FEARNET Movie Review: 'Red Clover'


Note: if you saw Leprechaun's Revenge on Syfy earlier this year then you've already seen Red Clover. It just has a new title and some decent gore tossed back in.

The Syfy Channel churns out so many low-budget movies that it's really easy to lose track of them all -- and it's particularly difficult to recall the titles of the ones that aren't 100% disposable junkpiles suitable only for late-night inebriated visitations. Budget is the key problem with most of the Syfy movie fare, but sometimes (no, frequently) a low budget is what inspires fun-loving filmmakers to get a little more creative. 
That's not to say that their recent release Red Clover (aka Leprechaun's Revenge, although it bears no relation to the "official" Leprechaun franchise) is any sort of minor masterpiece -- but, like early Syfy releases Scream of the Banshee, Zombie Apocalypse, High Plains Invaders, and Frankenfish, it finds a way to get a little wit, creativity, and creature carnage onto the screen, low budget be damned. 
One finds that approaching a cheap monster movie like Red Clover as if it's a single-issue pulp horror comic book usually helps. This one's about a beautiful girl who (very unwisely) plucks a red four-leaf clover from the ground, which (of course) awakens a leprechaun that looks more like Pumpkinhead than Warwick Davis. (Which is good, actually. Aside from Mr. Davis' wacky performances, the other Leprechaun flicks are pretty terrible.) 
For all of its obvious budgetary shortcomings, Red Clover does have some legitimate assets scattered amidst its familiar (and sometimes silly) premise. Aside from the actual horror bits, which you can discover for yourself, the film boasts some rather amusing performances from B-movie stalwart Billy Zane and the always lovable William Devane -- and the ladies fare even better. Courtney Halverson makes for a fine heroine, and not just because she's "Irish lass" lovely, and one Azure Parsons (as a loyal deputy) makes the most of her handful of scenes. She's really funny.
If you're in the mood for the type of Syfy Channel movie you "point and laugh" at, there are dozens that fit that bill quite well. But while Red Clover definitely feels like a "cheaply made rush job cable monster movie," those who watch a lot of this stuff will probably appreciate the tone, the pace, and the monster found here.