by: Dr. Boogie
Starting off in California and slowly working its way into Las Vegas, it seems only natural that the Leprechaun series eventually wind up in space. You would imagine it takes some time in the distant future as well, but no one really clarifies this point because frankly, who gives a shit? Instead of giving any sort of explanation of how the terrestrial Leprechaun found his way into the wider universe, we start in media res as he is being pursued by a team of unlikable meatbags.
I love the Leprechaun movies, but even among that series, "Leprechaun 4: In Space" is dire:
The movie was made four years after the original, yet it manages to look like it was made 10 years earlier. Setting the events in a sci-fi backdrop makes the cheap effects look all the worse. The non-Leprechauns are given as much personality as the paper the script was printed on, and yet the movie insists on putting them in scenes without the Leprechaun. And there's even some 90's era CGI to really drive home the notion that you're watching some direct-to-video crap.
But the Leprechaun still delivers.
Rather than subject you to all the mindless interstitial padding that separates the Leprechaun scenes, I want to distill this movie down to its most essential element: Warwick Davis Leprechaun'ing it up. That's
The Leprechaun cuts down his first victim, a soldier ironically named "Lucky", with a lightsaber he produces from his cane. Pretty hi-tech, given that most of his kills involve magic and rhyming. From this point on, however, whenever he wants to cut something, he uses a little blade that pops out of the cane instead. At least he tried something new?
Not wanting his new bride, a kidnapped (but decidedly evil) princess to be blown to bits, the Leprechaun bravely dives onto a grenade, and is himself blown to bits. And so, the film ends after only 15 minutes...
One of the soldiers decides to pee on the Leprechaun's shredded remains, and wouldn't you know it: the Leprechaun swims right up his urethra like an Irish Candiru. One thing this movie likes to do is set you up for big payoffs. When you see a Leprechaun teleport into some guy's dick, you can rest assured the movie will deliver:
Not since the original Alien has there been a scene of a monster emerging that was this powerful. No ragged junks of dong meat, either. Just a perfectly dapper Leprechaun emerging from the battered remains of what was once this man's penis. Breathtaking.
Later, the Leprechaun gets his third and fourth kills when he manages to lure two hapless marines into a filthy tunnel. And by that, of course, I mean a waste storage area swarming with flesh-eating bacteria. Now, you could poke holes in the idea of a closed system like a spaceship having an entire area filled with flesh-eating bacteria all day, but the long and short of it is the Leprechaun slashes a hole in the suit of the non-protagonist soldier, causing him to quickly devoured by the bacteria. The surviving soldier shoots at him, but he shoots like a stormtrooper with glaucoma.
"As Shakespeare said, 'shit happens!'"
Prior to murdering his next victim, the Leprechaun treats him to a video about workplace safety. I wish I could tell you more, but at this point in the movie, the brown-haired white guys have really started to blend together. Even the Leprechaun has gotten bored with them, so he just drops a crate on this latest guy.
Here's how confident the Leprechaun is: he stands perfectly still and lets the female soldier spray him with bullets, which causes him to explode for the SECOND time! Then, with an even shorter refractory period than the first, he regenerates and tosses her over a railing. The fucking T-1000 couldn't pull itself back together as fast as the Leprechaun! How are the soldiers supposed to compete against that?
I'm kidding, of course. Nobody cares about those jagoffs.
The first sign that things were going off the rails was when the Leprechaun killed off the evil scientist's lackey by smacking him in the face with a platter, only to have him emerge with his entire head flattened. Certainly, the Leprechaun engages in cartoonish antics most of the time he's on the screen, but it's never quite gotten to the level of some Tom and Jerry BS like this.
Still, good work on the smashed head makeup. The best part of all this is knowing that the actor probably had to sit through hours of makeup just to have the camera pointed at him for a few seconds while he slurs out a line and falls over. If this much attention to detail had gone into the rest of the movie, I wouldn't have wanted to fast-forward through the first 20 minutes.
There's subplot involving the evil scientists trying to fix his crippled body using blood from the alien princess the Leprechaun is trying to marry. Instead, the Leprechaun mixes it with a spider and a scorpion in a blender (three items you'll always find in laboratory aboard a spaceship) and jams it in the doctor's head. Again, more payoff on this later, but for now the Leprechaun is content to mock the doctor's death throes with his bride-to-be.
Incidentally, said alien princess, apropos of nothing, takes her top off and shakes her chest at the remaining soldiers. Now, before you go off and say that something like that is pure exploitation, you should now that showing off her cans is actually a death sentence on her planet, according to some guy I'll call First Sergeant Flims E. Rationale.
Yep, Leprechaun 4 all right...
When you see stuff like this, you get the impression that they were making some other B-grade sci-fi movie when the budget ran out, or the lead actor quit, or something like that, and they just folded it into a Leprechaun movie. How else can you explain all the detail that went into creating the man/spider/scorpion hybrid in the final half of the movie when the first half sees the actors walking around an alien planet that appears to be made up of stacked chairs with a tarp thrown over them?
In the middle of one of the many shoot-outs (yes, shoot-outs), the Leprechaun gets hit with a ray that makes him huge. This works against him because he can't seem to use any of the magic tricks he uses to kill most of the cast up until this point. Thankfully, this also means he can't use the gun he had been holding onto, so no more decidedly un-Leprechaun-y shoot-outs. Just him uselessly swiping at the hero for the rest of the movie.
After a brief battle with the heroine (and after yanking her pants off. Not exploitative), the arachnid / Dr. Strangelove hybrid is frozen by a tank of liquid nitrogen that was sitting in the cockpit. Look, I don't know why you people have to keep insisting that this movie doesn't make any sense.
Anyway, it's been almost five minutes since something blew up, so away he goes.
Eventually, the hero gets tired of playing cat and mouse with the Leprechaun, so he flushes him out the airlock. Once again, a few minutes had gone by during which nothing exploded, so naturally he goes up as though his lucky charms were C4 and nitroglycerin. The remaining characters celebrate, even though he has blown up many times in the past. I guess being slightly outside of the ship means he won't be coming back?
Also, he's still gigantic, so that might come back to bite them in the ass.
The epilogue is that eventually, the Leprechaun's remains were sucked into a wormhole and spat out in present-day earth. Also, his gold was retrieved from the ship when he... ah, fuck it. Each Leprechaun movie is basically its own thing. Even the last two that both took place in the 'hood. If they weren't, we would have surely seen some descendant of Jennifer Aniston duking it out with the Leprechaun on whatever bullshit planet they stopped on in this movie. Think about that: Jennifer Aniston could have been the Nancy to the Leprechaun's Freddy Kruger. Ooh! Freddy vs. Leprechaun! And none of that pedo-Freddy nonsense either. Just Robert Englund and Warwick Davis mugging for 90 minutes while a bunch of 30-year-old teenagers get killed.
Get on it Hollywood!
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