We Watched all the Leprechaun Movies... So You Don't Have To!

With St. Patrick's Day around the corner... we thought we'd take a spin through the Leprechaun franchise!  With eight gloriously slasher-y films to explore, and possibly one more on the way, how do these installments stack up?  Who's lucky?  Who's unlucky?  And where the heck are all those gold coins?  Let's dive in! 

a leprechaun takes a bag of gold that is glowing

jennifer aniston looks scared

Leprechaun (1993)

In the film's first installation, and largest theatrical release, we're introduced to Lubdan, played by Warwick Davis, a vengeful leprechaun who will stop at nothing to find his stolen bag of gold.  Lubdan follows the thief from Ireland to an old farmhouse in North Dakota, where he is trapped in a crate for ten years. 

In Jennifer Aniston's first major film role, she plays Tory, who, as fate will have it, moves into the farmhouse, and alongside her friends, battles Lubdan and his murderous tendencies, once he escapes the crate.  Somehow he manages to survive a magical four-leaf clover attack, a fall down a well, and a gas fire... and he vows vengeance until all his gold is recovered.  This leaves the audience wondering...will we ever see Lubdan again?

a scary leprechaun wears clothes from the middle ages

a scary leprechaun looks at a blonde lady wearing a red velvet dress

Leprechaun 2 (1994)

Yes, we WILL see Lubdan (and Warwick Davis) again!  However, chronological order be damned... this film starts out in Ireland in the year 994, in which Lubdan claims he is 1000 years old.  (In Leprechaun 1, set in 1993, he claims to be 600 years old.  Something is not adding up.  But we don't have time to do math right now!!  There are so many more Leprechauns to watch!) 

We learn that Lubdan is ready to find both his lost gold, AND a wife!  On his 2000th birthday, he pops out of a tree (why tho?) in 1990s Los Angeles, straight into a plot that has absolutely nothing to do with Leprechaun 1.  There's a lot more fighting over gold coins, Lubdan does NOT get the lady he's pining for, and at the end, we see him explode into pieces.  The pieces fly everywhere.  Everywhere!!  We definitely won't be seeing Lubdan again, not after that!  Definitely, definitely not!

A statue of a leprechaun is wearing a medallion, and is in a pawn shop

a leprechaun stands outside of a las vegas casino

Leprechaun 3: Leprechaun Reborn (1995)

Aaaannnnd... straight to video we go!  After Leprechaun 2 lost big at the box office, this one went straight to video, as did the rest of the series.  In the grand tradition of Leprechaun films, the plot of Leprechaun 3 has no relationship to the films that came before it!  

And yes, we do see Lubdan (Davis) again... this time, appearing as a mysterious sculpture, wearing a mysterious medallion, brought to a pawn shop in Las Vegas by an equally mysterious man.  There is no explanation for any of this, so please don't ask!  When the Lubdan statue morphs into the real Lubdan, his standard hijinks ensue, wherein he breaks out of the pawn shop, and tears apart the Las Vegas strip looking for a lost gold coin, leaving a trail of destruction in his tiny wake...until he's burned to a crisp at a magic show!  

a giant leprechaun is in the cargo hold of a space station, two people are running away from him

a leprechaun is floating through outer space with a space ship behind him

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)

Lubdan (Davis) is back, back, back again, and this time, he's in outer space!!!  And nobody knows why! The year is 2096 (How old does that make him, you may ask?  We do NOT have time to figure that out!  Must keep watching Leprechaun movies at breakneck speed!) 

Doubling down on the absurd, and tripling down on bargain basement CGI, the fourth vehicle in the series introduces us to a group of space marines, an alien princess named Zarina, a space commander-turned-scorption/tarantula, and a laser that makes Lubdan into a giant.  Lubdan, once again, explodes into a lot of pieces, and the pieces go everywhere!!  Again!  (But this time, in space).

Ice-T passes a joint to a leprechaun in a bathroom

a leprechaun raps in a nightclub, holding a microphone

Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)

The year is 1970-something.  The scene is Los Angeles.  Mack Daddy O'Nasses, played by Ice-T (Yes, THAT Ice-T!) finds Lubdan's hidden room of gold, steals a golden flute, and manages to trap Lubdan as a stone statue (that wears the medallion we first spied in Leprechaun 3!). 

Fast-forward to the year 2000, three rappers hoping for their big break run into Mack Daddy, now a rich guy (due to the magical powers of the golden flute), who keeps the Lubdan statue in his fancy rich guy office.  The rappers break in to steal the medallion, and accidentally unleash Lubdan, who, per usual, goes on to search for missing gold, and terrorize the city of Angels!  But this time, he ends up being a successful manager, and a rapper himself.  It's kind of a refreshing departure from seeing him blown up into little pieces.  I wonder if that will ever happen again??

a brown drawing of a leprechaun in a story book

a leprechaun stands in front of a police car

Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)

Well, we may be Back 2 tha Hood, but there are absolutely no returning characters (sayonara, Ice-T), or plot lines that would connect this sequel-within-a-sequel-series to Leprechaun in the Hood.  The only tie that binds, is Lubdan, still played by Warwick Davis, and still jonesin' for that GOLD!!!

We are treated to the animated origin story of Lubdan, (we've been wondering where the heck he came from), as told by a magical book.  In unrelated news, Lubdan is unleashed after a pastor attacks a rainbow with a shovel.  We meet a psychic named Esmerelda, and a drug dealer named Rory (played by Laz Alonso, who would go on to appear in Fast & Furious, and Avatar).  And as usual, Lubdan kills a bunch of people on his quest to get his gold coins back (why does he keep losing them tho???)  And after taking about one million bullets, Lubdan is pushed off the roof and lands in some wet cement.  And thus ends the illustrious Leprechaun career of Warwick Davis.  *Moment of Silence*

a very scary bald leprechaun acts scary in the darkness

a woman screams in horror while standing by a truck

Leprechaun: Origins (2014)

Leprechaun may be back, but Lubdan he ain't!  After an eleven year hiatus, we are invited back to a Leprechaun reboot, wherein we meet a real creepy little guy.  Played by Dylan "Hornswaggle" Postl (of WWE fame!), the leprechaun is actually rarely seen, only appearing in flashes and shadows.  And maybe that's a good thing... as his looks could be described as low-budget-Alien-meets-dollar-store-Golum.   

What is the "plot," of this cinematic undertaking, you may ask?  Four young Americans vacationing in Ireland meet a charming local who takes them to a cabin in the woods.  What could go wrong?  Well, quite a lot it turns out, but nothing that is particularly interesting.  What unfurls here is a fairly plodding low-budget horror slasher flick, that could be described as yawn-inducing, without a campy LOL to be found.  Does it leave us wanting more?  Not really!

 a creepy leprechaun talks to a young woman who looks scared

two people scream at a leprechaun sitting in a car

Leprechaun Returns (2018)

Oh, but there is more!  In a dramatic turn of events, and a Leprechaun first, this film is an ACTUAL SEQUEL of the very first film!  That's right!  With returning characters, plot through-lines, and some genuine campy dark humor...we have truly come full circle.  What a long, strange trip it's been!

Ok you guys, remember that well Lubdan fell into at the end of Leprechaun 1, by the old farmhouse in North Dakota?  Well, it turns out he's been waiting in that well for 25 years, only this time, he's played by Linden Porco, who's doing his very best Warwick Davis impression.  Tory's (Aniston in the first film) daughter Lila (Taylor Spreitler) and her gal pals decide to transform the farmhouse it into an environmentally-friendly sorority house (uh...ok?).   Lubdan is released, and, well, the hijinks we've all come to know and love (gold finding, and slashy, splashy murders) most certainly ensue.  As we take leave of our favorite Leprechaun, who has miraculously survived an electrocution attempt, he's alive and well, and hitchhiking to Bismarck.  What could he be up to next??!!

Leprechaun ? (2026?)

We might actually find out what he's up to next.  Rumor has it, there's another Leprechaun reboot in the works, due out in 2026!  Which would officially make it lucky number nine.  If we have recovered from our Leprechaun marathon by then (we barely survived this, TBH), we might consider taking a peek.  But until then, we're keeping a close eye on our gold, and not venturing to any farmhouses, casinos, pawn shops, and definitely, absolutely not going to any space stations.  Bye bye!

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