Today in the Barking Mad About Films household it was St Patrick’s Day
Waking up early and scrolling through Netflix, I came across Leprechaun: Origins. I had seen some of the previous 6 B-Movies starring Warwick Davis so it grabbed my attention!
Now the original 6 Leprechaun films were never too serious, as you can imagine with titles like Leprechaun 4: In Space and Leprechaun in the Hood so I thought this version would follow the same. I decidedI would give it a go as felt it would be a silly slashy film.
These original Leprechaun films were very much like the great horror films of the Eighties, that never took themselves too seriously! From films like the Ghoulies and Critters franchises to films like Re-Animator and our personal favourite of the era Fright Night.
Sadly these films seem to have been forgotten about, in favour of the new genre of horror, under genres such as Found footage films like the Paranormal Activity Franchise and the horribly titled Torture porn forms, with Hostel probably the nastiest. A decision I find odd as horror films are often prime viewing for dates!
This change in style has also found its way into the reboot/remakes. The A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise which turned Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger into a wise-cracking movie legend, was rebooted without any of the daft kills, it felt serious and nasty and not at all pleasant, hardly a date movie!
This, we have to say was a shame, as having seen Watchmen prior to its release, we thought if anyone could breathe life into the franchise it was Jackie Earle Haley when cast as Freddy. He certainly showed potential as Krueger and wish he’s been given the same wise-cracking lines that Englund had in his many turns, that made him the memorial serial killer we know today.
Halloween and Friday the 13th also both left their low budget roots for brutal kills, with plenty of CGI blood and gore forgetting the ropey makeup, special effects and models of the originals, which added to their charm.
Leprechaun: Origins sadly follows this pattern, replacing the loveable charm and fun stereotype Leprechaun character that Warwick Davis portrayed in the original. The leprechaun now looks more like a cave dweller from The Descent!
In fact, if we are really honest, he looks more like Pumpkinhead, another Eighties franchise monster. (The original, starring Lance Henriksen is probably best known as the directorial debut of legendary creature effect maker Stan Winston)
This really took us by surprise as we had expected a wise-cracking Leprechaun, obsessed with his gold and lucky charms, like the original films. More so as the film was sold on a Pro Wrestler playing the title character in the form of Dylan ‘Hornswoggle’ Postl. Yet if you watch the film, the Leprechaun now does nothing more than grunt, so anyone could have played him.
The original Leprechaun film, which also featured a young Jennifer Aniston would spawn 5 sequels. This version is instantly forgettable, providing 1 brief jump moment, instead going for shock value of showing us gory images of the victims. Its ending is not even memorable other than they use the same ‘Lucky Charms’ end line from the original! We predict if anything, another reboot rather than a sequel to this version.
One of the horror films we enjoyed most recently was Adam Green’s Hatchet, a film that went back to those Eighties films, offering no CGI but old school special effects and a memorable killer in Victor Crowley, (played by Kane Hodder, famous for being amongst others, Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th) whose kills were so over the top, you could not take them seriously.
It’s a style, we much prefer in a horror film. Granted the killers are nasty and should not be celebrated, the victims are normally Children or young teenagers after all! They do tend to have supernatural origins to them in that they can’t die so we tend to forget that and wait for the silly deaths using anything from flag posts to sleeping bags and whilst we may laugh, we know it’s a movie rather than have the grizzly torture porn images that films of today now offer (the exception to this being the Saw franchise, which offered imaginative traps prior to the deaths)
They do however tend to have supernatural origins to them, in that they can’t die so we tend to forget their crimes and wait for the silly deaths, using anything from flag posts to sleeping bags We can therefore find laughs in the oddness that it’s a movie.
A style much better than today’s grizzly torture porn images that films now offer (the exception to this being the Saw franchise, which offered imaginative traps prior to the deaths)
The reboots/remakes continue to come, and we hope they can remember their origins and offer some light-hearted moments or some scares amongst the horrific deaths.
Sadly the horrific images and blood and guts seems to be what is wanted now, as films such as The Forest which we saw recently, offered just scares and sunk without a trace. These films known as PG13 horrors are ignored so we may be in the minority here!
What is your favourite horror genre! Do you want laughs and scares or blood and guts from your Horror film? We’d love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films.
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