LEPRECHAUN 2~ 1994, Rodman Flender, USA

Dutifully slapped together and rushed out the door in an attempt to satisfy the allegedly ravenous fans of the first movie (review here), Leprechaun 2 was clumsily plopped onto shelves way back in 1994, exactly one year and three months after the release of the original. It’s a good thing too, that Ewok money can’t pay Warwick Davis’ mortgage forever.

“Can we do like, 11 sequels to Willow? For fucks sake, I got full sized bills!!”

The plot- Leprechaun 2 is Leprechaun at his rapiest. The story concerns our little green fuck face and his quest to land a human bride, which he then plans to impregnate and surgically alter, so as to make her appear more Leprechaun like. Why not just date Leprechaun women in the first place? I really don’t know. Maybe there aren’t any. I have no idea how their system works, all I know is that it must be stopped, because it’s already hard enough to meet people in this day and age, we don’t need any percentage of our dating population being kidnapped and mutilated by fucking Leprechauns. Why isn’t Donald Trump working on a wall to separate us from the faerie kingdom? I wish I had the answers, folks, but I do not.

So we start out 1000 years ago in Ireland, on St. Patrick’s Day, which also happens to be Lep’s birthday. What a coincidence! And this is no ordinary birthday, our boy is turning the big one triple zero! To mark the momentous occasion, Leprechaun and his badly abused human slave are out to bamboozle a fair maiden into the loathsome and all binding contract that is matrimony using a time honored tradition of making her sneeze three times. If she sneezes thrice and no one says “God bless you,” her mind, body and soul belong to the Leprechaun, which is a fucked up and nonsensical rule. Even so, Lep’s human slave is happy to participate in the capture of his master’s bride to be, because he’s been promised his freedom once Lep ties the knot- but he suddenly has a change of heart when he learns that the apple of the Leprechaun’s beady little eye is none other than his own daughter, who is hot as hell and just so happens to sneeze pretty often. Shit! That tricky little Leprechaun. Predictably, the slave dude betrays his master and ruins his plan to entrap his bride, an act of cockblockary that costs him his life, and forces Lep to postpone his wedding a full one thousand years, because a Leprechaun is apparently subject to a lot of stupid rules.

So, we fast forward ten centuries to present day (Well- 1994. It WAS present day), and Lep is once again on the prowl to find lady love, this time in twentieth century America. Good luck, asshole. This time he sets his sights on the equally hot descendant of his previous potentially kidnapee, an empty-headed, flinty voiced babe named Bridget, who is already in the early stages of courtship with some bland dumbass called Cody. Cody sucks, folks. He sucks hard. He just doesn’t bring anything to the table, and that’s a problem for Leprechaun 2, because he’s also our protagonist, and nobody in the world would be sad to watch him die gruesomely. On the other end of the spectrum, however, we have  Morty, Cody’s money grubbing, alcoholic con-man mentor, who is far and away the best and most enjoyable character in the film. But again, he’s a secondary character, and for most of the film, we’re stuck with fucking Cody.

So, anyway. Lep shows up, he rhymes a lot, Brigitte is kidnapped, and Cody and Morty spring into action to launch an elaborate scheme to somehow rescue Bridgitte, and, if possible, score some of that sweet, sweet Leprechaun treasure. It’s a horror film franchise with a 99% genetic match to a fucking cereal commercial.

The Lucky Charms commercial filmed on Lucky’s 1000th birthday is going to go down very, very differently.

So, the upside here is that there’s actually an idea behind Leprechaun 2’s plot- this is a good, old fashioned cautionary tale against the destructive powers of greed. Lep is greedy, Morty is greedy, Cody has to learn not to be greedy, and if you’re greedy, it doesn’t end well for you. That’s all well and good. Problems pop up, however, when you factor in how the character of Bridgitte is handled- she’s basically immediately downgraded to being an object that men fight over for the entire film. She could just as easily be a 20 dollar bill, or a really great sandwich. To the ultra sensitive eyes of the Millennial, this shit is like, PRIME trigger fuel, but back in ’94, absolutely zero fucks were given. Also, we had better music, and the Sega Genesis. It was an awesome time to be alive.

Another mark against Leprechaun 2 is that ALL the actors are total garbage, except, of course, for Mr. Warwick Davis, and Sandy Baron, who plays Morty. Actually, strike that, Tony Cox has a small role in this one, too- you might remember him from Bad Santa. Cox is a fine actor in his own right, but he doesn’t get much of an opportunity to shine in Leprechaun 2. What he does get to do is to play an integral role in the single most bizarre and disturbing men’s restroom scene I have ever seen this side of No Holds Barred (Review Here).

This isn’t a classic, but by all objective criteria, this is a much better movie than the first. It’s less childish, never as bland, and it features quite a few memorable scenes. Or at least I thought it did. When I rewatched it just now for the purpose of writing this review, I didn’t actually remember ever having seen any of these so called “memorable sequences” ever before, except for one; the one wherein Leprechaun uses his magical illusion powers to make one of Brigitte’s more date-rapey suitors believe he is slowly moving in to motorboat her bare chest, when in actuality, he’s gently ramming his face into the whirling blade of an upturned lawn mower. That was pretty awesome. Later, Lep uses his illusion powers to make out with Cody, though, so that mostly negates the coolness of the lawnmower kill.

Still, it’s mostly good. The one thing this movie has working against it in comparison to the first film is that this is fucking Leprechaun 2. That’s a pretty fatal flaw. With the first film, you could throw that puppy on for an annual “leave it on in the background” type deal at a St. Patrick’s Day party, and people might be onboard with it, but nobody puts on Leprechaun 2 every year. Your friends would just look at you like you were a fucking idiot… and let’s face it… you might be!


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Black Devil Doll From Hell ~ 1984, Chester Novell Turner, USA

BlackDevilDollFromHellVHSscanNot to be confused with Black Devil Doll (2007), nor even Devil Doll (1964), Black Devil Doll From Hell is a humble, shot-on-video, exploitation fable directed by Chester Novell Turner and released in 1984. If the statements “I can handle no budget VHS exploitation” and “I don’t mind puppet rape” both apply to you, then there’s really no reason why you haven’t already seen this movie. For the rest of you, you can probably just go about your business and pass on this one.

THE PLOT~ When prudish, virginal, Christian woman Helen finds an ugly ventriloquist doll in an antique store, she finds herself transfixed by it, which is weird. Seeing this, the cashier hits Helen with her standard sales pitch; “That doll is cursed, it is not to be trifled with. If purchased it, it will grant you your heart’s true desire, but beware.” Sounds on the level. So, in a direct contradiction to her firebrand religious convictions, Helen buys the damn thing for reasons no human will ever understand, ever, and takes it home, where she proceeds to just go to sleep like she DOESN’T have a cursed ventriloquist dummy in her fucking house. Predictably, the dummy drops the act once she’s out, and begins to walk about the house freely, just like all ventriloquist dummies do. Here’s where things go all “monkey’s paw” on us; The doll grants your hearts true desire, right? Well, what does every God fearing woman truly want, beneath her well fortified façade of Christian values? Why, some red hot puppet sex, that’s what! So, our Black Devil Doll breaks her off a piece of sweet, hot, puppet lovin’ that she isn’t likely to forget anytime soon, which, initially, is just him raping her. Yep. Pretty bad. And it get’s worse, next, in an uncomfortable and blatantly sexist twist, Helen does a 180 on the whole “consent” biz and decides that she really, really loves sex with ventriloquist dummies after all. It’s like, her favorite. Hold up, though, cuz there’s another drawback waiting in the wings; Turns out the first times always free, but after that, the generosity dries up. Try as she might, Black Devil Doll just doesn’t like her that way anymore, and he soon abandons her altogether. Now irreparably damaged by puppet sex (who hasn’t been there, right?) Helen abandons her religious convictions and embarks on an ever more self-destructive quest to satiable her unquenchable lust for dong. Things don’t end well, and that’s the movie.

Horrendously offensive content aside (for now), Black Devil Doll From Hell is basically a morality play about addiction, but it also deals with the unavoidable folly of repressing your feelings and denying yourself your true desires. It’s sort of insightful, actually; Helen spent her entire life denying herself what she really wanted because of how society told her she was supposed to live, and then she got to be true to herself exactly once, and it basically destroyed her life, because she was so unprepared for it. That’s kinda heavy. Additionally, this movie addresses the many dangers of owning sexy puppets, so there’s a while lot to learn here.

It’s sort of hard to know how to feel about Black Devil Doll From Hell... This is one that has some very positive qualities, as well as some pretty glaringly negative ones. One thing is totally certain, though; as you now know, this movie is dammed offensive. We’ll touch on that more extensively in a little bit, but first, let’s briefly focus on the positive;

Every frame of Black Devil Doll From Hell basically permeates “triumph over adversity.” This is a film that was made with essentially no resources beyond the sheer dedication of Chester Novell Turner and lead actress Shirley L. Jones. It was shot on video, the music all sounds like it was composed using a Casio found in the trunk of an abandoned car, and it’s clear from start to finish that Turner was getting this done essentially on his own. From that angle, there’s a tendency to want to cheer him on, he made a movie with absolutely nothing, and back then, that was a lot harder to do than it is today. It’s also not even that terrible, all things considered, so this accomplishment certainly does deserves some credit. Black Devil Doll From Hell is a movie that exists because sometimes passion and ambition have their way over resources and adversity… We all want to believe in that message.

But here comes the hammer… Black Devil Doll From Hell is basically the one ingredient you would need if you wanted to have the average Millennial frothing at the mouth with complete and inconsolable fury. This thing exists in direct contradiction with the overly P.C. ideals that dominate the zeitgeist here in 2015, and usually, I’m all for that. In this case, however, I feel that I may have to side with the angry mob; Black Devil Doll From Hell is painfully, unforgivably sexist. It’s meant to be taken as a joke, but deep down in it’s bones, Black Devil Doll From Hell is predicated on ideas and beliefs that are damaging, and out of step with modern society

Our doll gives Helen what she truly desires, right? Well, the implication here isn’t JUST that human beings crave physical intimacy. The film also seems to imply that women crave subjugation and abuse as well, that they need a domineering male to control and belittle them. Maybe that’s not what Mr. Turner wanted to say, but that’s the message that comes across, and it’s more than a little damaging for Black Devil Doll From Hell. We can’t really rave about the movie as a technical achievement, and really, likability is the one thing this movie has going for it… So, you could see how not being very likable would be a major problem. The fact is, the strong, sexist content throughout the film essentially nullifies all or most of the goodwill Mr. Turner has earned just by getting the damn thing finished in the first place, and that leaves the film is a pretty sorry position indeed.

Unfortunately, this one is hard to recommend.


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