Daily Archives: January 6, 2021

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996)

*. By saying some nice things about Leprechaun 3 I hope I bought myself a bit of credit for being fair-minded. So believe me when I say that with this next entry in the Leprechaun series it’s obvious that they were totally out of ideas. The Leprechaun himself (a still game, if floundering, Warwick Davis) doesn’t even have any rhymes left. Instead he can only make lousy one-liners, like crushing one victim with a cargo container and saying “Smashing! Simply smashing!” or asking another who is hanging over a ledge “Do you like hanging around?” In short, he’s turned into a little green bore. His riff on Richard III is the only highlight, and it doesn’t reach very high.
*. Add to this a pastiche of clich├ęs and borrowings. There’s a ship full of space marines with oversize weapons. They (the marines) go by names like Sarge, Sticks, Lucky (the first to die), Mooch, and, of course, Kowalski. There are some nods to The Fly (the original and the Cronenberg version) that fall flat. The climax has the survivors running around the ship trying to get off before the autodestruct counts down to zero (a device that was already so old it creaked in Critters 4). Then the Leprechaun is destroyed (for now) by being blown out an airlock.
*. As with so many catastrophically bad movie this one tries to do too much. Yes, we’re lost in space. But all the sets look like the inside of your local paintball or laser-tag tent, and you can even see where the actors’ marks have been taped on the floor. They had a good idea at the end where the Leprechaun is supersized, but the effects are so poor it’s ruined.
*. It’s hard to overstate just how stupid all this is. And not in a good way. There’s a totally gratuitous, and appalling, scene where the character of the sexy princess flashes her boobs. But then I guess turnaround is fair play so the beefy hero has to take his body armour and his t-shirt off when he gets nicked in the shoulder. And then, just to finish things off, the heroine has her pants ripped off by the spider creature so she can play out the final scene in her underwear. Please. And of course they have matching wounds on their arms, which is where every hero gets wounded, don’t you know. But they ain’t got time to bleed.

*. None of it makes sense. Why are they still trying to save the princess after she’s just tried to kill them? Why is it so important that they get to the bridge to talk to the guy who’s trying to disable the autodestruct? Just so they can brainstorm together?
*. Woeful acting. A worthless script. The idea of launching horror franchises into space became a bit of a thing around this time, with Hellraiser: Bloodline sending Pinhead into space around the same time and Jason X going the same route a few years later (I think the aforementioned Critters 4 actually got this trend started, but can’t be sure). Apparently here the inspiration came from just wanting to do a spoof of Apollo 13. Because why not? Didn’t that seem like a movie ripe for this kind of treatment?
*. Sure you can find people out there who enjoy this one for being so bad it’s good. I sure didn’t. Even most of the leprechaun folklore has gone. This leprechaun doesn’t care about shoes, and even his gold is an afterthought. He also doesn’t have any weaknesses like iron, or a clover, or a medallion. Basically he’s invincible, and he knows it. And you know what that means. More movies!
*. Well, how could things get any worse?