‘Evil’s in the house’
Leprechaun in the Hood is a 2000 American comedy horror feature film co-produced and directed by Rob Spera (Witchcraft, 1988) from a screenplay co-written by Doug Hall and Jon Huffman. The Trimark Pictures production stars Warwick Davis, Ice-T, Anthony Montgomery, Rashaan Nall and Red Grant.
The film was followed by Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood in 2003.
It’s been said that a motion picture need only yield three or four really good scenes during its running time to be considered a success. Leprechaun in the Hood has those minimum requirements, and best of all makes them funny scenes too. For an inexplicably popular horror franchise that could not possibly have been taken seriously in the first place (except a boon for employment opportunities for little-person actors), Leprechaun in the Hood earned a wee bit o’goodwill from fans and even some critics on the comedy-entertainment scale.
Three young black American youths, Butch (Red Grant), Postmaster P. (A.T. Montgomery) and Stray Bullet (Rashaan Nall) want to start a rap/hip-hop music act that promotes positivity and good manners (this seems to be Postmaster P’s idea alone). But when they take their idea to gangsta-like hip-hop music mogul Mack Daddy (Ice-T), he insultingly dismisses them, declaring that music should all be about violence and shooting your “homies” in the face. In retaliation, the trio decides to rob Mack Daddy’s plush home-office to gain the largesse to enter a rap competition.
Viewers have already seen the secret of Mack Daddy’s wealth and success: back in the 1970s (to judge by cartoonishly huge heels and “afro” hairstyle – hair in which Ice-T conceals a knife, a gun and a full-sized baseball bat) Mack Daddy found the chamber of the gleefully evil Leprechaun (Warwick Davis), who was in suspended animation as long as he wore an enchanted necklace. Via the gold and a magic flute, Mack Daddy has risen to the top of the music rackets.
Now a shootout ensues when Mack discovers the three interlopers, but in the process, the Leprechaun is freed and Butch unknowingly takes the powerful mystic flute.
What ensues is an episodic and loose concoction at best. Mack Daddy, not exactly a slave of the Leprechaun but doing its bidding, lurks around, rather uselessly trying to get the kids (and the flute with them). Why the leprechaun needs him is puzzling, given that the creature seems to have limitless supernatural powers (the filmmakers abandon the Irish folklore detail in the earlier movies that the Leprechaun is stopped cold in his tracks by quantities of human shoes, items he is compelled to clean no matter what). And the wicked little guy adapts cheerfully to the street-ghetto ambience, uttering silly rhymes while killing, smoking marijuana, turning curvy club girls into green-eyed zombie temptresses, and in a pointless dream sequence, accidentally getting his eye gouged out by a stereotyped black “big mama” type who thinks she’s feeding a loved one.
Ultimately (spoiler alert, as if you couldn’t guess it), the green little villain emerges triumphant – justly, one might say; everybody gets what they deserve in this one since they are all driven by greed and selfishness – though one does get the nagging feeling that if there were a white rapper here, the script might have accommodated a survivor of Leprechaun justice. The question occurs, frankly, because of the faux-rap lyrics, just rhyming couplets which are repeated over and over and over (“Jesus loves me, this I know / And if he don’t I’ll get me a ho!”). It’s difficult to imagine anyone black seriously just writing that. Say what you will about rap, it is never short on words.
Yet, everyone seems to be having fun, and, while it has little to offer in the terror department, the picture (and the actors) actually make Butch, Postmaster P and Stray into a likeable trio of friends, so it is a little discomforting when they meet leprechaun-born doom.
Go in with lowered expectations (shortened ones, in fact), and Leprechaun in the Hood delivers. Yes, there are better satires of Black American “urban” movie clichés and blaxploitation kitsch (Undercover Brother, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, I’m Gonna Git You Sucker, etc.). But how many of those have a leprechaun?
Charles Cassady Jr., MOVIES and MANIA
” …trades in the low-rent horror of its immediate predecessors for a plus-sized helping of campy humor. It’s a wise move, but the film is only intermittently amusing and not the least bit frightening. Of course, in the world of Z-grade rapsploitation and direct-to-video horror sequels, that’s more than enough to stand out like, well, a leprechaun in the ‘hood.” AV Club
“Bloody, broad, and comically brutal, it’s blaxploitation at its best.” Entertainment Weekly
“The flick isn’t really super violent, considering, and the sex is toned down from previous installments of the series. If you are looking for a time passer while sipping your Irish coffee or green beer, you might check this out with a large group of inebriated friends. Really dumb, but entertaining.” IGN
” …as long as you go in expecting pure cheese (and how could you not, bearing in mind what it’s called) then Leprechaun in the Hood will satisfy to a degree. It’s definitely not going to end up in your top fifty horror films list (or even your top ten killer midgets list) but it’s odd enough to keep you entertained for a while.” That Was a Bit Mental
“Warwick Davis gives another stellar performance as Leprechaun. He seems to be having more fun here than he did in the last film, that’s for sure […] The pacing is erratic, the cinematography is cruddy, and most of the songs (with the exception of Leprechaun’s rap that is) are terrible. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the flick though.” The Video Vacuum
Cast and characters:
Warwick Davis … Leprechaun
Ice-T … Mack Daddy – Bloodrunners
Anthony Montgomery … Postmaster P. (as A.T. Montgomery)
Rashaan Nall … Stray Bullet
Red Grant … Butch
Dan Martin … Jackie Dee
Lobo Sebastian … Fontaine Rivera
Ivory Ocean … Reverend Hanson
Jack Ong … Chow Yung Pi
Barima McKnight … Slug (as Bleu DaVinci)
Bebe Drake … Post’s Mother
Donna M. Perkins … Jackie Dee’s Wife (as Donna Perkins)
Daya Vaidya … Waitress #1
Chloe Hunter … Waitress #2
Lori J. Jones … Waitress #3