Leapin' Leprechauns! takes more than a small amount of inspiration from the Disney classic Darby OGill and the Little People (1959) John Bluthals character and performance is modelled after Albert Sharpes performance in the title role and the climax with the coming of Finvara is almost taken wholesale from the arrival of the Costa Bower at the end of Darby OGill. Most of the antics with the leprechauns pushing food around the table and going berserk in a childrens playground in speeded-up camera action are silly.
Nevertheless, the predictable story arc the film conducts in getting the family and self-interested Grant Cramer to believe in leprechauns is a likeable one. There are some nice performances John Bluthal gives one of engaging blarney charm, while Sharon Lee Jones is good as the wife as are Gregory Edward Smith and Erica Nicole Hess as the children. There is the odd amusing line John Bluthal to Gregory Edward Smith: How about a game of horseshoes? Thats a little low-tech for my generation. The effects work is sparingly conducted the little people and normal-sized humans are rarely seen in the same shot but these few effects scenes are conducted with more conviction than usual in most Band films. Particularly good is the climax, which is unusually dark with its images of black puka horses come as harbingers of death, the cloud of Finvara gathering the sky above and Death riding on top of the speeding car coming to collect them as they lie crashed.
Ted Nicolaou, the Bands and most of the cast, excepting Grant Cramer and Sharon Jones as the parents, returned with a sequel Leapin Leprechauns! 2 (1996), which is actually a better film than this.
Ted Nicolaous other genre films as director include:- one of the segments of The Dungeonmaster (1984), TerrorVision (1986), Bad Channels (1992), Subspecies (1991), Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993), Remote (1993), Bloodlust: Subspecies III (1994), Dragonworld (1994), Magic in the Mirror (1996), Magic in the Mirror: Fowl Play (1996), Vampire Journals (1997), The Shrunken City (1998), Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm (1998), Dragonworld: The Legend Continues (1999), Ragdoll (1999), The Horrible Dr Bones (2000), In the Shadow of the Cobra (2004), Puppetmaster vs Demonic Toys (2004) and The Etruscan Mask (2007).
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