The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE (1997) **

Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) is chilling out in space trying to marry a hottie Princess (Rebekah Carlton) so he can get his hands on her father’s gold.  Then a bunch of Space Marines show up, rescue the Princess, and head back to her home world.  Leprechaun stows away on board their ship and the mischievous munchkin murders the Marines one by one as he tries to reunite with his bride-to-be.

 

Director Brian Trenchard-Smith has the dubious distinction of directing the best (Part 3) and the worst (this one) Leprechaun movies.  I’m not saying that In Space is terrible or anything, it’s just sorta so-so.  Let’s take a look at the Stupid to Cool Ratio.

 

Let’s start with the Stupid Stuff first.  This flick has some of the worst CGI effects known to man.  I know that this is a low budget, straight-to-video Leprechaun sequel we’re talking about, but model spaceships being held up by strings would’ve been preferable to the Nintendo 64 graphics that are passed off as “effects”. 

 

Then there’s the atrocious performance by Guy Siner as the evil Dr. Mittenhand.  This guy is done up to look like some reject from a Dr. Who episode and he overacts like a sumbitch (he speaks in a mock Dr. Strangelove accent).  Later in the film, Leprechaun mixes this bozo’s DNA with a spider and a scorpion and turns him into a lame monster that wouldn’t have cut the mustard for one of those Roger Corman Presents remakes.  The Mittenhand scenes are annoying and take up too much of the flick’s running time; time that would’ve better spent on Leprechaun killing people.

 

Speaking of which, Leprechaun’s kills are kind of weak in this one.  I think the sorriest death came when he flattened a scientist’s face like a pizza.  What’s most depressing is that when Leprechaun murders someone in Part 4, he doesn’t say a funny rhyme afterwards.  The only rhyme he gets is, “Death and destruction is my game, agony is my name!”  Talk about pathetic.  This is especially disappointing considering that his limericks we so superb in the last film.  He does sing “Danny Boy” at one point though.

 

And I think that’s essentially my biggest beef with the movie:  It just doesn’t feel like a Leprechaun movie.  Sure, the setting is novel, but it doesn’t really enhance the whole premise of the series; namely people looking for Leprechaun’s gold who make wishes that get turned against them.  Nobody makes a wish in this movie and his gold is mostly forgotten about until the movie is almost over.  It also doesn’t help when most of the flick consists of boring ass scenes of cut-rate Space Marines walking down hallways looking for Leprechaun. 

 

Much of Leprechaun 4:  In Space is too stupid for words but I did laugh occasionally (admittedly not nearly as much as any of the previous films).  Which leads us to the Good Stuff.  I think the best thing this flick has going for it is The Resurrection Scene.  Most horror sequels have a scene where the killer comes back to life and Leprechaun 4 has a doozy.  In the opening scene, the Marines blow Leprechaun up and one of the soldiers pisses on his dismembered body parts.  While peeing, some of the Leprechaun’s essence jumps back inside the Marine’s dick.  Later, when the soldier is making out with a chick, the Leprechaun comes bursting out of his cock.  While this scene is hilarious to be sure, I think it would’ve been better if the special effect was something a little more extravagant than just Leprechaun rising out of a pair of pants lying on the floor.

 

As you all should know, I’m a sucker for a good jumping-on-a-grenade scene and this movie certainly delivers.  The scene in question comes when Leprechaun jumps on a grenade to save the Princess.  Sure, it’s not on par with the similar scene in Child’s Play 3, but it’ll do in a pinch.  While we’re on the subject of the Leprechaun’s fiancée, I have to commend Carlton for the excellent scene where she gratuitously whips out her titties.  (“When a woman of royalty shows her breasts, it means a death sentence!”)

 

Then there’s the ending.  Leprechaun gets hit with a laser beam and grows to enormous size and chases the soldiers around the cargo bay.  It’s pretty funny.  Then the heroes blast the giant Leprechaun out of the hatch and into space.  Since this movie has already ripped-off of Aliens so much by that point, I’m sure James Cameron didn’t mind them stealing the ending either.

 

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the scene in which Leprechaun kills a guy with a lightsaber.  (What, you expect Warwick Davis to go all the way to outer space and NOT make a Star Wars in-joke?)  As funny as this scene is, I wish it wasn’t so brief and the effects so shitty.

 

As you can see, the Stupid to Cool Ratio is about an even 50/50.  That’s far below the norm for the series.  While Leprechaun 4:  In Space certainly has it’s share of Stupid Stuff, I can’t bring myself to give it any less than Two Stars.

 

<Tomorrow’s Horror Franchise Movie:  Leprechaun in the Hood>

Tags: horror, l, leprechaun series, sci-fi, sequel
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