Released in 1995, a year after the release of Leprechaun 2 (which in turn came a year after the first movie), Leprechaun 3 shares nothing with its predecessors except Warwick Davis who continues his role as the diminutive evil Irish creature.
While that is overkill, Leprechaun 3 ends up being the best & most fun movie in the series so far. Taking place in Las Vegas, a desperate man pawns a statue he has of the Leprechaun. The pawn owner is more interested in the medallion hanging around the statue’s neck but when he removes it he releases old Leppy who was imprisoned inside.
How? Why? It doesn’t matter. It’s best to view these movies as stand alone tales. Just ignore the 3 in the title & call it Leprechaun Goes to Vegas.
So being free, the first thing he wants to do is find his gold & kill the pawn shop owner but it’s revealed that the medallion has power over him. Why? Who knows!
Elsewhere Scott McCoy (John Gatins) has just arrived in Vegas & into Tammy (Lee Armstrong). She’s broken down so he gives her a lift to the casino where she works. Scott is instantly smitten with her & ignores her request that he don’t gamble as he’s underage.
Unsurprisingly he loses…badly. Panicking he goes to a pawn shop (the same one that Leppy is in) but finds the owner now dead. That’s not all he finds though, he also gets hold of one of the Leprechaun’s gold coins. Realising it has power he goes back to the casino & starts winning big much to the chagrin of the casino owners.
That’s the least of Scott’s problems though as the Leprechaun wants his gold back & will stop at nothing to get it.
At this stage in the Leprechaun series, the most you can hope for is an entertaining & comedic horror. Leprechaun 3 delivers on most of those fronts. It’s well acted, its comedy works way better than any of the previous films but it doesn’t have much in way of horror. It’s not scary, not in the slightest & it’s very light on gore. The kills instead are more tongue in cheek & silly such as the robot sex electrocution scene.
Taking its cue from the likes of The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs, the wishes made on the coin inevitably backfire for the wisher. It does make for some fun moments though such as the wish to have a 20-year-old body. As the movie goes on it does take the silliness to levels that can get a bit cringy to watch. Scott begins to transform into a Leprechaun himself & it’s pretty embarrassing to watch & listen to his ‘Irish’ accent.
Visually, Leprechaun 3 looks far better than the previous movies in the series & is covered in the 90’s gloss. I don’t know what it is about this particular point in time for horror but every movie looked the same!
Still, it makes for a much better watch & while it certainly isn’t going to win any awards it’s the best of the bunch so far. Can’t wait to see where they go next! Wait…in space? What?