There are millions of people that attend haunted houses and watch horror movies every year, willingly paying to be scared to the point they can’t sleep without double-checking all the doors and windows are locked and there’s no monster hiding under the bed. There have been plenty of big-budget horror films that have hit our screens over the years, including It, Hollow Man, Hannibal, and Saw.
But there’s also a big market for low-budget horror movies, often created by a skeleton crew and using a cheesy script. Despite the “lower quality” of this type of film, there’s a lot of love for them. That’s how franchises like Leprechaun manage to make eight films that were all commercial successes.
Of all of the films, the third remains a favorite among most fans though because of its outlandish plot and Warwick Davis’ incredible performance.
Leprechaun 3 – Plot
Leprechaun 3 sees the Leprechaun turn into a statue and somehow make his way across state lines from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. His gold coin is stolen by the owner of a pawn shop, setting in motion a chain of events that will cause misery for anyone unfortunate enough to be near the lead character.
When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of desert sun, casinos, all-you-can-eat buffets, and A-list celebrities. It’s a city that’s built a reputation as being the home of entertainment for adults, offering games like Texas hold ‘em, the most popular variant of poker; thrill rides like The Strat’s Sky Jump; and performances from the likes of Boyz II Men and Barry Manilow.
But Leprechaun 3 shows a much darker side to the city, one in which the Leprechaun heads on a rampage in search of his stolen gold coin. Several innocent bystanders get dragged along with him, including a college student named Scott and his girlfriend Tammy. At one point, the Leprechaun infects Scott with his blood, turning him into a leprechaun too.
A Terrible Film Made Great by Warwick Davis
Warwick Davis is the sole reason that the Leprechaun films have been so successful. In a 2012 interview with Dread Central, he said that he loved the movies and the fact that people still ask them about it. Considering he’s starred in blockbuster franchises like Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who, the fact that Leprechaun is a highlight of his career really says something.
His passion for the franchise shines through in his performance. He said playing the role got easier with each new film because the pressure of making it a success was gradually lifted. He also commented that of all the Leprechaun movies he appeared in, the third was his favorite.
This is a sentiment shared by many fans, with many IMDb reviewers calling it “the best sequel” and “easily my favorite of the series”.
Despite the story being rather silly, Davis’ talent shines through in scenes like where the Leprechaun tries to impersonate Elvis, an impressive feat. He also speaks almost all of his lines in rhymes, such as “it belongs to me this gold I smell, whoever’s got it ‘s going to hell”.
Alongside Davis, the cast included John Gatins and Lee Armstrong. Gatins has had a handful of other acting roles but has since gone on to work as a screenwriter and producer, while Leprechaun 3 was Armstrong’s last movie.
Leprechaun 3, like all the other movies in the franchise, was made to amuse viewers just as much as it was intended to shock or scare. It’s cheesy and cringe-worthy from start to finish and quite clearly was never going to win an Oscar.
But if you watch it knowing that, you can see it for what it truly is: an unashamedly silly horror-comedy movie designed to appeal to the bizarre cult following the previous two Leprechaun films had created.
However, if you are looking for something else, you’ll likely be left disappointed.