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As catchphrases go, “Fuck you, Lucky Charms” is unlikely to enter the cinema pantheon. But it’s probably the most memorable line in Leprechaun: Origins, Lionsgate and WWE Studios’ attempt to reboot the venerable franchise that began in 1993 and spawned no less than five sequels, albeit all straight-to-video ones. Anyone with fond memories of the campy original (and that probably doesn’t include Jennifer Aniston, who made her screen debut in it), should steer clear of this edition, whose title character has no devilish charm at all. Receiving a token theatrical release, the film could pull in some coin on VOD.
Set, of course, in Ireland — in this case played none too convincingly by Vancouver — the story concerns a quartet of nondescript, good-looking, young American backpackers in search of old Celtic ruins. Stopping for a drink at a pub in a quaint village, they’re seemingly befriended by some locals who offer them the use of a ramshackle cabin to spend the night. Unfortunately, they soon find out that they’ve been locked up and positioned as an offering to the nasty creature who’s been terrorizing the countryside for eons.
Said creature, played for the first time not by the entertaining Warwick Davis, but rather WWE star Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl, a little person wrestler, doesn’t deliver any witty quips. Instead, he’s a disgustingly feral creature, looking like a reject from the Alien or Predator films, whose sole utterances are savage grunts and shrieks. Not that you ever get a good look at him; director Zach Lipovsky provides only fleeting, shadowy glimpses, never once providing a full-body shot. Much of the action is shot shaky-camera style from the creature’s night-vision-esque POV, which suggests that he’s in serious need of LASIK surgery.
The violent mayhem is strictly of the perfunctory variety, with the hapless victims getting picked off one by one until only one plucky survivor (Stephanie Bennett) remains. Naturally, the ending hints at the possibility of a sequel, a not so outlandish proposition considering that previous installments of this misbegotten series have placed its titular character in outer space and the inner city. Consumer note: The end credits take up more than 10 percent of the brief running time.
Production: WWE Studios
Cast: Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl, Stephanie Bennett, Andrew Dunbar, Melissa Roxburgh, Brendan Fletcher
Director: Zach Lipovsky
Screenwriter: Harris Wilkinson
Producers: Cami Winikoff, Mark Amin, Michael J. Luisi
Executive producers: Marc Bienstock, Richard Lowell
Director of photography: Mahlon Todd Williams
Editor: Mark Stevens
Production designer: Troy Hansen
Costume designer: Aieisha Li
Rated R, 90 min.
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