Horrorfest 2013 Presents: Leprechaun 2 (1994, Rodman Flender)

Made not too long after the first film, Leprechaun 2 is one of those rare horror movie sequels that actually manages to live up to the original. In this case I actually prefer the sequel-it ups the hilarious elements and also has some really nasty kills. Plus there is the fact that the stakes are much higher here, as the evil Leprechaun desires a human bride in revenge for being denied a bride centuries earlier. So there is that whole “Race against time” aspect that adds a layer of suspense to the proceedings. For now I find the series really entertaining, and I look forward to watching Leprechaun 3, 4, and 5. But I heard that the 6th one is quite awful, and there was supposed to be a remake in the works. How a remake would not fail to copy the rest of the series makes me wonder, and I doubt I’ll find out anytime soon.

A young man and his drunk uncle have the misfortune to encounter the angry Leprechaun, who has been brought back by the usual stupid people. After randomly murdering a few people the Leprechaun sets his eyes upon the youth’s pretty lass of a girlfriend, proceeding to kidnap her. He doesn’t even have the good sense to leave a ransom note. Nasty bugger that one. The uncle falls prey to greed, leaving the young man to desperately attempt to spring his girlfriend and prevent her from becoming the ugly wife of a horrible little green man. Its really tough for a young man who is faced with endless rivals and burdened with taking care of his lush of an uncle, but now he’s dealing with a homicidal ancient Irish folk creature. That’s tough.

Even cheesier than the first one and having more crazy kills (although none of them match the pogo stick death from the original), Leprechaun 2 is pretty enjoyable for what it is, choosing to not reinvent the wheel or deviate from what worked in the first place. The series has its own brand of deranged bleak humor that is easy to laugh at, and I would still love a Chucky vs. Leprechaun film. Too bad it will never happen.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: Mimic (1997, Guillermo del Toro)

Despite years of camping experience and being out in the wilderness, bugs still creep me out. Insects are different from humans, and they truly rule this world for they far outnumber us mammals. Mimic starts out with scientists desperately creating a new bug to wipe out a child killing plague ravaging New York City. In the process they unleash a monster that only presents itself years later, coming back to haunt the scientist couple that was responsible for its existence in the first place. Dr. Susan Tyler and Dr. Peter Mann begin to realize that the the so called “Judas Bug” has mutated into something bigger, something truly frightening. After all, the characters along with Leonard, a local transit cop, are forced to journey deep into the underground beyond and beneath the subway in an attempt to prevent the bugs, which can now mimic human behavior, from emerging to take over the city.

The creature effects are fantastic, and this movie is really entertaining. Particularly when the film moves to below the city, as the humans end up becoming prey for gigantic bug creatures. del Toro utilizes the damp, dark setting to create an eerie atmosphere while also playing with genre conventions. Although this film does have cliches such as the noble cop who proves handy in the end, the scientist partner who is sarcastic and ends up as bug food, and the adorable little boy raised by the kind old man that may be the key to what is really going on. Still thanks to del Toro’s direction and the really good script such elements fit the movie well, although it helps that the film itself is a really good monster film.

Although on further research it seems that del Toro has disowned the film and was not happy with the finished product. I can’t say I blame him since it was his movie, but I still liked Mimic all the same. I wonder if the film could not have been truly great instead of merely good however had they allowed del Toro to fulfill his vision. I would like to see the Director’s Cut, and there was supposed to be a different ending according to IMDB.com’s trivia section-an ending that sounds creepy and fantastic to me. Too bad it didn’t happen, although I guess there have been many films butchered or altered by film studios over the years.

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