Skip to content

Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Leprechaun 2

1994 | United States | 85 min | More...
A still from Leprechaun 2 (1994)
C-: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
on Mon Jan 15, 2024

In Leprechaun 2, Warwick Davis returns as the titular Leprechaun, who targets a Los Angeles woman played by Shevonne Durkin for his bride.

This entry improves on the first film by embracing its horror-comedy nature. When Davis emerges from his home/prison under a tree growing in Los Angeles gifted to Harry Houdini from Ireland, he takes a swig from a nearby whisky bottle, then spits it out and shrieks with disbelief, “Blended Canadian?”

That’s not to say it’s lost its edge. The film proffers several gruesome moments, including Davis ripping off a man’s finger, an exploding stomach, and a man pushing his face into whirring lawnmower blades.

That last one sees the unfortunate victim thinking he’s kissing a topless (via a much tanner body-double) Durkin’s breasts. The film cuts between this illusion and the reality of him moving closer and closer to the spinning blades—a textbook example of exploitation cinema’s use of misattributed arousal, leveraging the illusion’s titillation to heighten the ensuing violence. We remember the scene as more graphic, despite the actual violence occurring off screen.

The Los Angeles locale also proves superior to the first film’s rural setting. While we only get brief exterior shots, several scenes take place in a dive bar that feels authentic and relatable, right down to the bathroom graffiti.

Granted, this entry has its downsides. The script renders Durkin pouty and unlikable. Early on, when our ostensible hero, played by Charlie Heath, has to cover for his alcoholic uncle and drive a “Haunted Los Angeles” tour instead of taking Durkin to the go-kart part, she tries to sabotage the tour. For his part, Heath also underwhelms by not standing up to Durkin’s petulant behavior. This combination makes it hard to invest in their plights.

But the film compensates with surprising production design. Aside from the aforementioned dive bar, the film milks a lot of mileage out of the Leprechaun’s underground lair. The earthen walls, buried skeletons, and labyrinthine nature, lend the film a dark-fantasy tone.

So I admit, I have a soft-spot for the Leprechaun franchise. It’s the rare series that improves with each entry by leaning into the ridiculous while—thanks to Davis’s always entertaining performances—maintaining a sense of quality.

Viewing History

    Watched on
    Mon Jan 15, 2024 via Blu-ray (Leprechaun: The Complete Movie Collection, Lionsgate Films, 2014)