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Lions Gate presents
"The King's reign would come to an end, and the leprechauns would find their home again, in Mother Nature's embrace. Except for the myth of The One. The One that didn't go back."
DVD ReviewWith the release of Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, star Warwick Davis (Willow, Return of The Jedi, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) has now made six films in the forgettable franchise about the greedy and violent leprechaun.
The original film, back in 1993, was tolerable as a novelty horror film (now more memorable for starring a then unknown Jennifer Aniston), but certainly didn't seem to merit a set of five sequels. The series took a nasty leap into desperation in 1996 when Leprechaun 4: In Space was released, and then settled into the realm of near-parody with Leprechaun 5: Leprechaun In The Hood, with the title character going up against the likes of Ice-T and Coolio.
Steven Ayromlooi wrote and directed this latest installment, which once again finds The Leprechaun in an urban setting, working to get back his stolen gold. By the time a horror film gets up to the sixth film in a series, generally the villain has been relegated to spouting catchy one-liners before dispatching hapless victims, and in Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood that is most definitely the case. In fact, the character is played for more laughs than scares, with scenes of him smoking pot and taking pratfalls seeming more commonplace than anything remotely frightening.
After a Lord of the Rings-inspired prologue, the story then concerns a buried treasure found by a group of twenty-somethings (led by Tangi Miller), and the attempts by The Leprechaun to get it back. Like a lot of forgettable horror sequels, I never felt any connection to any of the human characters, and wasn't particularly concerned who lived or died, or even whether the Leprechaun ever would get his gold back. We get the usual predictable moments of gore, some attempts at humor, and the inevitable final confrontation that seem to follow patterns seen in countless other horror films.
As creepy as a character like the Leprechaun might seem on paper, on film he just looks like a latex-covered actor reciting corny dialogue, and that is undoubtedly one of the biggest stumbling blocks of the whole franchise. In his defense, Ayromlooi has made a fairly good-looking film (as far as low-budget horror goes), but it is one that tells a sadly derivative story. But apparently the franchise has done well enough to merit the sequels, and if this one does well I imagine a Leprechaun 7 can't be far off.
Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D-
Image Transfer Review: Lions Gate has issued this forgettable outing in a smart-looking 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, certainly far better looking than the film is good. Sharpness and detail are good, with black levels equally as well done, and colors appearing natural and evenly rendered. No apparent nicks or blemishes were evident on the source print.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: An English language Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track is the sole audio choice. Surrounds are used sparingly, but there is a nice use of the rear channels during a few scenes. Overall it is largely a front channel mix, with dialogue handled cleanly.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Leprechaun, Leprechaun 5: Leprechaun In The Hood
2 Feature/Episode commentaries by Steven Ayromlooi, Warwick Davis, David Daniel
Extras Review: It is a bit of overkill in the extras section, with the presence of not one, but two full-length, scene-specific commentaries. Writer/director Steven Ayromlooi and actor Warwick (The Leprechaun) Davis appear together in the first, and the pair discuss the import of redesigning the leprechaun costume, pointing out small gaffes, where scenes were shot, and the usual "so and so's a great actor" kind of chatter. In general, nothing altogether revealing. Likewise with the second track, with teams up Ayromlooi with director of photography David Daniel, and this time the conversation focuses more on the technical aspects of the production, though there were some content overlap between the two commentaries.
In addition to storyboards for four scenes and trio of Leprechaun trailers, the disc is cut into 24 chapters, and includes subtitles in English and Spanish.
Extras Grade: C+
Final CommentsI will never understand why some films ever get made in the first place. The thought that someone actually allocated funds to authorize making a film like Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood is absolutely mind-boggling.
This is dreadfully pointless.
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