Typically unlikeable youngsters take to the road and head out to Hicksville USA, in search of an abandoned mine looking for gold. Unfortunately, they encounter the vengeful spirit of a leprechaun...er...an 1850s prospector (a bearded Vernon Wells in flashback) who kills anyone who dares take his gold. Karen Black plays the local crazy old woman, John Phillip Law plays Sheriff Murphy (Law as a sheriff named Murphy? Get it?), and you’ll also spot Martin Kove (remember nasty karate instructor Kreese in “The Karate Kid”? He ain’t lookin’ so hot these days, but is still an underutilised talent), a seemingly sober Jeff Conaway (sorry, but if you’ve seen “Celebrity Rehab”, you’ll know how bad he can get, poor guy), and a positively ancient-looking Richard Lynch.
Aside from some guest roles and bit parts for B-grade performers (Exceptionally hammy Wells is the best thing in the film, next to an annoying but well-cast Black, whom I can’t stand, but who gets into the spirit of things), this John Carl Buechler horror pic is pretty dull, with obnoxious leads and bad acting from the no-namers. The film even tends to skimp on the gore, and especially the T&A (the only nudity comes from the sickly-looking ginger nut of the group).
The story is especially tired- a vengeful gold-protecting monster and an abandoned mine shaft...ZZZzzzz. Wake me up when they get to the part that doesn’t suck. Oh, wait, that never happens. Actually, I have to praise the terrific lighting and foggy night-time exteriors, they make the film look a lot less cheap than it is. At least until you look at the crappy makeup and awful FX, strange given Buechler’s background. There is one great bit, though, as Wells bites off his own finger, spits it out and curses the townsfolk.
A tired, clichéd horror pic with poor acting aside from a few of the bigger names in the cast, and not enough exploitation material to keep me awake.