Awfully Good: Leprechaun 4: In Space
Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Stars: Warwick Davis, Miguel Nunez, Debbe Dunning
Is there a plot?
When space marines steal his alien princess, the Leprechaun… LOLWUT?
What's the damage?
LEPRECHAUN 4: IN SPACE knows exactly what it's doing. If you watched the first three movies in the series and thought, "Man, this would be so much better if it was a remake of ALIENS with Warwick Davis instead of a Xenomorph," you're about to cream your jeans.
That would be from the Bard's later play, "A Midsummer Night's Whatever."
If you're wondering how exactly a leprechaun ends up in space, I don't know and neither does this movie. (Like the FAST AND FURIOUS franchise, they're playing around with the chronology. I believe the correct order is LEPREHCAUN 5, 6, 3, 1, 2 and 4.) The film opens with the little Lep already stranded on a desolate planet, hitting on the hot daughter of some alien king in an attempt to gain his vast riches. All of a sudden they're attacked by some generic space marines and in order to save his royal cash cow, the Leprechaun throws himself on top of a grenade and is blown to corned beef hash. One of the soldiers, in a moment of great patriotism, unzips his pants and begins to liberally urinate on what's left of the Leprechaun's miniature corpse. Of course the creature's magical essence then visibly zaps itself up his pee stream and in to the poor man's privates. Once back on the ship, the marine is getting a congratulatory handy from Heidi from "Home Improvement" when the Leprechaun emerges victoriously and violently from his penis. The Lep tells them to use safe sex, does a John Wayne impression and runs off gleefully to torment the rest of the spacecraft.
That's the first 20 minutes. Yeah, this movie is that great.
Things were never the same between Heidi and Al Borland ever again.
The rest of LEPRECHAUN 4 really is like a discarded ALIEN movie, with the little Irish terror stalking and killing the crew one by one in gloriously gory ways. There are a few touches of brilliant weirdness, like the princess who flashes her breasts to people as a "kiss of death" or the lab tech who enjoys licking the feet and belly buttons of his unconscious patients. But nobody beats Dr. Mittenhand, the mad scientist who controls the ship. He's a weird, bald German guy who—with only a head, torso and one arm—is also part shoddily-built robot. His goal in the movie is to use the princess' extraterrestrial blood to regenerate his body, but due to a mix up at the hands of the spiteful Leprechaun, the already deformed man instead mixes with a tarantula and a scorpion to become a giant arachnid monster or… MittenSpider!
Forget Marc Webb. I want to see David Cronenberg's SPIDERMAN.
Warwick Davis (who's currently excellent on HBO's "Life's Too Short") brings the same wickedly fun performance to the Leprechaun as he does with every movie. This time around we get to see him use a tiny lightsaber, a laser gun and an enhancing ray to turn himself in to a giant. (His Leprechaun dong also grows in proportion, as he's careful to check.) Unfortunately missing is his usual rhyming dialogue. He still speaks in annoying puns and eloquently bad lines, just no couplets.
Charlie Brown in real life. DO NOT WANT.
The only two other faces you might recognize are JUWANNA MANN's Miguel Nunez and "Tool Time" model Debbe Dunning. Everyone else is thankless marines with names like Sticks, Books and Mooch, who spend an inordinate amount of time awkwardly dancing. (One of them, under a leprechaun spell, also cross-dresses and does show tunes.) And then there's our heroine, a hot girl whose clothes keep getting burned, shot or torn off until by the end she’s literally running around in her underwear.
Presenting the Space Adventures of Dr. Fabulous!
The other star of LEPRECHAUN 4 is the budget. It's perhaps the cheapest portrayal of space in any sci-fi movie ever. The planet set is clearly made of foam and greenscreen. The Marine leader's metal plate head is a laughable make up effect. And if you look closely, you can often see Dr. Mittenhead's missing arm tucked behind him. But nothing beats the finale, where the Leprechaun is sucked in to space and killed for the fourth or fifth time. When his body blows up, the filmmakers reuse an explosion from earlier in the movie. How can you tell? Because the scene takes place in outer space…and the explosion they cut to clearly happens indoors. You can even see the room in the corner of the screen! And then, like destiny, the Leprechaun's floating dismembered hand raises its middle finger to the audience and the movie ends.
Happy St. Patty's Day!
Three eye rolling lines and Heidi from "Home Improvement" talking about boners.
1) Some of the film's more perverted parts, including Boobs of Death, the Handjob of Doom and Pee Stream of Justice. (NSFW)
2) A sample of the great action scenes (Leprechaun wielding a lightsaber!) and perhaps the worst explosion ever made.
Heidi from "Home Improvement" only gets down to her bra, but the space princess thankfully gives up the goods. (That's a sentence I never thought I'd type.)
Play Along at Home!
Take a shot or drink every time:
- The Leprechaun kills someone
- The Leprechaun should be considered dead
- The Leprechaun wields a lightsaber, space laser or other futuristic weapon
- Someone messes up a line
- Someone acts racist
- The spaceship's computer sounds way too calm
Double shot if:
- White men can’t dance