Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)

What’s Up, Ninjas?

Today is the day that hopefully kills the ongoing, and confusing, inside joke between Fabio and Ewic.  This movie is kind of a sequel to the movie I reviewed yesterday, but they never mention that movie at all, acting as if it never happened.  Just like the rest of humanity.  The only thing today’s movie has in common with yesterday’s movie is its diminutive star and the setting.  Let’s see how it went in my review of the sixth and final (so far) movie in the series, Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood, written and directed by Steven Ayromlooi, and starring Warwick Davis, Tangi Miller, Laz Alonso, Page Kennedy, Sherrie Jackson, Donzaleigh Abernathy, Shiek Mahmud-Bey, Willie C. Carpenter, Keesha Sharp, and Sticky Fingaz.

Father Jacob (Willie C. Carpenter) does battle with a leprechaun (Warwick Davis) on a construction site for a youth center.  Before dropping dead from his injuries, Father Jacob is able to banish the leprechaun using holy water laced with the leprechaun’s weakness: four-leaf clovers.  The Leprechaun is dragged into the earth by demonic hands.  A year later, Emily Woodrow (Tangi Miller) and her friend Lisa Duncan (Sherrie Jackson) go to get their fortune told by a psychic named Esmeralda (Donzaleigh Abernathy), who tells Emily that she will come across great wealth soon, but she must deny it because it will come with a great price and a terrible evil.  So, of course, when she falls down a hole during a barbecue and finds a chest full of gold with her ex-boyfriend Rory Jackson (Laz Alonso), she ignores that sentiment completely.  Emily splits the gold four ways between her, Lisa, Rory, and Jamie Davis (Page Kennedy), and they mostly go off and waste their money frivolously.  But, much as in that prediction they ignored, the Leprechaun comes to retrieve his gold in the most violent way he can think of.

This movie is, much as the previous movie, crap.  But, it’s actually slightly better crap.  Leprechaun: in the Hood is fresh crap from a dog that ate something that didn’t agree with it and Back 2 tha Hood is a nice, healthy, fiber-filled crap that’s been out in the sun.  It’s still gross, but it doesn’t stink anymore.  Unless you pour water on it, then it stinks again.  Wait, am I reviewing dog shit or Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood?  SAME THING!  Anyways, the story is still completely lackluster in this movie and is fairly typical horror movie fare.  This bitch Emily is flat out told by someone she believes to have clairvoyant abilities that what is going to happen to her is going to happen and she chooses to ignore it.  But then, later in the movie, she randomly becomes the expert on leprechauns when she instantly figures out exactly why the Leprechaun is after them.  It certainly wasn’t from the Leprechaun that she got this information because he didn’t say a word to her on their first meeting, let alone mentioning the gold.  She’s also set up as this nice girl that lives in the hood, but she wastes her money as frivolously as her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend.  Emily and Lisa have this conversation about how sad it is that Father Jacob died and they never finished the youth center he was working on, but when they come into a rather large sum of money no one ever thinks to do anything for the community with it.  Unless you consider buying garbage bags full of weed and throwing a party to be something for the community.  That’s the problem with the hood, y’all.  It’s every ninja for themselves.  I guess you could consider the fact that Emily had no reason to share the money she found with anybody, but randomly decided to share it with her three friends, but I just consider that dumb.  The solution to the movie was something I actually found fairly clever, but it didn’t pan out in the movie itself.  They find out that the Leprechaun’s weakness is clovers so Rory smashes up a four-leaf clover and puts it into the hollow tips of his bullets, sealing them in with wax.  Of course, they fuck that up by having him shoot the Leprechaun almost to death, but then stopping to do something else.  The first time is out of his control because the gun jams, but the next time he stops to save Emily instead of finishing the Leprechaun off, letting him regain his strength.  Which leads to the biggest problem I had with the movie: they find out and prove time and time again that the Leprechaun cannot be damaged by conventional means, but everyone in the goddamn movie still tries to get into fist fights with him.  I understand with the group of the rival gang who did not have that information, but Emily and Rory had seen the Leprechaun get punched, kicked, stabbed, run over, thrown into a furnace, shot, and so many other things, but that would not stop these asshole from running up and punching him until they got their asses kicked again.  I mean, it’s definitely on my bucket list to beat the shit out of a midget, but if he’s kicking my ass I’m out of there.  That would be crippling to my self-esteem.

There were two things that made this movie better to me.  The first was that it looked a lot better.  Their effects looked a lot better and the camera didn’t look like it had to be cranked by hand.  The other thing I enjoyed more was that, though they did try for some comedy on occasion and fail, they were not trying to make their movie a horror/comedy.  It was much more of a horror movie, just with a few moments of attempted comedy (that also failed) in it.  I feel like, if you want ridiculousness in your movie, the Leprechaun takes care of the ludicrousness.  Going for all that failed humor is just trying too hard.  This is not to say this movie wins as a horror movie, but it fails epically as a comedy.  I did not miss the heavy rap subplot, but I did kind of miss the Leprechaun speaking in limerick form.  It seemed like it suited his character, but they just didn’t have the energy for it in this movie.  They still had enough energy to go for some slight racism, though.  Nothing as overt as stabbing someone with their hair pick, but it was there.  As a racist myself, I knew that it was only a matter of time before the gold-obsessed Leprechaun movies set in the hood did something with some gold toofises, but I don’t understand why it was a pretty girl that did it.  I know – but don’t understand why – some black guys enjoy putting on gold grills, but I don’t see that many women doing it.  It just makes you look like a pirate.  But this girl did it and she got her jaw ripped off for it by the Leprechaun, so all is right with the world.  There were a couple things with the look that bothered me.  One thing happens right in the beginning of the movie, when a rainbow comes down to show the way to the Leprechaun’s lair.  The problem was not with the rainbow, but with the fact that Father Jacob started trying to swing at the rainbow with a shovel.  I understand that you know the Leprechaun will follow, but that is no excuse for trying to beat up light with a shovel.  Also, I liked the look of the Leprechaun being dragged into the earth by the demonic hands, but I don’t like that you just played that same thing backwards when the Leprechaun was escaping to retrieve his gold.  What were the demon hands doing as he left the ground?  Giving him a boost?  Another thing that pissed me off in the movie was the fact that the psychic lady they went to had mutant powers and fought the Leprechaun with magic.  It’s not really that special for the Leprechaun to be magic if we live in a world surrounded by the stuff.  He should be the only magical creature in the movie!  Also, when the Leprechaun was thrown into the furnace was also a problem.  Emily threw his gold in there, so the Leprechaun should’ve jumped in there on his own accord to try to retrieve his gold, sending a message about greed being bad, mmmkay?  That is completely lost when he continues to fight with Emily because his greed is less important to him than killing this girl and she throws him into the furnace.  It would’ve been the obvious way to go for him to jump in, but it also would’ve been better than the way you went.

The performances were … in this movie.  None of them impressed, but at least most of them didn’t annoy either.  Warwick Davis was still pretty good as the Leprechaun.  I did wonder how he got so bad at handling his weed from the last movie to this one, but since they basically proceeded with this movie as if the last one never happened, I could forgive it.  I felt like the writing still lost the character of the Leprechaun in this one.  I already mentioned that he was no longer speaking in limerick, but this time he also seemed less concerned with his gold.  In the previous movies (as best I can remember them) he only ever killed people in order to get his gold, and whenever his gold was present he was fixated on it.  But he not only continues to try to kill Emily when he should’ve been running to get his gold, he killed people that had absolutely nothing to do with his gold.  Like the innocent lady that was getting a massage from Emily at her job.  Not only did he waste a lot of time giving her a massage first, but he killed her and she had no idea what was going on with this gold and the Leprechaun.  Tangi Miller was only of note because she was, for some reason, the star of the movie, even though Sherrie Jackson was much better looking AND seemed to be a better actress.  She was actually fairly decent when she got killed, but I couldn’t focus that much because it was such a bummer that she was dying and not Tangi.  Laz Alonso didn’t impress me much, but I did get really fixated on which Wikipedia page the writers went to in order to figure out how many hollow point bullets Rory should shoot at a leprechaun where it would still be okay and how many before he was dead.  They seemed really sure that 4 or 5 was near death, and 6 or 7 was all death.  The only character I found really annoying was Page Kennedy as Jamie.  He was basically the comic relief, and I just find those characters annoying when they’re not able to produce funniness.  Also, Sticky Fingaz was in this.  So there’s that.

Still not a good movie, but better than the movie that came before it, Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood goes a lot heavier into the horror category, which it’s much closer to succeeding with than the comedy that failed so painfully in Leprechaun: in the Hood.  It looks better and is less racist, but it still can only really survive on its camp and ability to be mocked.  This isn’t a movie you particularly need to see.  And hopefully this means that Fabio and Ewic will have to find a new in joke that only they find amusing.  Fuckin’ assholes … Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood gets “You compromised all you believed in once you got the gold” out of “You so ghetto.”

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