In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, my thorny Irish Rose does me the honor of cooking the dish of her people: corned beef and cabbage. I love it. What nobody loves is the flatulent fallout, because cabbage farts would make even a devout snarfer question their life choices. If the holiday horror-comedies of the Leprechaun series were corned beef and cabbage, Origins would be the subsequent instance of irritable bowel syndrome that follows.
Intended as a series reboot (a word that makes the hairs stand up on most horror geeks’ necks), Origins makes the same mistake the 2010 A Nightmare On Elm Street discharge did – dropping the trademark humor the movies are known for in favor of a more generic “traditional horror” tone. It follows a quartet of American college types who are backpacking across the Ireland countryside, as college Yanks abroad are known to do. Much like every other horror movie featuring the theme, things don’t go well for our travelers. The first clue that they’re on the short path to their imminent demise (which they opt to ignore because movies) comes when the man they hired to drive them to an out-of-the-way village (so much so that the movie was actually shot in Canada) refuses to go within a shamrock’s toss of the town limits. Free advice for any Americans out and about in unfamiliar regions of the globe: if any of the locals react in a horrified fashion at your request for directions or assisted traversal to a specific destination, DO NOT GO TO SAID DESTINATION.
Despite their Emerald Isle Uber driver’s fear, the four make like Deputy Geronimo and go ahead on. No sooner do they find their way to the place, they’re given the
red green carpet treatment by village grandpa Hamish (played by the closest thing to a good actor in the movie), treated to comp-ed pints of Not Guinness, and are invited to take a countryside tour of some ancient relics the next day. As much as this upsets starched shirt “but it will interfere with our schedule!” Ben, it’s just the kind of historical Spanish fly that girlfriend Sophie gets brain horny over. When Dave and Jen take a long enough break from drinking and rubbing their faces together to throw in with the excursion, Ben is officially overruled and Sophie makes her choice…
Before you can say “the only good points of The Wicker Man remake were Cage dressed as a bear while punching out a woman and his screaming about being stung by digital bees”, the Americans are locked in a house so as to be fed to the Tuatha Dé Danann – a demonic little mutant creature better known to the world proper as a leprechaun. As you can imagine, it has a Goldmember level penchant for the shiny stuff, including a poor man’s knock-off of Predator Vision™ that allows his vulnerable cave dweller oculi to see his prey. Dananny has been fatally harassing the village since they turned its cave into a gold mine and stole all of the precious metals within. So, rather than give the gold back or just move the village to another spot a few miles down the road Springfield style, the villagers made a deal with the monster (with no means of communication, funny enough) to feed it outsiders in exchange for their own well being. I’m surprised at how many tourists apparently end up at this secluded secret town as meals for Yucky Charms, but that’s the least of the problems going on here. Looking nothing like its predecessor Lubdan (how many of you actually knew that was his name?), the new guy more resembles the aftermath of a drunken tryst between Brundle Fly and one of BatBoy’s extended family from The Descent, #blessed with a big slimy booger for a head and a mouth incapable of movement that just hangs slack for the entire movie.
Yeah. It’s some of the shittiest character design you’re likely to find On Demand.
Our meals-to-be fight for their lives as they’re stalked by the beastie and have every attempted avenue of escapes blockaded by Hamish and his fellow fiendish townsfolk. Loyalties are tested (and fail at almost every opportunity), blood is shed, and there’s a lot of running around in circles as the movie spins its tires before finally concluding with Sophie the solitary survivor, though guaranteed to suffer some serious PTSD… if she manages to make it back to civilization before some other inbred rendition of local faery folklore eats her face. The end.
From 1997 to 2013, Leprechaun 4: In Space was widely condemned as the series’s low point. A less-than-enticing distinction to be sure, but rather than having no foot to stand on in the face of its siblings, Leppy 4 was given millipede denominations of metaphorical appendages once Origins musturd gassed in the bad movie elevator. Easily the new reigning champion of shitty Celtic horror, this movie is a clusterfuck of failures. The story is predictable, the acting is equal parts bland and bad (and not in the fun way), the marketing centered around Dylan Postl (then-WWE performer Hornswoggle) “starring” as the titular terrorizer was completely pointless since he spends the entirety of his scenes BEHIND AN INANIMATE RUBBER MASK, the gore is soft, the nudity is nil, the bodycount is kiddie pool shallow (for fuck’s sake, Jeni only dies because Sophie accidentally puts an ax through her face!) and the characters’ haphazard idiocy puts figurative bamboo chutes under my toenails. Ultimately, the monster is defeated when our final female (I personally don’t prefer to call grown ass adult women “girls”) decapitates the booger-faced gremlin with a machete. Yes, after years of the townsfolk fending the cretin off with floodlights and shotguns and human sacrifices, it was no harder to kill than a camp counselor at Crystal Lake! They could have baited him with gold in a Bugs Bunny box trap, then burned the little idiot alive and been done with him! Logic is the Unobtainium of lazy scare flicks and the sandy intruder of my allegorical g-string.
Finally, I give Michael Bay a zettatonne of hatred over his reliance on shaky-cam for his action scenes, but Zach Lipovsky’s obsession with it (combined with a love of quick cuts, dutch angles, and other “music videos on meth” shooting methods) would give a hardened cosmonaut a case of the dts (short for the scientific term – “dizzy tummy syndrome”). I’ve come off of roller coasters feeling less vertigo than what was induced in me by the time the end credits hit! ALL FOURTEEN MINUTES OF THEM! Yes, in order to stretch the runtime of this cinematic bout of cholera so it would break the 90 minute mark, THERE ARE FOURTEEN MINUTES OF END CREDITS! Somebody pass me a Dramamine & Ex-Lax cocktail, cuz my stomach’s doing a full tumbling routine reliving this trauma and I’m wearing my last clean kalasiris until my dry cleaner comes back from vacation.
One Pyrite Turd out-of-Five
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