Mark Jones

Monster Reviews: Anniversary of the Leprechaun (1993)

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 in Categories, 0 comments

SERIES Review: Tales of the Unexpected (Series One)

Tales of the Unexpected
Series One, Nine episodes
24 March to 19 May 1979

By Woofer McWooferson

Tales_titles (1)

Below is a list of episodes from Series One, all of them Roald Dahl stories, along with a brief description and thoughts on each.

Title: Man from the South
Episode: 1
Air Date: 24 March 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Kevin Goldstein-Jackson
Director: Michael Touchner
Claws: 6
Observations: Tommy (Michael Ontkean), a brash and bold American on holiday in Jamaica, makes a risky wager with the suave, confident, and mysterious Carlos (Jose Ferer). Although the plot itself is both simple and nervewracking at the same time, the twist is spectacular and not quite what one would expect for the build up. Uneven but somehow satisfying.

Title: Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat
Episode: 2
Air Date: 31 March 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Simon Langton
Claws: 2
Observations: Mrs Bixby (Julie Harris) is having an affair and schemes to explain to her husband the mink coat her lover gave her. Predictable and dull.

Title: William and Mary
Episode: 3
Air Date: 7 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: John Davies
Claws: 7
Observations: When a widow (Mary Pearl) learns her husband's brain has been kept alive, she brings him home and changes up their routine. More fun than anticipated. Smoke 'em if you've got 'em!

Title: Lamb to the Slaughter
Episode: 4
Air Date: 14 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: John Davies
Claws: 8
Observations: Mary Marney (Susan George) comes home from the market to find her husband, Patrick Marney (Michael Byrne), dead in his chair. When detectives from the precinct where Marney worked come to investigate, Mary insists they stay for dinner. An old story but fun. Execution on the show was a bit dry. Best of Series One.

Lamb to the Slaughter

Title: The Landlady
Episode: 5
Air Date: 21 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: Herbert Wise
Claws: 7
Observations: Billy Weaver (Leonard Peston) takes a room in Bath from an eccentric landlady(Siobhán McKenna). Another that was better than anticipated. It's a slow build, but a fun twist.

The Landlady

Title: Neck
Episode: 6
Air Date: 28 April 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Robin Chapman
Director: Christopher Miles
Claws: 8
Observations: Lady Turton (Joan Collins) is the promiscuous younger wife of a resentful art collector (Michael Aldridge). With his latest acquisition, however, Lord Turton finds a suitable role for his wife. Joan Collins plays her patented high class bitch and makes anyone not having an affair with her want to punch her in the ovaries. Nice ending.

Title: Edward the Conqueror
Episode: 7
Air Date: 5 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Rodney Bennett
Claws: 7
Observations: An older woman (Wendy Hiller) adopts a cat with a fondness for Franz Liszt. The husband (Joseph Cotten) is unimpressed. Cats know things.

Edward the Conquerer

Title: A Dip in the Pool
Episode: 8
Air Date: 12 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Michael Touchner
Claws: 6
Observations: William Botibol (Jack Weston), a man on a cruise ship, joins a betting pool for predicting how far the ship will progress in 24 hours and bets everything. Botibol is a sympathetic character and the story is fun, but the ending is a bit predictable.

Title: The Way Up to Heaven
Episode: 9
Air Date: 19 May 1979
Writer(s): Roald Dahl, Ronald Harwood
Director: Simon Langton
Claws: 7
Observations: Mrs Foster (Julie Harris) fears being late, and her husband (Roland Culver) enjoys making her late. However, his most recent attempt doesn't quite go as planned. Another one that was better than anticipated.

Overall, it's a pretty good series. Most of the episodes were entertaining if a bit predictable.

6.4/10 claws

Posted by Alan Smithee in REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments