A key film in the ongoing franchises for both the Leprechaun AND the Critters, this is a welcome mix-up/match-up between the evil Irish troll and the furry, many-toothed space aliens. Presumably made to extend copyright, this lo-fi production is interesting to cineastes for the imaginative way it moves both cinematic universes into fresh pastures, an auspicious debut for writer/director Flori Salop, who carried off the prestigious Thin Goat of Thessalonica shortly after the film’s premiere, only to be made to put it back by authorities several hours later.
A pre-Star Wars Domhnall Gleeson dons the hat, shint shoes, buckles and distinctive green garb of the Leprechaun, here revived from ashes by an act of public urination by a passing stranger (Ice-T). The Lep returns to his natural home, only to find that it’s infested by Critters (played by Critters). A turf war breaks out, and the Critters reach out for help, in a post-modern twist, to famous actors whose careers they have helped, namely Leonardo DiCaprio, who appears somewhat uneasy about his fleeting cameo here. Jennifer Aniston also makes a welcome return to the Leprechaun franchise as Tory Reding, not seen since the original movie. With battle-lines drawn, who will survive the struggle between Leprechauns and Critters?
Salop’s film doubles down on genre lore, demanding expecting and anticipating complete familiarity with both the Leprechaun and Critters cinematic universes. An unwise attempt at world-building sees a sub-plot involving four wordpress users on a European boat trip scouting locations for Michael Caine movies, a post-modern touch with adds little in terms of atmosphere or coherence. A brief appearance by iconic French/Canadian horror film guru Alex Good helps to up the horror factor, and his staring, unblinking eyes will give impressionable audiences nightmares for some time to come.
Did we need another Leprechaun movie? Did we need to hear from the Critters again? While critics might carp, this is a solid re-invention of the two franchises, with notably good kills including a grisly death by wordpress editor. It might not be the movie we want right now, but it’ll have to do; if you only see one imaginary film this year, make sure it’s Leprechauns vs Critters.
Thanks to Four Seasons Total Film-making for access to this film. Link Below.