By Steve D. Stones
Long before actress Jennifer Aniston starred in the hit 1990s TV series Friends, she starred in the low budget horror feature - Leprechaun from 1992. Warwick Davis plays the role of the title character – Leprechaun. Davis also starred as one of the Ewoks in Star Wars Episode VI – Return of The Jedi, and went on to star in director Ron Howard’s film Willow from 1988.
A drunk Irishman named O’Grady returns to his North Dakota home after claiming to capture a leprechaun in Ireland and forcing him to reveal the location of a pot of hidden gold coins. The leprechaun hides in one of O’Grady’s suitcases to murder O’Grady and his wife when he returns home.
Before his death, O’Grady manages to trap the leprechaun by nailing him inside a wood crate. He places a four-leaf clover on top of the crate in hopes to keep the leprechaun trapped inside forever.
Ten years later Tori, played by Aniston, and her father move into the rundown O’Grady home. Tori and a house painter discover the crate containing the leprechaun in the basement. The leprechaun soon escapes and is determined to find his bag of gold coins.
Another house painter at the O’Grady residence follows a rainbow in the sky, which leads to an abandoned old truck. Inside the truck is the bag of gold coins.
For the entire film, the leprechaun terrorizes Tori and the house painters in an attempt to get his coins back. Writer-director Mark Jones manages to build tension in the first forty minutes of the film by keeping the leprechaun’s face in shadow or by projecting his silhouette as a shadow on walls. The tension soon dissolves as the viewer is revealed the grotesque features of the leprechaun.
Since Aniston has gone on to star in many big budget Hollywood films, it’s likely she no longer includes Leprechaun on her resume, mostly out of embarrassment. Warwick Davis has not gone on to star in many significant films since the Leprechaun series, likely because he is always conveniently tape-cast as a “little person” in every film he stars in.
Perhaps director Mark Jones and director Claudio Fraggasso should team up to create a Leprechaun-Troll II feature together? Both involve little green people and lots of green color. What great fun a movie like this could be. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!