Articles for Horror: “Leprechaun”

A plot summary and review of the 1993 movie “Leprechaun.”

Leprechaun searching for his lost gold, with his slogan of “Your luck just ran out.”.


Leprechaun searching for his lost gold, with his slogan of “Your luck just ran out.”.

Autumn Castle, Staff Writer

This article contains spoilers!

Who was Leprechaun?

Lubdan, who was also known as the Leprechaun, was the main antagonist of the comedy-horror movie “Leprechaun.” He was a Leprechaun who killed anyone who stole his gold.

Lubdan was a leprechaun in Ireland at the time of King Sigtrygg Silkbeard in 994 CE. The King searched endlessly for magic and power, and summoned all magical creatures to him. The Leprechaun came and gave him magic, but demanded the King’s gold. The King gave him his gold, and the Leprechaun treasured it. The Leprechaun gave the King multiple magic powers, but the King eventually died, leading the Leprechaun and all of the other fairies to return to the woods. 

The Leprechaun was one of the many fairies and creatures hired by a king in the past to protect his gold and kill whoever touched it. 

What was “Leprechaun?”

In 1983, Daniel O’Grady returned to his home in North Dakota after a trip to his native Ireland, where he stole a pot of gold from a leprechaun. After burying the gold, O’Grady discovered that the leprechaun had followed him home and murdered his wife. In despair from his wife’s death, he used a four-leaf clover to suppress the Leprechaun’s powers and to trap it inside a crate. Before he could burn it, he suffered a stroke while the leprechaun maniacally laughed at him from inside the crate.

A long 10 years later, J.D. Reding and his teenage daughter Tory rented the O’Grady house for the summer. Contract workers Nathan Murphy, his 10-year-old brother Alex, and their idiotic friend Ozzie Jones help re-paint the farmhouse. 

While looking around the basement, Ozzie heard the Leprechaun’s cry for help and mistook him for a little child and made the error of unleashing him from the crate. He failed to convince the others that he met a leprechaun. Ozzie spotted a rainbow and chased it, as he believed that he would find a pot of gold at the end. Alex came with him because of the fear that Ozzie might get hurt. A bag of 100 gold pieces magically appeared before Ozzie. After Ozzie tested the gold and foolishly swallowed a piece, they stashed it in an old well and planned to keep it for themselves, hoping to fix Ozzie’s dumb brain.

At the farm, Leprechaun lured J.D. into a trap by imitating a cat and bit him, injuring his hand. Tory and the others rushed him to the hospital, and Leprechaun followed on a tricycle. Alex and Ozzie visited a pawn shop to see if the gold was pure. The owner, Joe, took a coin, and was later killed by Leprechaun. On the way back to the farm, Leprechaun was pulled over by a deputy who was also killed. 

Leprechaun returned to the farmhouse, where he searched for his gold and shined every shoe that he found. After they left J.D. at the hospital, the group drove back to the farmhouse and found it ransacked. Nathan checked outside, where he was injured by a bear trap set by the leprechaun.

After they found a shotgun in the farmhouse, they shot the leprechaun several times. When this had no effect, they attempted to flee the farm, but their truck’s engine had been sabotaged by the leprechaun. After ramming the truck with a go-kart, the leprechaun terrorized the group until Ozzie finally revealed that he and Alex found the pot of gold. 

Tory recovered the bag from the well and gave it to the leprechaun. Thinking the worst was over, they left for the hospital. While he counted his gold, the leprechaun discovered that he was missing the piece that Ozzie swallowed. Thinking that they had tricked him, he menaced them until they learned about O’Grady, who was taken to a nursing home after his stroke. Tory then visited the home to learn how to kill the leprechaun.

At the nursing home, Leprechaun pretended to be O’Grady. When Tory fell for it, he chased her to an elevator, and the leprechaun threw O’Grady’s bloodied body down the shaft as Tory fled the nursing home. Before he died, O’Grady told her that the only way to kill the leprechaun is with a four-leaf clover. 

Tory hurriedly returned to the farmhouse, where she searched for a clover until she was attacked by the leprechaun. Nathan and Ozzie saved her as Alex set a trap near the well, but the leprechaun almost killed him. Ozzie revealed that he stupidly swallowed the last gold coin, and the leprechaun tore him apart trying to get it. Before the leprechaun could kill Ozzie, Alex took a four-leaf clover Tory had found, stuck it to a wad of gum, and shot it into Leprechaun’s mouth, taking away his power. The leprechaun fell into the well, but he tried to climb out. Nathan pushed the leprechaun back into the well and blew up both the well and Leprechaun with gasoline. The police arrived, and Tory was reunited with her father. As the police investigated the remains of the well, the leprechaun vowed he will not rest until he recovers every last piece of his gold.

How successful was “Leprechaun?”

“Leprechaun” was the first production at Trimark Pictures for theatrical exhibition – it earned a domestic gross of $8.6 million against a budget of roughly $1 million and became a cult film. While initial reviews given by critics were negative, the commercial success encouraged a series of films.

My Review:

The film starts off slow and it takes a while to pick up. Even with the slow start of the film, it was easy to draw the audience in when Leprechaun himself was introduced with his scary and ragged-like look, with his look being one of the only things scary about this movie.

There was the classic cliche spoiled-rich teenager who was forced to move away from her city life. We don’t get to fully know the characters, as the film picks up pace after a few predictable jokes and lines. The characters are standard – and they should’ve killed off Ozzie immediately. Apart from that, watching Leprechaun try to gut him was hilarious.  The film is labeled primarily as a comedy film instead of a horror film, and I can see why they chose to do so. The film gave me more laughs than scares, and not because it was particularly funny, but because it was stupid. The film gets bonus points for the way Leprechaun runs in the film, making this rating settle at a 6/10.