Leapin’ Leprechauns! (1995)

Starring John Bluthal, Grant Cramer, Godfrey James, Tina Martin, James Ellis, Sylvester McCoy, Sharon Lee Jones, Gregory Smith, Erica Hess, Mihai Niculescu, Dorina Lazar, Ion Haiduc

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


The Moonbeam films share so many similarities that I am no longer surprised to see re-used elements; I actually look forward to them now. Leapin’ Leprechauns comes from the mold of Dragonworld, though it uses its building blocks uniquely to make for a much different film experience. Shot on the rolling green hills of Ireland Romania, Leapin’ Leprechauns introduces us to a world of wonder and fantasy, the people who believe in it, and a few who do not.

Michael Dennehy (John Bluthal) has lived peacefully on Fairy Hill his entire life, and now in his elderly years gives brief tours of the grounds to visitors on bus excursions. He lives in harmony with the living world around him, including the wee leprechauns and the fairy folk. One day, Michael comes upon a pair of surveyors examining the land, and much to his surprise they’re working under the orders of his son living in America, John Dennehy (Grant Cramer). John wants to turn the land into an amusement park called Ireland Land, so he invites Michael to see the grandkids in the US (getting him out of the way for the surveyors to survey in peace). It’s kind of an inverse of Dragonworld, where an American boy is orphaned and comes to live in Scotland with his grandfather. In the back story of Leapin’ Leprechauns, John must have moved to the US at a young age with his mother or something, because he has zero trace of an accent or respect for his Scottish heritage. This makes me wonder about the wild, roving days of Michael, but all of this is far outside of the confines of Leapin’ Leprechauns.

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Josh Kirby… Time Warrior: Chapter 5, Journey to the Magic Cavern (1996)

Starring Corbin Allred, Jennifer Burns, Derek Webster, Barrie Ingham, Matt Winston, Nick De Gruccio, Cindy Sorenson, Michael Hagiwara, Lomax Study, Mihai Niculescu

Directed by Ernest D. Farino

Expectations: Low. I kinda just want to be done with these, so anything more than absolute shit will be a win in my book.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Once again I find myself before my computer wondering just what I can write about a Josh Kirby film. I can say that at least this film is a definite improvement from the poor results of Part 3 and Part 4, but it’s still incredibly slow-paced and boring. That’s pretty much the Full Moon modus operandi though, stretching out every dialogue sequence and adding in about twice as many expository exchanges than there needs to be. Whatever, by this point in my trek through every one of the Empire International/Full Moon films I’m no longer surprised by this, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier to sit through.

So at the end of Part 4 (and replayed here for our “enjoyment”), Josh Kirby and his buddies mysteriously transport to an unknown location because one of them puts the Nullifier back together in the wrong order. This leads them to another piece of the Nullifier, but soon after they fall through a crevice in the Earth. Once they get up and dust themselves off, they see a bunch of human size mushrooms all around them and Asabeth, claiming these are delicacies on in her homeland, quickly bites off a piece of one and enjoys. These aren’t your average six-foot mushrooms though, they’re alive! And poisonous! So Asabeth is pretty much out of commission for the movie and our heroes must venture to into the lair of The Muncher with the help of the mushroom people in order to rescue Puffball, the mushroom with the spores which act as antidote for the poison. Get all that?

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Vampire Journals (1997)

Starring David Gunn, Jonathon Morris, Kirsten Cerre, Starr Andreeff, Ilinca Goia, Constantin Barbulescu, Mihai Dinvale, Dan Condurache, Mihai Niculescu, Petre Moraru, Rodica Lupu, Floriela Grappini, Diana Lupan

Directed by Ted Nicolaou

Expectations: High. The trailer sold me on this many months ago, but I wanted to get through Subspecies in order to see it in context.

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


After the rousing, impressive finale of Subspecies III, there aren’t too many ways to go with the series that would seem wholly plausible. So for the next entry in Full Moon’s premiere vampire series, writer/director Ted Nicolaou completely changed his focus, starting with a fresh batch of ancient vampires and the desirable innocents they pursue. This gothic group is only marginally connected to the Radu storyline (OK, besides one off-hand mention of Radu, it doesn’t seem to be connected at all), but the delicious backstory is enough here to satisfy fans of gothic cinema and Full Moon films alike.

Zachary is a rare beast, a vampire with a conscience. Drawn into the vampire’s world unwillingly and witness to the death of his love, Zachary vows to destroy the bloodline that created him. He arms himself with an enchanted sword and with a wonderful, bloody decapitation the movie begins. His main quest lies in Bucharest, where the devious Michael Bolton-esque vampire Ash stalks Sofia, a classical pianist. Zachary must remain vigilant and save the girl from his evil clutches!

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