Leprechaun 4: In Space

03/25/2022 05:42

Film: Leprechaun 4: In Space

Year: 1996

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Writer: Dennis A. Pratt

Starring: Warwick Davis, Brent Jasmer and Jessica Collins



This is a movie that I remember when it came out. My sister and I liked the one previous, which we bought on VHS. When this one hit the movie channels, we begged to rent it and I recorded it on a tape as a bootleg. What is interesting is that I don’t think we watched it more than a couple times to be honest. Part of me had fun with it, but even then, I knew it wasn’t good. It has been since then that I’ve seen this one. The synopsis is our deadly Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) is in space to woo a beautiful princess who is impressed with his gold and desires to separate him from it.

Our synopsis is leaving a bit out, but it is what it is. I’ll start with what it is giving us. This is a once again a new Leprechaun. What is interesting here is that our director did both the previous movie and this one. There is no carry over here though. Our villain is tired of the galaxy laughing at him so he’s kidnaped Princess Zarina (Rebecca Carlton). His plan is to marry and then kill her as well as her father to be king. She is enticed by his gold. She agrees, but she has dark plans for her new husband.

In a spaceship heading for this planet is a team of marines. They seem to be mercenaries as they have a contract with Dr. Mittenhand (Guy Siner). The marines themselves are led by Metal Head (Tim Colceri). His team consists of Books (Brent Jasmer), Sticks (Miguel A. Núñez Jr.), Delores (Debbe Dunning), Danny (Mike Cannizzo), Mooch (Rick Peters), Kowalski (Geoff Meed) and Lucky (Ladd York). Dr. Mittenhand has Tina (Jessica Collins) who is part of his team go with them. Metal Head disagrees but forced to have her join. Books is assigned to watch over her.

There is a clash on the planet that leaves Lucky dead, Princess Zarina unconscious and our marines thinking the Leprechaun destroyed. His gold is taken aboard along with the princess. Tina realizes she is a member of a royal family, so it is decided they will take her home to gain favor. The problem though is that Leprechaun has hitched a ride with Danny after he urinated on the monster’s leg. They’re now trapped on board this spaceship with our creature and it is a fight for survival.

That should be enough for fleshing out the synopsis. Where I want to start is that this story is a mess. I’ve already brought up about how Brian Trenchard-Smith went from doing the best in the series that I’ve seen, to doing the worst that I’ve seen to date. This isn’t something I said first, but I agree with it. What my problem here is that we have some interesting elements, but they didn’t do well enough to connect them and they also went away from doing things that make this series fun.

There aren’t going to be a lot of positives here. I should preface with that. I will give credit here to JP Shot from the 22 Shots of Moodz and Horror as he was the one that introduced the concept that each of these movies is a stand alone with no continuity. Up until this point, it is an anthology almost with a different leprechaun each time with a different way to stop it. Now since a leprechaun is a mythical creature, I don’t hate that here we are combining science fiction elements with fantasy. We have a planet with a king as well as a princess. Tina even introduces us to some lore when Princess Zarina flashes them. I like that this is considered a curse and a death sentence. It is mostly a cheap way to show breasts, but I’ll take as she is attractive.

Going along with the fantasy elements, what makes this series fun is the Leprechaun using magic. We get little of that. There is a moment where he uses it on Princess Zarina and a bit earlier in the movie with Delores, but for the most part he is walking around shooting a gun. The bit he does with Delores is funny. It just doesn’t make sense though. I think this movie needed to lean more into the science fiction for the gags. It also needed to have the Leprechaun using more magic like we did previously. It feels like money went toward certain things that aren’t as interesting.

Before moving away from this, I had one last thing to share here. There is a plot hole that puts these marines on this planet. Princess Zarina has been kidnapped. They shouldn’t know she is there. She seems to be what they’re after. I think they needed to have the king telling them to rescue her or they needed to lean more into knowing this planet has a lot of gold. The story is so underdeveloped that they just filmed things and hope the audience doesn’t think too much about it. This bothered me. What I mean is that there is also a great creature that is used though with Dr. Mittenhand and combining DNA with a spider and a scorpion. It is better than a lot of what we get here. This only makes sense with a reveal for him in the movie, but in the grand scheme it felt like someone came up with the idea and it is was used.

That should be enough for the story or my issues with the lack thereof, so I’ll go to the acting. The best part is Davis. He feels like he’s giving it all here and I’ll always give him credit for this role. Jasmer and Collins are fine. They bicker a lot, but I don’t feel the chemistry. Siner is creepy. His character is annoying though and quite generic. That’s what I’ll say about most here. Núñez was fine. Carlton does embody this entitled princess. Other than that, it was funny to see Dunning here, who I know from the television show Home Improvement. The cast don’t have a lot to work with, but they’re also quite flat.

This will take me then to the effects, cinematography and soundtrack. For the former, I’ll give credit to the practical effects. I think the look of the Leprechaun was good. The look of the monster that is created from Dr. Mittenhand was as well. If we could had more practical effects, I think would be better. The CGI in this was bad. I come to expect this from the era and it took me out of the movie. The cinematography was fine. It didn’t stand out to me to be honest. The sets feel just like that, so it doesn’t help. The soundtrack also didn’t stand out to me either. It didn’t take me out of the movie, so I’ll give credit there.

With that said, this is a bad movie. It is a shame with the one previous being the best. I understand we’re working with a limited budget, but I think there are things that could have been done that weren’t. The story is lacking elements. The acting is flat. The practical effects are good while the CGI was bad. The soundtrack doesn’t help or hurt the movie either. This falls well below average for me. There was potential here, but the direction they went ignored that for me.


My Rating: 3 out of 10