“What eats gold coins?” [Ooh, I think I know! – Eds]
Genre: Holiday Horrors
Release Date: 2012
Where I Watched: Vudu
Gist: Keening, Massachusetts hasn’t had a Saint Patrick’s Day festival in decades. Sixty, to be exact. Ever since a killer Leprechaun massacred the town…supposedly. But with this year’s fest and local gal Karen O’Hara accidentally unleashing some sort of Leprechaun creature in the woods? She’s got four days before things get redder than that clover she picked in the woods.
Talky talk: Also known as Leprechaun’s Revenge or St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun, because more titles, more better, right? Sure. Honestly though? With Billy Zane and William Devane as Karen’s dad and granddad respectively, Clover is better acted than a SyFy network film has any right to be.
Clover pitches out the tired “Lucky Charms” leprechaun, giving us an otherworldly Pan’s Labyrinth-esque creature that’s genuinely spooky. Things do kick off quickly – in less than 5 minutes we’ve got our leprechaun monster. And in less than 10 we’ve got our first kill. Not too shabby.
Yeah, there’s the usual bunch of people asking “who’s there” instead of running, dying quickly, and generally upping the body count, and some silly moments (a leprechaun can drive?) But Zane, Devane, and Courtney Halverson (as Karen) deliver well thought out performances that kept me engaged. Seriously; Devane looks like he’s having an absolute ball, and I love that for him. Zane brings his A-game, and c’mon Hollywood, give this man another shot at a big budget film, like a western or cop drama. He’s so much better than only being seen in low budget genre fare, no matter how much I love this particular genre.
Director Anthony C. Ferrante (director of THE Sharknado films, former Fangoria writer) does let a reference slip in, when Azure Parsons’ Officer Peterson discusses how she tried to warn folks about those pesky sharks… So that series is a whole shared universe now I guess. I’m not mad though. As with Sharknado, this film was made to hit cable, so the gore is there in bits and pieces. Most deathstrokes are cutaways to a wall, where blood is splashed with abandon, but a few quick kills near the climax get the red flowing. My only problem with this? Characters we’re presumably supposed to care about get offed so quickly it’s like they were just monster fodder.
Still, Clover isn’t a bad way to spend 90 minutes, especially if you go all out and grab yourself a green beer and whatever Irish nosh you fancy. Me? I went with air fryer sausage potatoes, because I’m incredibly lazy. Erin Go Braless, y’all!
Come for: A bit of St. Pat’s season fun.
Stay for: A killer performance from William Devane, and some excellent monster FX.