Monster Reviews: Anniversary of the Leprechaun (1993)

Celebrating its anniversary this month, we revisit the original Leprechaun and take a look at the legendary slasher film responsible for spawning multiple sequels and a prequel. Let’s take a step back and look at the film that birthed the legendary horror icon, the one and only, Leprechaun.

Considered one of the ultimate slashers, Leprechaun is a 1993 horror film written and directed by Mark Jones. It stars Jennifer Aniston, Ken Olandt, Robert Hy Gorman, Mark Holton and the legendary Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun. An ancient evil Leprechaun will stop at nothing to get back his pot of gold.

The Leprechaun is easily one of the top ten iconic slashers in the genre. Something about a the tiny, ugly little green monster with buckles on his shoes and hat, is just unsettling. Most of the time Leprechauns are portrayed as gentle fun loving little pranksters. But not in this film. In this one, he’s an evil little bastard who’s only happy with one thing…killing. 

There’s a multitude of aspects that make the original the best in the franchise. It contains some overlooked and forgotten elements, which attributed to its ferocity and appeal. Things such as the Leprechaun eating Lucky Charms cereal, or how the protagonists escape the ugly little monster by throwing shoes, which he can’t help but shine.

The Leprechaun is arguably Warwick Davis’s ultimate character portrayal. A three foot tall green monster who has a pungent for ripping off limbs and other body parts, definitely sets him apart from the other slashers. Everyone always thinks it would be easy to defeat such a small foe, however, the Leprechaun proves extremely difficult to thwart.

The special effects in this are magnificent and really hold the film together. The makeup and use of light and shadows works wonders. It creates a dark atmosphere which looms strongly over the film. The makeup and practical effects make this one of the most memorable classic slasher films in the genre. The crusty, flaky and coarse skin really add a level of fear to the little guy.

There’s also some really strong acting and performances which help the film stand tall. Jennifer Aniston is terrific as the modern, girly girl. A strong female lead is always effective in horror films. It builds a familiarity with the audience and gives them someone to root for. 

Also, there were some stout performances from Ken Olandt as the beefy heartthrob Nathan, and Robert Hy Gorman as the smart, witty and imaginative, Alex. The best performance however, came from Mark Holton as the eccentric, quirky and autistic, Ozzie. He brought some much needed and well placed humor to the dark and fantastical film. 

The sets were graceful and eye catching, especially the quiet little farmhouse. The costumes are some of the best around and still hold strong today. They give it a really creepy vibe. Also, the use of a cell phone, or “mobile”, by Tori (Aniston), always makes me smile. 

Whether you like it or not, Leprechaun is a powerhouse and extremely well crafted. It’s one of the all time iconic slasher films and a standard in any collection. It’s a must see for any slasher or horror fan. So, grab yourself a copy today, but beware any pots of gold. 

Posted by Donovan Smith

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