Now I know for many horror fans St. Patrick’s Day means watching the wonderfully goofy Warwick Davis “Leprechaun” movies from the ‘90s. However for your viewing pleasure I would like to suggest a different leprechaun horror movie from two years ago, one that was co-produced by After Dark Films and the Syfy Channel, originally airing on the network as one of their numerous monster movies. That film is “Red Clover”…well “Leprechaun’s Revenge” was the title it was given when it aired on Syfy…but anyway onto the review.
Founders of a small town brought a real leprechaun over from Ireland and drove it mad as they robbed it of all its luck to continue their prosperous gold rush. Centuries have passed and any talk of leprechauns is laughed off by most townspeople as crazy talk. With St. Patrick’s Day a few days away, descendants of the town founders make the mistake of hunting in a section of the woods where the “red clover” is said to bloom. The leprechaun is awakened and our main character finds herself marked for death, while the Irish imp goes around slashing people to death with its claws and eating their gold.
With a premise like that there are two directions the film could go, serious or comedic. This film manages to do both, but not in a perfect mix. The first half of the film is a serious horror film, which builds the mystery of the leprechaun, shows some bloody kills from the monster and gives us time with our main characters, particularly with the main girl and her sheriff father played by the always enjoyable, at least to me, Billy Zane. Half way through the film shifts to a comedic tone. The creature runs over someone with a car and we learn the way to defeat the creature is similar to that of a vampire, which is both silly and kinda cool. There is some comedic meta dialogue where a character jokes about being in a monster movie and calls the sheriff who believes in the creature a “LepreCop.” Many of the characters talk about how they will live but of course they immediately die. Lastly Bill Zane goes on a self-deprecating rant that is so unexpected and funny it has to be seen to be properly described.
“Red Clover” is a highly entertaining, if tonally inconsistent, monster movie. If you are tired of the Warwick Davis movies, then pop this one and have a good time.
– James J. Coker