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The Leprechaun Series Ranked Bad to Worst: Binge the Rottenness Now!

In honor or St. Patrick's Day, we pay splattery tribute to one of the greenest franchises in horror.

by | March 16, 2020 | Comments

(Photo by ©Trimark Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)

March 17 marks St. Patrick’s Day, the global celebration of one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints. In Dublin, they normally go to church to mark the occasion (and then to the pub). In Boston, they dye the river green every year. At Rotten Tomatoes, well, we’re taking a different approach – and given many of you are stuck inside, we think you should join us. We’re bingeing the Rottenest horror franchise there is!

To celebrate the greenest day of the year we’re celebrating one of the greenest franchises in Rotten Tomatoes history, and one with an Irish heritage, if not any particularly genuine Irish flavor. The eight-entry Leprechaun franchise might be one of the most splat-worthy franchises in horror movie history, with a huge four entries sitting at 0% on the Tomatometer and not a single entry over 38%. The franchise earns an average of 14.125% on the Tomatometer per movie.

Multiple attempts to revise the franchise have done little to help: 2014 reboot Leprechaun: Origins sits at 0% while 2018’s second attempt at a reboot, Leprechaun Returns, only managed to muster 38%.

But Rotten scores don’t mean these films aren’t wicked good fun – particularly if you’re washing them down with a pint or two. Thanks largely do a big dose of wit and the incomparable Warwdick Davis, who plays the Leprechaun in most movies, these quirky slasher flicks can be damn fun.

Happy St. Pat’s Day, and enjoy the pot of gold below: Every Leprechaun movie ranked by Tomatometer, and where to watch it.


8. Leprechaun Returns (2018) 44%

In this latest attempt to revise the franchise, a group of sorority girls accidentally awakens our limerick-loving killer. The movie is notable for having a certain charm, and for the arrival to the franchise of Linden Porco, who takes over the title role from Warwick Davis.

“While there’s a lot of charm to be found, it’s also sloppy in its world-building and doesn’t give us anyone to truly root for. It doesn’t feel like anything we haven’t already seen before, either.” – Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunes, or Vudu.


7. Leprechaun in the Hood (2000) 30%

The addition of Coolio and Ice-T proved the lucky charm that got the franchise to its highest point.

“It’s not a very good film in any way, but it manages to be average, and that alone makes it a franchise standout.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunes, Prime Video, or Vudu.


6. Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003) 22%

Ice-T did not return to the hood, leaving a blinged-up Warwick Davis to terrorize Sticky Fingaz, of Onyx, instead.

“We now live in a world in which there are six Leprechaun movies.” – Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunes, or Vudu.


5. Leprechaun (1993) 21%

The original, but not the best. Like a certain plucky little monster pursuing his pot of gold, this one has followed star Jennifer Aniston, who made her film debut here, around for decades.

“The perfect high-concept comedic slasher, and it’s still Jennifer Aniston’s best film to date.” – Luke Y. Thompson, New Times

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunes, Prime Video, or Vudu.


4. Leprechaun 2 (1994) 0%

The legend continued, inexplicably, with this first sequel that earned the franchise its first big fat 0%.

“It’s no Leprechaun in the Hood, but then, what is?” – Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunesPrime Video, or Vudu.


3. Leprechaun 3 (1995) 0%

Still looking for a wife, the Leprechaun hits Sin City. Not a lucky move for the audience.

“The directness with which this went to video is apparent in nearly every single element.” – Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunesPrime Video, or Vudu.


2. Leprechaun: Origins (2014) 0%

We can just imagine the pitch meeting: What if we rebooted this thing and took out the one thing that was legitimately awesome about it? Turns out WWE star Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postle is no Warwick Davis.

“Davis’s performance, his sense of theatricality, and his villainous make-up are deeply missed.” – Brian Orndorf, blu-ray.com

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunesPrime Video, or Vudu.


1. Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997) 14%

The greenest of the green, this movie just pips past the series reboot to take the title of Worst with an average critic rating of 1.5 out of 10. In space, no one wants to hear you go on about your f—ing pot of gold, apparently.

“The best movie about a leprechaun in space i have seen in years…” – Stefan Birgir Stefansson, sbs.is

Rent or buy on Fandango NowiTunesPrime Video, or Vudu.


Check out clips from all of the Leprechaun movies.

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