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Leprechaun in the Hood   C-

Trimark Pictures

Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Rob Spera
Writer: Doug Hall
Cast: Warwick Davis, Ice-T, A.T. Montgomery, Rashaan Nall, Red Grant.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

After trips to Las Vegas and outer space (in Leprechaun 3 and 4, respectively), the old Leprechuan is wreaking havoc in Compton, California. Sounds so promising, doesn't it? I was hoping to see the little guy running around "bustin' caps" and terrorizing all the gang-bangers and homies in the 'hood, but instead he's stalking three record label-seeking rappers. I guess dreams rarely come true. Sigh.

The three rappers (who suck quite bad, by the way) decide to rip off an asshole record producer named Mack Daddy (Ice-T) in order to get enough cash to go to Vegas and try to score a record deal in some competition. "We be robbin' in the hood!" one of the idiots boasts. But while they're jacking the loot, they accidentally awaken the Leprechaun -- who has been under wraps by Mack Daddy since the '70s when he stole the little guy's gold. Uh-oh. The rappers take off with the gold, along with the Leprechaun's prized flute, which has mysterious powers. Now both the Leprechaun and Mack Daddy want it back.

The production values are really bad. It looks like a low-budget movie shot in the '70s, with the grainy film stock and awkward camera work. Most of the acting is pretty poor, but Ice-T seems to be aware that this is nothing more than a lame B-movie and he has fun with it. Still, the movie doesn't manage to be very entertaining, even on the lowest of levels. The killings are poorly executed, and the gore effects are strictly bottom-of-the-line.

But Leprechaun in the Hood is more of a blaxploitation comedy than a horror movie, though aside from a few moments of comic absurdity, it fails to be very funny. The final 30 minutes are the most entertaining, especially when the Leprechaun unleashes his "Zombie Fly Girls from Hell." Uh-huh, you heard right. I won't spoil what happens, but the cross-dressing our heroes are forced into is so stupid that it's kinda funny. And Warwick Davis as the little green guy is charming as ever, rhyming all the time, smoking lots of joints ("A friend with weed is a friend indeed."), and being an all-out playa. At the end, he even launches into his own rap song -- with the Zombie Fly Girls backing his short ass up.

If you're a Leprechaun enthusiast, then you'll see this one regardless of what I say. If not, you'll probably want to avoid it. Unless, of course, you're interested in things like four-leaf clover doobies, numerous bad rap numbers, and a two-second cameo by Coolio. Nah, I didn't think so.

Review published 04.07.2000.

Follow Michael Scrutchin on Twitter or Letterboxd.

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