Falling short on scenarios, Lions Gate sends the Leprechaun back to the hood with bigger and better ideas, which are not put together well. The movie has many montages to vintage films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th: Jason Goes to Hell and Childs Play, but it never takes off the ground. Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood opens with a priest sending the Leprechaun back to hell in the same fashion as Jason Goes to Hell only he uses holy water (guess it hurts him too?), hands grab him out of the ground and pull him under. I thought we might actually have a wild adventure on our hands. After that scene, while in the “hood,” a psychic warns two friends that they will come across a great fortune and must resist the temptation. Meanwhile, their boyfriends are out dealing drugs and smoking a lot of weed. During a barbeque, one of the girls falls through a construction site floor and finds a weird doorway, which leads her into the Leprechauns gold. Of course they don’t head the warning and Leprechaun is once again set loose for revenge!
In an attempt to become the most epic of the Leprechaun movies, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood fails because it can’t decide what it really want to be. In Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, it switches back and forth from comedy to horror, but never mixes both together very well. The comedy was not really the problem, because it had some great scenes along the way, but when it was time to kill, I was left disappointed as hell! For example, one scene some big fat lady is waiting for a massage, and the Leprechaun walks in and starts giving it to her. She’s in ecstasy as his little hands are working magic, then he hops on her back and starts walking on her back for the massage, I laughed even harder. But then the problem comes into play, the Leprechaun decides it’s time to killer and chokes her to death. I couldn’t believe it, he chokes her for like 2 seconds and she’s dead… YAWN. But then once again, I’m laughing my ass off, like when the Leprechaun is trying to scare this guy and he keeps getting phone calls and the Leprechaun is left waiting all impatiently, too funny. Another great moment is the classic “dance,” where the Leprechaun is walking back and forth between him and his victim. The victim is unaware of the Leprechauns presence, but they keep walking back and forth and missing each other. What makes this scene even better is the Leprechaun is totally messed up from all the pot he smoked in the scene before! There are tons of humorous events in this flick, but the horror aspect was washed away like a storm, which is where this movie failed in this early version. Although I will point out that in the finsihed product, the special effects are a lot more crisp and there is definitly a little more blood.
They tried making it scary, by borrowing scenes from classic films. They had the Leprechaun ripping into a moving car like in Childs Play, they had a big battle in front of a furnace like in one of the Nightmare on Elm Streets and they had the big opening that they took from the final scenes of Jason Goes to Hell. All of the scenes could have been kick ass except for every time the Leprechaun kills, they cut away and the blood is usually at its minimum. Implied stomach wounds, over and over again, and then the boring aftermath. The only two things that were cool was the upper jaw of a victim laying on the ground and when the Leprechaun rips a guys heart out, but besides that it was weak as hell.
Another thing that kind of irritated me during the course of the movie were the transitions. This had to have been edited together by a high school student. Every scene had either a page wipe, where it peels from the corner to another page, or a clock swipe, seriously, a clock swipe! This is the best part; the clock swipes were used to show the passage of like 30 seconds in time, like it would have hurt to actually act out those 30 seconds. On a good note, the acting surprised me, none of the actors bothered me whatsoever, I thought they all did a wonderful job for a direct-to-video flick.
Overall, the blood was traded in for laughs, so if you’re looking for a horror film, don’t look here, there’s about as much scare in here as Mariah Carey’s Glitter (no we won’t ever get over that movie). But if you’re a pot smoker, or someone who’s looking for a good little laugh, Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood is totally for you.
As for the DVD quality, the film comes in nice packaging, the cover is really neat looking and the tag line is pretty funny, “Evil has a new rap!” The transfer is really nice and the special effects are really well done. The scene where the Leprechaun is falling off of something, and gold is falling with him looks really crisp on screen.
The DVD comes with four different story board features to watch, which all run about a minute long. Its a nice addition to the DVD, considering films like this usually get nothing but the trailer and liner notes.
The score was much better than the initial screener I had, and mixed with the 5.1 Surround made for a nice touch. The Commentaries were also really fun, Warwick Davis is a pretty neat fellow along with David Daniel (Director of Photography) and Director Steven Ayromlooi.
Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood hits video shelves on December 30th, 2003, pre-order it by clicking the amazon link below.