched it over and over til the tape broke (literally). My favorite part of the movie is when the magician is cut in half. To this day, I still laugh at that part.

  2. That whole scene is simply fantastic and one of my favorites! Pretty much every moment involving Fazio is great, but his demise is definitely tops.  

  3. Definitely check out the sequels, or at least the third film, for a good time! So much ridiculous fun! 

  4. I remember having fun with the second film (and loving the pair of boobs that make an appearance), though I very distinctly remember being under the influence of narcotics, too, so what do I know! But yeah, I do plan on going through them all again, except for maybe the first one because I have seen it enough times and remember it fairly well. The Elvis pose-down was epic and Tammy was so very 90s hot, and the fact that her cleavage was constantly on display didn't hurt anything, either!  

  5. Watching it again for the first time in a long time - and enjoying it as much as I did - makes me want to go through the entire series, though I doubt many of the films in the series can lay it down like Lep 3 does. Though, seeing as Brian Trenchard-Smith did direct the fourth film, I am willing to bet that one has something fun to offer, too. I might have to keep my eye open for one of those cheap box sets with all the films on them. 

  6. I totally agree, both the lead characters are very likable, and my lord was Fazio hysterical! I never saw the last "'hood" film and can barely remember any of the films outside of the first one (which I used to hate as a teen), but I also remembered loving both the second and third movie for being totally fun and humorous. I had so much fun with this one I will probably make many a return to a Leprechaun infested Vegas throughout my life! 

  7. I've only seen the first one, but its a classic. Time to bring back the comedy horror

  8. Agreed. Part 2 is still my favorite overall, but between the Leprechaun's super-posedown with the Elvis impersonator, the hot lead girl, and the amusing supporting cast of casino goons, this one is a fun runner-up and part of an essential St Patty's "LEPRECHAUN" franchise viewing tradition for me.

  9. Leprachaun 3 is the only one of the movies that I can easily remember even years after watching it - can't say that about the rest of the series.  So I guess that would make this one the "best" of the series?

  10. Totally with you on this! I haven't seen part 4 in a really long time, but of all the rest, I think this is easily the best one. All the "good" characters are likable and all the villains are incredibly fun. I was totally surprised at how good it was when I watched it last year. It "gets' the leprechaun humor without pandering, like the HOod movies do. Excellent review my tall friend.

  11. I don't even think our, or more specifically my, enjoyment of such cinema can be explained! The series as a whole is fun, and really, if you have nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon and one of them is on, you can do a whole hell of a lot worse!

  12. I'll admit: if I ever have a Saturday afternoon with nothing to do and this is on, I'm watching. That's how I first saw Part 3 on local network television. It was a marathon so they played the first two as well. It is truly pure B-movie entertainment, which I don't think could ever be explained.


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