Spellbreaker: Secret of the Leprechauns (1996)

AKA Leapin’ Leprechauns! 2

Starring Gregory Smith, Madeleine Potter, Godfrey James, John Bluthal, Tina Martin, James Ellis, Sylvester McCoy, Ion Haiduc, Mike Higgins

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate. I liked the first one.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Spellbreaker: Secret of the Leprechauns is a great, intriguing title, but to be honest it’s not the most fitting one for the film that bears it. There is some spell breaking to be had, but I can’t remember any great secret of the leprechauns that comes to light. Anyway, this shouldn’t get in the way of the fun, and who knows, maybe in the course of writing this review, I’ll somehow unlock the film and discover the secret of the leprechauns. 🙂

This film picks up a short time after the original. Michael Dennehy (John Bluthal) has returned to his home on Fairy Hill, where he lives in harmony with the leprechauns and the fairy folk. His grandson, Mikey Dennehy (Gregory Smith), is staying with Gramps (no sign of the other family members) and enjoying his time there. One day while fishing, a woman rides up on a horse and sparks a conversation. She introduces herself as Morgan (Madeleine Potter), explaining that she’s staying at a nearby castle. Michael thought the place was uninhabitable and haunted, but apparently it’s been recently cleaned up! Morgan does need a spot of help, though, so Michael volunteers Mikey to help the nice woman.

If everything was as it appears, we would not have much of an interesting movie. Mikey would help with whatever Morgan needed help with, return home, eat some dinner and go off to bed to dream of shamrock lollipops and licorice shillelaghs. Instead, Spellbreaker: Secret of the Leprechauns explores a piece of mythology only hinted at in the first film: Finvara, Lord of the Dead and his hellish underworld! I enjoy this kind of dark fairy tale, and while Spellbreaker doesn’t have the budget to fully develop its world, they do a great job given the resources they had. They even venture into the underworld itself, making for a fantastic third act that makes up for the meandering that the film does sometimes in the first two-thirds.

But to be honest, my relative disinterest in parts of the first two-thirds could be because I watched Spellbreaker fairly close to the original. They both hit a lot of similar beats with the leprechauns and the fairies, on top of the rather obvious plot that holds the film together. It’s still a charming jaunt around Fairy Hill, I just would’ve enjoyed more character and originality. I’m sure the film’s target audience of kids will have no issues if they liked the first one, though. I can usually shut my brain off to watch these Moonbeam films, but sometimes they get the best of me and my adult brain just won’t accept the contents.

Spellbreaker: Secret of the Leprechauns is a nice sequel to Leapin’ Leprechauns! that brings together most of the original cast for another adventure. This time the film stays in Ireland, so we do see more of the fairy folks dwellings and the like. It’s another film that’s currently lost in VHS oblivion, so if you’re interested prepare to hunt for it in thrift stores (or eBay if you’re more the Internet shopper type).

Next time I get around to a Full Moon movie I’ll be checking out the tangentially related to Full Moon film, The Brotherhood IV: The Complex! Let’s hope it’s more like the first two than the last one! See ya then!

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