• Leprechaun Returns (Lionsgate) Blu-ray Review



    Studio: Lionsgate
    Release Date: December 11th, 2018 (tv premiere) / June 11th, 2019 (blu-ray)
    Run Time: 93 mins
    Region Code: A (locked)
    Picture: 1080p (1.78:1 aspect ratio)
    Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
    Subtitles: English, English SDH, and Spanish
    Slipcover: Yes
    Digital Copy: Yes
    Starring: Taylor Spreitler, Pepi Sonuga, Sai Bennett, and Linden Porco
    Written by Suzanne Keilly
    Directed by Steven Kostanski
    Rating: R (horror violence/gore and some sexual references)


    THE FILM ⭐⭐⭐

    Twenty-five years ago, a young woman and her friends stopped an evil Leprechaun by shoving a four-leaf clover in its mouth and watching its melting body fall into a well in North Dakota. What happened to his pot of gold is anyone's guess. Today, the property is run by the AU Sorority House of a premiere Eco-science college. A group of students decide to spend their summer vacation turning the house into a perfect "green" living abode. And it would be challenging enough, without the depraved Leprechaun they unwittingly revive. Now he's back and determined to get his gold by teaching these ladies a lesson in murder. Except, they aren't having it. The women band together to find his gold and add, taking down a misogynistic Leprechaun to their course load.

    All the way back in 1993, I was a young lad who really wanted to see a horror film titled Leprechaun. By this time in my life, my parents were letting me see R-rated films both at home and in the theater. Both my parents were not interested in the films that I wanted to see, so I had to choose my films carefully. I chose Leprechaun and I don’t regret it.

    The film was everything that my young my could have hoped for (remember, this was 1993 and horror films had become a lesser commodity than it was in the 80s.) and more. I went to school that Monday and told everyone about how great Leprechaun was. My friends were jealous while everyone else hated hearing about this “crappy horror movie”.


    There have been five sequels all of which are pretty good. There was also a reboot entitled Leprechaun: Origins, which I consider one of the worst films I have ever seen. The proper Leprechaun films had Warwick Davis while the reboot had a villain you never get a good look at.

    Now, here we are 26 years later (the film actually came out in 2018, the 25th anniversary of the film, while this blu-ray didn’t come out until 2019.) and we have a sequel that follows other recent horror movie sequels and acts as if the other films in the series never happened. I am one of the few out there who don’t mind when filmmakers do this. The films still exist, so who cares if the filmmakers want to focus on something a bit different. I think that this can add to a film series rather than take away from it.

    Leprechaun Returns, well...returns, us to the town and the house where the original took place. We follow the daughter of the Jennifer Aniston character as she helps the sorority she just joined in cleaning up the house and turning it into a sorority house. We have a main cast of four females and two males who have to fight for their lives against the titular character.

    I was curious about the Leprechaun character presented in this film. In every other Leprechaun film (outside of that horrible Origins film) the character had been played by Warwick Davis, who made the role his own. He was always a delight to watch and sold us on the good and the bad of the character. Davis turned this film down as he doesn’t want to do horror films while he has young children. He has said that he would like to return to the role after his children have become adults. In his place, we have Linden Porco, who gives a lot to the character. I am conflicted about this version of the character. It is the same character we have loved for the past two and a half decades, but Porco’s performance is too giggly. He cackles all the time and it becomes very annoying. He is also providing one of the worst Irish accents I have ever heard. That being said, he isn’t terrible and provides some great one-liners.


    The rest of the cast is good, but we aren’t really here for the cast. We are here for the gore and there is plenty of it. The film’s director, Steven Kostanski, is a member of Astron-6, the guys who gave us Manborg, Father’s Day, and The Editor, and we can expect the gore to be practically done and gooey. There is some really impressive gore on display here and I think that it is the goriest film in the series. There are some things here that I have never seen before and I always find this to be a good thing.

    One other thing I want to bring up is that this feels like a real movie. I know that is probably of a weird thing to hear, but it's true. With technology being where it is today where anyone can make a movie, it is nice to see actual care put into not only the gore but the look and feel of the film itself. From the lighting to the sound design, Leprechaun Returns feels like a lot of care and professionalism was put into everything about this film. While this film is a low budget film was premiered on tv, it never feels that way. Lionsgate could have released this film in theaters and no one would have been the wiser. That is an impressive feat in this day and age. In fact, there are plenty of films that get a theatrical run that looks, sounds, and feels worse than this film.

    Leprechaun Returns is a return to form for the Leprechaun series after the disastrous reboot. The humor is back and the characters actually feel more like real people (that doesn’t mean that you don’t want to murder these characters as well). The film is well directed and the gore is really satisfying. If you are a fan of this series, you will enjoy this film. If you were turned off by any of the other films in the series, give this one a try. I think you’ll find it to your liking.


    THE PICTURE AND THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / ⭐⭐⭐

    Leprechaun Returns is a brand new film and thus, it looks great. Everything you would expect from a new film is here. Skin tones are accurate, as are colors. The film takes place mostly in the dark and there no artifacts or macroblocking. There really isn’t very much to say as everything is beautiful.

    The sound is the same. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track does everything right. Dialogue is crisp and clear, the score sounds great, and the squishy gore effects are nicely done.

    THE PACKAGING ⭐⭐1/2



    The front cover and slipcover feature our new Leprechaun holding a gold coin, in the woods, while looking creepy.


    The disc art features what I think is a spoof on The Howling poster with a door having been clawed through with the Leprechaun looking through one of the claw marks.

    The disc is REGION A (locked)

    There is also a code for a digital copy redeemable a site like VUDU. This code expires after 2021.


    THE FEATURES ⭐⭐


    Going Green with Director Steven Kostanski (19m 41s, HD) This the best feature found on the disc. Kostanski talks about how he got the job and views on the series thus far. He then talks about casting the film, the effects, and the decision to shoot the film in South Africa.


    Leprechaun Returns Behind the Scenes Footage (3m 33s, HD) Here we have lots of behind the scenes footage, presented without any sound, but with the film’s score playing over it. There is some great footage here, but it would have been nice to be able to hear what is going on.

    Still Gallery (3m 49s, HD) A montage of stills from the film, behind the scenes, and posters play while the film’s score plays.

    OVERALL ⭐⭐⭐

    Leprechaun Returns is a really fun film that reminds us that there is still life in this two and a half decade long franchise. The characters are fun, the gore is fantastic, and the Leprechaun is his usual bad self. The blu-ray is good with picture and sound winning the day. The special features leave a lot to be desired, but for $10 who is really complaining?


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