Film: Leprechaun

"Try as they will, and try as they might, who steals me gold won't live through the night."

"Your luck just ran out."
— Original poster tagline

A 1993 horror-comedy film that spawned a franchise. In all six (6!) installments, none of which seem to have any sort of continuity, the titular character is played by Warwick Davis.

In the original Leprechaun, a family moves into a rural house and discovers not only a pot of gold, but the rightful owner. The leprechaun will kill any who touches his gold, but has a weakness to wrought iron and four-leaf clovers (they cancel out his magic). They are finally able to kill it (with fire). Or do they?

In Part 2, there's another evil leprechaun in L.A., who tries to force a woman to be his bride while her boyfriend tries to stop him.

In Part 3, the title creature is awakened in Las Vegas, and sets out to reclaim his gold. A new "rule" was added, that said if you get bitten by a leprechaun, you will turn into one, unless you kill him. Also, each leprechaun has a "lucky" gold piece, that will grant whoever holds it one wish.

Part four is creatively titled Leprechaun 4: In Space, which shamelessly ripped off the tagline from Alien ("In Space, No-One Can Hear You Scream"). In the future, a team of Space Marines are searching for an alien princess, who he intends to make his bride. Apparently, the more gold a leprechaun has, the more powerful his magic is. Combining her wealth with his own will make him the most powerful being in the galaxy!

Leprechaun in the Hood takes place sometime between Parts 3 & 4, only the action is moved back to L.A.

Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood is basically a rehashing of Part 2 in the setting of Part 5.

In 2014, Lionsgate and WWE Films released a Darker and Edgier reboot, Leprechaun: Origins, starring Dylan "Hornswoggle" Postl as the creature.

And contrary to what Syfy wants you to believe, Leprechaun's Revenge is not a sequel to Leprechaun.

The 1993 film has the examples of:

  • An Axe to Grind: When leprechaun catches Nathan on a beartrap in the first film, he attempts to attack him with an axe.
  • Bland-Name Product: Lucky Clovers cereal. Making it even more obvious is that they refer to Lucky Charms in the dialog: "Fuck you, Lucky Charms".
  • Bullet Time: Used briefly in the pogo stick scene.
  • California Doubling: Set in North Dakota; Filmed in California.
  • Cassandra Truth: Simple guy he is, nobody believes Ozzie when he says that there's a leprechaun in the basement and how it was going to shine his shoes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted with the cop's gun in the first film.
    • Also played straight with Alex's slingshot
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How our protagonists finally find the four-leafed clover in the first film.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Caving in a poor sod's chest with a pogo stick, anyone?
  • Death by Falling Over: Mrs. O'Grady's death in the first film.
  • Dutch Angle: Used in the first movie when Tori goes to the retirement home.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: True to the legends, a rainbow leads to the leprechaun's pot of gold.
  • Eye Scream: Tori pokes leprechaun's right eye out in the first film. Then he gouges up a spare from a corpse.
  • Fanservice: Some relatively tame fanservice occurs in the original - Tori spends the whole film in short shorts, and a chase scene filmed from The Leprechaun's point of view means we get an extended look at her legs and rear end as she runs.
  • Fright Deathtrap: In the first movie, against the Irishman's wife.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Made painfully obvious in the first movie, when Nathan brings a flashlight outside.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Dan O'Grady suffers one just before he's going to get rid of the leprechaun.
  • I'm Melting: Leprechaun starts to melt when he swallows the four-leafed clover.
  • Impact Silhouette: The natural result of a leprechaun on roller skates colliding with a white picket fence in the first film.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Leprechaun is fond of these in the first film.
  • Lull Destruction: When Alex sets the bear trap for the leprechaun in the first movie, voice over of him saying "how he's going to get him" is added
  • No Peripheral Vision: When Tori goes to the basement looking for Nathan, both them miss each other despite the small space.
  • Outside Ride: The Leprechaun attempts it in the first movie, but he can't quite hold on.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Fuck you, Lucky Charms!"
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The leprechaun from the original movie.
  • Sequel Hook: Leprechaun's declaration at the end of the first film.
    "I'll not rest till I have me gold. Curse this well that me soul shall dwell, till I find me magic that breaks me spell!"
    • And it did get sequels but they weren't connected to the first movie or each other for that matter.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tori is the only female character in the group.
  • Take That: In the first film, the Leprechaun tries a knock-off of Lucky Charms and promptly spits it out.
  • Teleportation Spam: Done when the leprechaun harasses a cop in the forest.

This series contains examples of the following Tropes:

  • Affably Evil: The leprechaun seldom kills those that don't steal his gold, insult him, get in his way, or do anything else to anger him. In the first and fifth films he is willing to spare those that return his gold. When he first meets Ozzie in the original film, he offers to shine his shoes for him. In Back 2 Tha Hood, he seems to get along with a stoner who lets him smoke from his bong... until he finds out that the stoner has one of his gold coins.
    • Faux Affably Evil: The leprechaun goes back and forth between the two. At one point in In The Hood, he acts friendly to someone for a while before tearing their finger off. While he does seem genuinely affable at times, the leprechaun also as a habit of pretending to be nice before attacking his victims. It depends on his mood.
  • Agony of the Feet: Leprechaun usually goes for the legs.
  • Alien Blood: Leprechaun bleeds green.
  • Antagonist Title
  • Beat It By Compulsion: Leprechaun is compelled to shine all the dirty shoes he comes across.
  • Berserk Button: Do not steal the Leprechaun's gold. He will find you.
  • Black Comedy: The films aren't strictly horror. Hell, the Leprechaun chases people on roller skates, wheel chairs and tricycles, performs a rap number and kills one person with a po-go stick.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: Leprechaun's Revenge was advertised as a new movie in this series despite not being related at all.
  • Evil Laugh: Lep has a distinctive "haahaha" -laugh.
  • Flanderization: While the original movie's dosed with black humor, comedy really overtakes the horror aspect as the series goes along.
  • Genre Savvy: A few humans know enough about the folklore of leprechauns to actually use them against him, but often they're not savvy enough to kill him.
  • Immortality: The Leprechaun does not age, has been trapped for years without food or water and survived, usually shrugs off attacks undamaged or heals quickly, and has been blown to pieces and quickly reformed. Generally, the only ways to kill him are either shoving cast iron into him or shooting him with a four-leaf clover.
  • Implacable Man: The Leprechaun, bordering on The Juggernaut in Back 2 tha Hood.
  • Jackass Genie: The Leprechaun's preferred style of granting wishes.
  • Joker Immunity: Depending on whether or not you consider the Leprechaun the same creature in each film.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Wrought iron and the four-leafed clovers are the weakness for the Leprechaun.
  • Left Hanging: The Leprechaun comic series produced by a company called Bluewater Productions was seemingly cancelled after four issues, and just as it was getting good.
  • Neutral Female: In the first movie's final battle.
  • Numbered Sequels: Stopped after the fourth film.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Gradually. There's Leprechaun, followed by Leprechaun 2 and Leprechaun 3, then introducing subtitles with Leprechaun 4: In Space, followed by dropping the number for Leprechaun: In The Hood and ending with Leprechaun: Back 2 Da Hood by mimicking 2 Fast 2 Furious's ridiculous title.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Leprechaun is fond of rhyming. The fourth movie is the only installment where he doesn't do any.
  • Self Plagiarism: Director of the first film (and writer of every entry in the series) Mark Jones made Rumpelstiltskin in 1995, which is another horror film with an evil wish granting dwarf. He seems to have thing for mini-monster movies, since he also made one about a Demonic Dummy called Triloquist
  • Series Continuity Error: The biggest issue is regarding how the Leprechaun is awakened as it changes from movie to movie. His age is also inconsistent.
    • How he's killed or defeated is different each film. However, surprisingly, the same weapons that work on him in one film normally continue to work in another. Cast iron is among the most often used.
    • There IS of course the theory that it's not the same Leprechaun in each film and they just all look the same, though.
    • The second movie states that the leperchaun cannot kill with his treasure. The third film has him killing a man with one of his coins.
  • Super OCD: The Leprechaun has a strange compulsion to shine any shoes that he sees. Even when he's trying to attack/kill people, he still takes the time to polish shoes.
  • Thematic Series: There isn't any connecting thread to the movies beyond the leprechaun. They're all their own self contained stories.
  • Undercrank: Used in the first film to make it seem that leprechaun is going faster.

Origins has the examples of:

  • Darker and Edgier: The film goes into this direction, as the Leprechaun is a monster that doesn't bother with jokes.
  • Mythology Gag: Before decapitating the Leprechaun, Sophie says "Fuck you lucky charms", which was also said in the original 1993 film before the Leprechaun was defeated.
  • In Name Only: Leprechaun Origins shares nothing in common with the original films (including a leprechaun at all, as it's some kind of lizard monster).
  • Stock Subtitle
  • The Voiceless: The leprechaun in Leprechaun Origins does not speak, but rather snarls and growls like a feral animal.

Alternative Title(s):

Leprechaun Origins