Leprechaun in the Hood is… well, it’s called Leprechaun in the Hood, so what would you expect? It’s a terrible movie, really, really terrible. The story makes no sense, the characters are all idiots, the jokes aren’t funny and it’s definitely not scary. It’s a bad movie and not even an unintentionally funny one. The Leprechaun part guarantees a bad horror movie, but the In the Hood part guarantees an amazing amount of stereotypes and racism. You might find that funny, but it doesn’t make it less racist. No, this is not a movie I’m happy to have seen (but thanks to How Did This Get Made the suffering was a bit easier).
Oh man, it’s hard to even start describing what’s going on to look at the racism. Ice-T (yes, Ice-T) plays Mack Daddy, a gangster in the 70s who discovers the frozen statue of the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) and his partner frees him, getting killed immediately. Ice-T points a gun at the annoying little monster, whose first words are: “Free at last, free at last, thank god almighty, free at last!” Yes, the Leprechaun makes fun of Martin Luther King. Let’s not even think about the fact that this makes no sense at all, since he supposedly has been frozen for decades, but whatever. Ice-T wears a gigantic afro (ha ha) from which he pulls a knife and a baseball bat to fight the Leprechaun. Oh, you say, it is a comedy then? No, not really since something silly like this happens only once or twice and the movie shifts tonally from scene to scene. But it should give you a sense of the racial tropes at play here.
The movie then focuses on three rappers (because that’s all young black people care about) led by Postmaster P (Anthony Montgomery), whose mission it is to sing positive rap songs without violence to change his community. Which is kind of an interesting idea that ends up in a weird place. Mack Daddy tells them: “I ain’t with that save the fucking hood bullshit, treat your girl right. That shit is whack! This label we rap about uzis, blowing motherfucker’s heads off, y’know what I’m saying? Smack your bitch up, shoot your motherfucking homeboy in the face-type shit, a’right?” Postmaster P isn’t happy and tries to convince Ice-T, but his friend Stray Bullet (Rashaan Nall) stays true to his character name and likes the idea of real gangsta rap. So, what the movie tells us is that only one of them is really interested in changing something, but it’s more normal to find violence and being a gangster appealing. And even Postmaster P agrees to rob Mack Daddy in the next scene, making his positive attitude even more questionable.
When they steal the Leprechaun’s magic flute, they are corrupted by its power (which is never clear exactly what it is) immediately, making people listen to them. So, see, they have the power to make people like their music. And what do they do when they have their another audition? They sing violent gangsta rap! They could have used their positive message and sell it, but instead they sing what would have been popular anyway (according to the movie’s logic). I mean, sure, power corrupts and everything, but why wouldn’t they use it to sell what they wanted to do? They mess with people’s minds to sell out! Well, you know how those black rappers are, they just can’t help it.
During the showdown (don’t ask me what happens, it’s just nonsense), Postmaster P (in a dress, again, don’t ask), faces Mack Daddy, who provokes him by claiming “You’re no gangsta” and that he won’t kill him anyway. Then he does and I wonder, should we cheer? Is that his character’s journey, from a positive rapper to a murdering gangsta rapper? In the end, we see him being successful as basically an evil rapper and while some of the darkness implies that we’re supposed to think he has become bad and corrupted, the movie doesn’t completely play it that way. The positive message basically is just faint idea in the beginning that is never taken seriously, as if that wasn’t even possible.
Women are no characters in this movie. The Leprechaun uses them as sex zombies or to lure people into traps to kill them. They have no other role to play. As it often happens, we’re supposed to be disgusted by the Leprechaun but when he checks out a new female victim for his harem, the camera pans up her body very closely, so that we get some “enjoyment” too. In the last scene we see him taking over women and it’s just played as a joke. He is obviously raping them, physically and psychologically, but it’s not really played as a bad thing. And let’s not even start with the transvestite and homophobia, because I’m a bit sick of all of this. I don’t mind bad movies (obviously), but I think they tend to rely more on stereotypes and racist tropes because not much thought is put into the script. But this is more a feeling than a fact. I guess I would have to watch more crap like this to prove my assumption. I hear Leprechaun 2: Back 2 tha Hood is great.