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Here at Four Horsemen Films, we're dedicated to some of the very best and worst cinematic masterpieces you know, love, and despise. Think of us as Bad Movies for Bad People, or as a liaison to the inner sanctum of cinema. Or, just think of us as quick and entertaining reads. That's what Four Horsemen Films is all about.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)

Written By: Dennis Pratt

Directed By: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Starring: Brent Jasmer, Debbe Dunning, Wawrick Davis

Country of Origin: United States of America

The Idea:
Don’t even think twice about how this makes it into sequel month. I know you might be saying: “Well I never saw the first three Leprechaun films, so how will I know what’s going on?” Allow me to give you a little bit of advice: I DID see the first three Leprechaun movies, and I STILL don’t know what the fuck to make of Leprechaun 4: In Space, a movie so awful that it defies necessity for the first three films in this lackluster series about an evil little golden fiend.

Rather than waste your time (and mine, frankly) on explaining the legacy of the Leprechaun, I’m just going to get right down to it. The movie starts with (as John LaBarbera dubbed them) Space Marines on a search and destroy mission for the evil Leprechaun who has captured an alien princess while in search of his gold. The Space Marines are led Major Metal Head Hooker, whose sole purpose in this film, other than to have a metal plate where his brain should be, is to perform the most unintentional comic relief in any movie in this series. All these folks are trying to rescue the Princess Zarina, who is considering a marriage proposal from the Leprechaun given that he has money, and, as best we can tell, a steady job (killing and rhyming counts, right?). But, if I forgot to mention it, the Space Marines are also working for a lab scientist known as Dr. Mittenhand, whose first appearance in the film is as a disembodied head. He’s actually part robot as well (why is the future always about fucking robots) and he later turns into a giant spider. Any questions thus far? I didn’t think so.

Once the first of what is many showdowns occurs, the Marines score a victory and blow Leprechaun to bits. They take an indisposed Princess Zarina onboard their spacecraft for “further examination,” but not before one of the lunk-heads begins to urinate on Leprechaun’s body. Taking revenge (sort of), Leprechaun beams his life force into the Marine’s dick and doesn’t reappear until that Marine is going to get down and dirty, and he suffers death from, well, a Leprechaun emerging from his schlong. Now that has to be one of the worst ways to go: your penis sprouts a little man determined to kill you AND steal your wallet. Interesting role reversal considering most things that shoot out of cocks give life, not take it away.

It doesn’t take long for us to understand that the only compotent soldiers on this vessel are Sticks (Miguel A. Nunez, Jr. from The Return of the Living Dead), Staff Sergeant Brooks Malloy and his love interest, Dr. Tina Reeves. Luckily, love, among other things, are not allowed to blossom so freely as complete and utter mayhem ensue. Zarina is awaking from her slumber to find an equally seedy character at her side, as it appears that Dr. Mittenhand wants to use her scar tissue for its incredibly fast regenerating power. Did I not mention that before? That’s because it’s the first time it was mentioned in the film. You know, you’ve got 90 minutes, you could take time to explain things if you really wanted to.

Our cast spends most of the remainder of this movie finding new and interesting ways to get killed. One crew member has his radioactive suit slashed open in a radioactive waste area, leading to the world’s scariest flesh-eating bacteria killing you in less than 15 seconds. Another crew member attempts to negotiate with Leprechaun while he sings “Danny Boy.” His fate is underneath a giant Lego piece. Even the females are shown no mercy, as one is plunged to a death scene that would make Boris Karloff in The Ape (1940) blush. Life can’t get much worse for the majority of the characters in this movie, considering that they’re all bound to die in an often gruesome and comical fashion.

However, there are some characters in this movie that find themselves in a fate worse than death before, well, impending doom. I’ve already told you about Mittenhand’s astoundingly pointless transformation into Mittenspider, but I may not have told you about Metal Head’s reincarnation. When Zarina reunites with the Leprechaun as a deadly duo, she promises them a death sentence, which, on her home planet, is indicative of a showing of her fun bags. Soon after, Metal Head is reprogrammed to work for the despicable duo as a cross-dressing, nunchuck-wielding maniac with a penchant for disco dancing. Sometimes, I wish I could be this creative. I mean really, did someone throw darts at a board of concepts and determine to write it into the script.

Eventually (and I do mean very, very eventually), the three aforementioned characters and even Zarina unite against Leprechaun in an effort to stop the blasphemy and madness (and SPARTA) that he spreads. Their plan was to blow him up, but it backfires from the start as he becomes a huge, barely mobile menace. Luckily for them, he’s also comfortably near a blast hatch that sends him exploding into space. The final sequence of the movie shows a giant middle finger (pre-Mooninites) disrespecting the surviving Space Marines. Charming, really.

Member of the crew who should’ve been fired:
Guy Siner, the incredibly disturbing mind behind the character Dr. Mittenhand (Mittenspider as well) has got to be performing for less dollars than he has hair on his head (read: he’s bald). Siner drifts from creepy to comical with an electrical range of 1.21 giga watts, and not once do we even care about his fate. In fact, I’d like nothing more than to sock him in his melon fucking head for being such a total and complete waste of reels.

Best Name in the Cast:
Like with all Leprechaun films, Warwick Davis might be the only reason we watch these steaming piles of manure. His soliloquies, rhyming, and general glee for playing such a bizarre, tiny little character with big aspirations would make any “little man” story seem like a giant undertaking. That, and he was an Ewok. Don’t fuck with the Ewoks.

Quote of the Film:
“And what part of her anatomy is she gonna kill me with?” -Sticks, in response to being handed an alien death sentence that involved the showing of breasts.

Final Thoughts:
Ridiculous. It’s the one word I’ve avoided using for this entire review, but that is exactly what this flick is. It is without a doubt one of the, if not the most ridiculous films in the history of cinema and may well be a collector’s item in any movie enthusiast’s collection. If you don’t believe me, let’s just review: we’ve got a leprechaun, space marines, a giant robotic scientist who morphs into a giant cyborg-spider, exploding dicks, a leprechaun-based safety video, flesh-eating bacteria so powerful that it reduces you to a bag of bones in less than 15 seconds, every sound effect from the Doom video game series, alien boobs, a cross-dressing metal-plated marine, and more jokes about dicks than the average dick joke loving human being can withstand. Even the name of the film, Leprechaun 4: In Space, makes me throw up my hands and say “What the fuck?” Was the colon necessary? Would anyone have thought the less of this movie if the “In Space” part was left out? Who will think of the children? Won’t somebody please think of the children!

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