Saint Patrick’s Day is upon us once again. For the religious and/or actually Irish, this is a time of year for you to solemnly reflect upon your heritage and the patron saint of Ireland. But for most of Americans, St Patty’s Day (often spelled “St. Paddy’s Day” by the illiterate) is a time to embrace the worst stereotypes of Irish culture, throw on some green socks, and dust off that old Dropkick Murphys album you can’t imagine listening to with a BAC lower than .13.
This could be a list of excellent Irish cinema like Hunger, The Crying Game, or The Quiet Man. It’s not. Rather, in the true spirit of St. Patty’s Day in America, this is a list of movies (in no particular order) that are tangentially related to Ireland, Catholicism, and copious amounts of semi-legal chemicals.
Beerfest is the 2006 comedy by the comedy group Broken Lizard. It is, in my probably controversial opinion, their best film as a whole. While Super Troopers has a lot of great individually funny and quotable bits, Beerfest is their strongest movie as a whole. Seriously… unless you’ve seen Super Troopers lately there’s a good chance you don’t remember the plot of that movie beyond “highway cops vs state cops… maybe?” And you almost certainly don’t remember the third act.
Beerfest, on the other hand, is a steady build toward a final goal that never lets up. And it makes for way better drinking games on St Patty’s Day. If you come away from Beerfest not wanting to play Das Boot, you and I live on different planets. Or maybe you’re just not a drinker, in which case, Hi! I’m sorry this entry is very disappointing for you. I promise the rest of the article is less ethanol-based. The only disappointing part of Beerfest is the teased marijuana-based sequel that never happened.
Kevin Heffernan nonchalantly showing up as the straight-laced twin brother of dead character Landfill.
Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood
I’m choosing the sixth installment of the Leprechaun series (featuring Warwick Davis) because it manages to be the most absurd movie in a series about a killer leprechaun. A series that, at one point, goes to space. Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood is a super entertaining mashup of blacksploitation and shock horror that has to be seen to be believed. This is a perfect movie to throw on in the background of your St Patty’s Day get-together.
Two words: Bong stabbing.
Dogma is Kevin Smith’s 1999 masterpiece. Again, I will argue that this selection is this filmmaker’s best movie. Earlier Kevin Smith movies are great, but they lack the polish, budget, and on-screen talent of Dogma. Later Kevin Smith movies are far less accessible and often downright off-putting (though I will still fight battles for Red State). If you have a small group of movie/comedy lovers who want to hear some great jokes on St Patty’s Day, this is the one for you.
Dogma is both a scathing indictment of the Catholic Church (and organized religion as a whole) and a laugh-out-loud hilarious comedy featuring Chris Rock at the peak of his film career. This is when Chris Rock was still fighting hard to climb to the top rather than just taking paid vacations with Adam Sandler. It features the late Alan Rickman as the voice of God. It also has post-Good Will Hunting but still pre-overexposed Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
As an added bonus, as of this writing, this movie is available in full on YouTube. Which I don’t feel bad about directing you toward because the DVD is currently out of print.
So, so many. But let’s just go ahead and narrow it down to any time Alan Rickman is on screen.
Goldeneye/Die Another Day
At first glance, this movie may be confusing as a pick for St Patty’s Day. That is, until you remember that Pierce Brosnan is our only Irish James Bond. This is a fact that’s especially easy to remember if you’re watching Die Another Day, as Brosnan makes little effort to mask his Irish accent in his final outing as Bond.
I picked these two movies together because I subscribe to the James Bonding ethos of Bond films; they should either be really great or spectacularly awful.
Goldeneye is an obvious choice. Brosnan comes out strong in his long-awaited role. Sean Bean is a perfect villain (spoilers for a 24-year-old-movie, I guess). Robbie Coltrane is great comic relief. And Dame Judi Dench is so good as M she literally transcends the mostly mediocre Brosnan era.
Die Another Day is everything that could go wrong in a Bond film. The camp of the movie is wildly out of tune with Brosnan’s earnestness. Halle Berry’s Jinx has zero chemistry with Bond. The speed ramping slow motion was already outdated in 2002. And the heavy henchman has diamonds in his face for no discernible reason. Honestly, Die Another Day is what would happen if you gave 12-year-old me 100 million dollars to make a Bond film.
Two words: Bond O-face.
That Leprechaun Party Video
One fine evening in Mobile, AL a group of people spotted a leprechaun in the trees. A block party formed, it got picked up by the local news, and YouTube gold was made.
Everything about this video is perfect. From the enthusiastic crowd to the completely earnest reporters to the man hawking his ancient family leprechaun flutes. Despite not being a feature film, this video rounds out my list because it deserves to be in the discussion of the greatest anything of all time from now until the death of the universe.
Have fun this weekend everyone. Please be safe. What are some of your favorite weird St Patty’s Day traditions? What are your favorite St. Patrick’s Day movies? Let us know in the comments below!