So we’ve re-posted the first three Leprechaun movie reviews, and now I sit here prepared to do battle with Leprechaun 4—the movie that broke me. Like I explained before, after attempting to review Leprechaun 1-5 in a 3 day period, I started watching Leprechaun 4 late on a Saturday night for the purposes of reviewing it. I made it about 15 minutes in, and I just got filled with rage. I can’t explain it still, but I remember the feeling of pure, unfiltered anger. I just wanted to break everything around me. I ended up turning off everything in my house and sitting in the dark, rocking back and forth and yelling profanities until I passed out. I didn’t bother picking it up the next day, just cleaned up the first 3 reviews and posted them, and then didn’t review a movie for a few weeks. I swore revenge on Leprechaun 4 since that day.
Today I strike back.
To put it bluntly, Leprechaun 4 is the worst piece of shit movie I’ve ever seen. This is true even after 8 more years of watching some of the worst movies ever – including Die You Zombie Bastards, which was recommended to me by someone via OMGJ and is pretty fucking terrible, but also hilarious. Unlike DYZB, I didn’t laugh once during Leprechaun 4. I didn’t do anything but glare at the screen, frown, glance at the clock, and at one point I’m pretty sure I was crying. Leprechaun is arguably a “good” campy horror movie. Leprechaun 2 and 3 are mindless sequels, but I still can’t say I really hated them. I hate Leprechaun 4, and I hate myself for making myself sit through this again after all these years.
Much like the title would imply, this whole movie takes place in outer space. At no point in any of the Leprechaun movies do they really explain how the Leprechaun travels from the end of the previous movie into the beginning of the next, but in the previous sequels I didn’t really mind. It’s not a big leap of faith to accept that the Leprechaun has mystically teleported from North Dakota to Los Angeles, and then it’s only 5 hour drive to Las Vegas, so I can totally buy this. But how did he get from Vegas to some uncharted planet ? And then there’s obviously the change in time of a few thousand years. Maybe since the Leprechaun appears to be destroyed or trapped in every film, maybe it’s a different Leprechaun each time. Or maybe it’s that the Leprechaun is an undying being that can lose its physical form and exists in the astral plane and… ok, I’m thinking way too much about this. It’s more likely that whoever wrote this really didn’t put any thought into the technical details of putting a Leprechaun into space, because they probably have better hobbies than I do.
Since this movie doesn’t start with a “how the Leprechaun came to space” section, what does it start with? Why, a shitty looking computer generated asteroid followed by an even shittier looking computer generated spaceship that is even worse looking than any effects in your average “Made for Sci-Fi Channel” film. This spaceship is so bad looking, it would make the Gunstar from The Last Starfighter point and laugh. It’s already a bad start to a movie when a local Star Trek fan film has better graphics than you could muster. The passengers on this ship are some sort of Space Marines—wait a second… is this some poorly thought out combination of Leprechaun and Alien?! You bet your ass it is.
The Space Marines in question are every bit the awful stereotype, not that you’d expect any less from the fine Leprechaun franchise. Their leader is Sgt. Hooker, a tough as nails Marine with possibly the worst looking metal plate in the history of cinema- you can literally see adhesive putty around the shiny metal plate in his head. His unit includes a collection of high-fiving galactic meatheads with clever nicknames like “Mooch” and “Lucky,” along with the prerequisite token female and token black marine. This ship appears to also be some sort of research vessel, and the attached crewmembers include the unfortunately-named Dr. Mittenhand and his assistants, Harold and Tina. They’ve been sent on this expedition to travel to the planetoid of Ithacon to destroy an alien threat that has been disrupting the mining operation there. Gee, what could that alien be? Hmm… what’s the title of this movie again?
So what is a Leprechaun doing on Ithacon? He’s there because he has kidnapped Princess Zarina so that she will marry him and make him King Leprechaun so he will finally get the respect that he deserves. As he and the princess are having a nice candlelight dinner so he can woo her (I am not kidding), the Marines arrive on the planet (along with Dr. Tina, who was brought along just in case any alien life is found so she can bring it back for study, or some other incredibly unsafe idea) and begin wandering through the tunnels searching for their alien threat. The aptly named “Lucky” happens upon the Leprechauns hoard of gold, which is conveniently sitting on a table, and begins grabbing things and stuffing them in his pocket. As the previous three movies have taught us, this is a horrible idea. The Leprechaun shows up, and cuts him in half with a green lightsaber.
Lucky’s screams begin a full-scale battle with the Marines against the Leprechaun, who has stolen Lucky’s blaster and is running through the mines shooting at people. The Leprechaun is only stopped because one of the marines throw a grenade near Princess Zarina, and the Leprechaun pushes her out of the way and lays on the grenade to protect her and his chances of becoming space king. It explodes (as grenades are wont to do) and blows the Leprechaun into pieces, and knocks Princess Zarina unconscious. The Marines put all of the Leprechaun’s gold into a few crates, take Princess Zarina back to the lab to study, and leave the mines to head back up to the ship. Before the leave the mines however, one of the marines (Kowalski) takes a celebratory piss on the Leprechaun’s corpse, which results in a green energy flying up his urine stream and entering Kowalski through his penis. Yeah, this movie just keeps getting dumber. Since their mission is complete– it’s time to party!
And what a sad party it is. We’re talking about 4 guys sitting around a table drinking out of plastic colored cups and Kowalski and Costello (the female marine) badly groping each other and “dancing” off to the side while terrible techno plays. This is worse than the time my brother had invited everyone to my house for a party in high school and I didn’t go buy them liquor because I was being a dick, so they all sat around in the living room awkwardly sharing one can of beer and apologizing to their dates. In the middle of what I have deemed “Lamefest 2099,” Kowalski and Costello run off to have sex in what appears to be a large metal shed. Really the inside of the whole ship looks like a series of metal storage bins with random crap glued to the walls, so I’m sure the room they ran to is the showers or a bedroom or something. However, before they even get started (i.e. – no boob shots) Kowalski doubles over in pain, and the Leprechaun makes his entrance on the ship by bursting out of Kowalski’s dick.
Yeah, apparently when Kowalski pissed on the Leprechaun earlier, the Leprechaun’s essence flew into his wang and hid there to sneak aboard the ship. It’s sad that a movie exists where a midget bursts out of a man’s penis and it is not interesting. Somehow, and this is mainly due to budget issues I’m sure (it’s definitely not a decency issue), this scene isn’t even close to awesome. You see the midgets hand come out of his zipper, and then he more or less pops out from a black sheet while Kowalski moans in the background next to the sheet. I’m almost impressed that a Leprechaun penile-delivery can even be this uninteresting. Even more impressive is that the movie only gets worse from here. Costello obviously is freaked out by this, as I admittedly might be slightly put off by pretty much anything coming at me from a guy’s dick, so she runs back to the rest of the Marines, who are still having the world’s worst party.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tina and what I assume is the hero Marine, Brooks Malloy, head back to the lab with the injured and unconscious body of Princess Zarina. Dr. Tina realizes quickly that this is a Dominian princess, and that her rescue will help human-dominian relations. This is the only thing in this movie that even remotely makes sense, so I congratulate you, Dr. Tina. It is here we get to see the first of many awkward conversations between Tina and Brooks where we know they’re going to end up together, but we must first listen to contrived pieces of dialogue like “just because I have this uniform doesn’t mean I removed my brain” and “so… you’re a doctor, right?” I suppose I am focusing too much on realistic conversations since we just witnessed a Leprechaun shoot out of a guy’s dong, so let’s just leave Zarina in the lab while Tina and Brooks also head off to Lamefest 2099.
After even more unimpressive courting at the party between Brooks and Tina, Costello runs in and lets the crew know that the alien is on board and that he just killed Kowalski, so the Marines gear up and head out to scour the ship for the Leprechaun to finish him off. The first place they go look for him is in fact NOT where Costello just ran from him, but instead is the Airlock / Decontamination area. While Dr. Tina waits at the door to control the airlock, Mooch and Costello get ready to enter the contaminated area by putting on what are supposed to be hazmat suits, but instead look like oversized looking raincoats with plastic screens put in them. Apparently nobody noticed there is one missing, because who is waiting for them inside the airlock?
Of course he is. And as Mooch walks by, the Leprechaun leaps out and slices his suit open, leaving Mooch open to the unsavory elements that have been festering in the Airlock. As Mooch flails around hopelessly, the Leprechaun tells Brooks that he just wants the Princess—give her to the Leprechaun and he will let them live. Then he runs off, although I have no idea to where since they are in an airlock and he didn’t go back into the ship through the entrance, and the only other way out would be into outer space. Brooks then carries Mooch back to the airlock door, where he shows Tina that Mooch has had his flesh dissolved because his suit was compromised—and she opens the door to let Brooks back in with absolutely no concern that whatever bacteria killed Mooch is likely all over the place in the air and she just gave it access to the ship, defeating the purpose of the decontamination area. Thankfully, in space there are no proofreaders, because nothing bad happens (at least not because of the bacteria) and the rest of the crew go back to Dr. Mittenhand’s lab to demand the Princess be given to the Leprechaun in return for their lives.
Dr. Mittenhand, however, is not going to give up the Princess that easily. The doctor and his assistant Harold have noticed that the Princess is naturally regenerating her hand that was blown off during the original grenade explosion in the mines, and at a rapid rate. Mittenhand has a very vested interest in trying to use the Princess’s genetics you see. Up until now, we’ve only seen Mittenhand through a viewscreen and never in person. Even Dr. Tina and Harold only deal with Mittenhand through the viewscreen. You’d assume this is because the doctor is stationed on another ship, or back on Earth, but no – he’s been on the ship this whole time, and when the Marines attempt to quit their contract early, Dr. Mittenhand is forced to come out into the open to convince the Marines to stay on. And now we see why he is interested in the Princess’ regenerative ability.
Yes, Mittenhand has managed to become mostly machine due to a failed experiment to become a living computer, which is possibly the stupidest origin story to any mad scientist ever. I think that’s almost as bad as “fell into a vat of expired Taco Bell Fire sauce.” He also looks like he’s in an upside down trashcan with a fish tank on the top. The Doctor convinces the marines to stay on by promising them an even more sizable bonus to kill the Leprechaun and stay with them until the intergalactic mining company shows back up to retake their mine and they will be able to return home. Secretly, he and Harold are working on some way to use the Princess’ blood to make him a whole man again. I can’t see any way for this to go horribly wrong.
So the crew sets out across the ship to fight the Leprechaun, and, because this is a Leprechaun movie, it makes total sense that they would split up into pairs to search the ship. The first team the Leprechaun deals with is made up of the token black marine, “Sticks,” and a guy whose name is Danny. I assume that’s not a nickname, because that’s a poor-ass nickname, even worse than Tyrone “Two Dogs” Watson who got that name because he owned two dogs. Danny hears the Leprechaun and runs off to hide in a quiet room, but of course that’s not going to work out in his favor.
Separated from Sticks, Danny is helpless to resist watching the Leprechaun perform a Public Safety Announcement wherein he cuts off his own fingers as a warning to be careful with sharp instruments. The Leprechaun then tries to convince him to join forces with him. While Danny is distracted, the Leprechaun manages to crush him to death with a giant shipping crate. I’m sure this seems anti-climatic, and it totally was, especially after that awesome PSA. Next up is Costello, who manages to blow the Leprechaun to bits, and then stands around like an idiot while the Leprechaun reforms and then casually throws her over the side of a walkway. The whole first part of this movie took forever, and now two people die (unimpressively) in about a minute and a half. Maybe this means it will end soon. Please, will it end soon?
While the rest of the crew stand around looking at Costello’s corpse, the Leprechaun finds Dr. Mittenhand’s lab and the missing Princess Zarina. After sneaking into lab, he meets up with Dr. Mittenhand, preparing his super-genetic mixture that is supposed to make Dr. Mittenhand a human again. Mittenhand starts laughing at the Leprechaun, which of course sets him off, and the Leprechaun gets even with Mittenhand by killing his assistant Harold and then stuffing a ball-gag in Mittenhand’s mouth and injecting him with a genetic mixture of the Princess’ blood, a tarantula, and a scorpion. I’m not a betting man, but I’d bet this means Mittenhand won’t get to be a “whole man” again.
The marines and Dr. Tina get to the lab just after the doctor is injected, and run the Leprechaun off with his reawakened hostage prisoner, Princess Zarina. Zarina, however, is not really a prisoner — she has decided that she will use the Leprechaun to get back to her home planet, and then take his gold and have him killed. When the marines leave the lab to find her, she distracts them by walking around for a few minutes and showing off her bare breasts, and the Leprechaun and her then run off with Sgt. Hooker as their new captive. I would actually say this is a realistic technique for pretty much anything. If you want to rob my house, have a hot chick walk around showing me her boobs, and I might even help you carry out the flatscreen. What the Leprechaun has in store for Sgt. Hooker is pretty embarassing though, and I don’t mean just for Sgt. Hooker. I mean for everyone involved, including me for watching it and you for reading this.
He somehow hypnotizes Hooker, and makes him dress like a hooker and then give the rest of the marines a burlesque show that involves him singing a song, and physically and sexually assaulting them. It’s way too long as well. At one point, Hooker pulls nunchucks out of his purse and starts attacking the others. Honestly, this might be the worst scene in the movie. We essentially watch the marines fight Sgt. Hooker in drag doing a spastic dual-personality character that reminded me of Robin Williams, but without anything remotely funny going on. Eventually the marines take out Hooker by kicking him into a chair, revealing that he was a robot all along! What? That’s just stupid… they just threw everything they possibly could into this movie, and now it’s all just flying at us rapid-fire, as if they could confuse us into thinking it’s not a steaming pile of shit if we couldn’t follow exactly what was going on. It didn’t work– it’s still pretty obvious that this is an unwatchable pile of celluloid excrement.
While the remaining marines deal with their crossdresser-in-command, the Leprechaun snuck off to recover his gold from the cargo bay with Princess Zarina. On the way, he somehow triggers the ship’s self-destruct mechanism, giving himself 15 minutes to find his gold and get off the ship on the only escape vehicle, which he seals in an emerald energy field. I’m not sure when Leprechauns obtained the forcefield power, but I don’t really care. I just want this to be over. The Leprechaun runs into a small problem however– literally I mean. His gold has been shrunken down to pocketsize, via Mittenhand’s conveniently placed shrinking ray gun, which makes the Leprechaun furious. When Dr. Tina and Brooks find him unshrinking it (via the “enlarging ray” option on the same ray), he accidentally gets knocked into the beam, causing what could be the dumbest scene in any Leprechaun movie, which is no small feat. He becomes a giant leprechaun.
Aside from how stupid this is in general, this is an amazingly poor implementation of this idea. Because this movie doesn’t have the money to realistically have scenes where a giant Leprechaun is fighting a space marine, they instead have a lot of camera tricks like “film the leprechaun upwards from the floor” as seen in the above screencap. They also only have reaction shots of the marines yelling back and forth and looking up, and the other shots of the Leprechaun in this scene are of Warwick Davis in a smaller room with really tiny sized props so that he looks big. The resulting scene is highly reminiscent of a poor man’s Godzilla, except this time Godzilla makes a lot of shitty size puns, like calling Brooks “G.I. Squirt.” Brooks sends Dr. Tina to stop the self-destruct sequence with the only other remaining marine, Sticks. This leaves Brooks to fight the Leprechaun alone, which consists of endless scenes of him running behind crates while the giant Leprechaun lifts up boxes and continuously makes short jokes. Painful.
Dr. Tina runs off to the bridge or to Mittenhand’s lab, I’m not really sure where exactly she goes due to the overall shittiness of the ship design. Both Tina and Sticks are going to have a real problem with their mission to stop the self-destruct because of Mittenhand… or should I say what Mittenhand has turned into. Remember how earlier the Leprechaun turned the regenerative potion into some sort of genetic-soup that he then injected into Mittenhand? Well, the results are finally showing themself, and.. just wow. Let’s recap real quick. So far we’ve seen a Leprechaun explode from a man’s dick, we’ve seen a cross-dressing sergeant fight his own marines with nunchucks and a purse, and currently on the other side of the ship a marine is trying not to get stepped on by a giant leprechaun. Here’s why I pretty much almost gave up on this article again this time.
Mittenhand has turned into what looks like a scorpion-spider, with a semi-human head and random appendages poking out everywhere. You know… that description almost makes it sound good, but it’s instead a truly shitty looking monster. I couldn’t find any full-body shots of this giant piece of crap, but it looks like its made out of foam rubber, and shakes and wobbles around as Mittenhand moves, and at one point he even declares “I am no longer Mittenhand… I… am.. Mitten… spider!” Ugh. This made me throw up in my mouth. Not because it’s in any way horrifying or even remotely scary, but because this was the point where my body fully rejected what I was doing. They’ve managed to not just rip off Alien and space movies, they’ve also managed to rip off The Fly, only with far less science and a lot more scenes where Mittenspider screams out that he needs flies and sticks out his tongue over and over. You can tell this is what they spent all their money on, but the whole Dr.Mittenhand sequence and character are completely unnecessary, and just manages to fill this movie with even more unnecessary plot devices. Thankfully, even though this is part of the major climax of the movie, it’s over relatively quickly. Dr. Tina manages to cover Mittenspider with liquid nitrogen or some other super-coolant, and then shoots him, making him explode– because you can’t have a monster that doesn’t explode.
Now that Mittenspider has been taken care of, this just leaves a giant angry Leprechaun and a self-destruct sequence to deal with. It appears that they either ran our of time or money, because both of these situations gets resolved in about 30 seconds. They just open the cargo bay doors, sucking the Leprechaun into space (where he also explodes), and then the remaining two marines and Dr. Tina figure out that the password to stop the self-destruct is “Wizard,” although I still don’t know how they figure it out. Fade to black, but not before we get one parting shot from our Leprechaun friend, who is flying piece by piece across the viewscreen.
Yes. Fuck you too, Leprechaun 4. You lose this time. But to be fair, I think we all lost.
I stand by my previous statement that this is the worst movie I’ve ever seen. It’s just fucking awful. Compared to this movie, the remaining two Leprechaun movies (Leprechaun in the Hood and Leprechaun in the Hood 2) are works of art. I’m pretty sure this movie is why the next two Leprechauns weren’t 5 and 6, but instead just went to the hood and stayed there. Leprechaun 4: In Space just fails miserably at everything it attempts to do. It’s obvious that nobody took it seriously, but at the same time put in little to no effort in making it even remotely fun to watch. I’m sure a lot of this movie seemed good on paper, but the execution of pretty much all of it ruined any chance of it not being a steaming pile. It’s amazingly poorly paced, I mean the whole movie builds up for the first 80 minutes just to be resolved with the push of a button and a command word in under a minute, and even then it feels completely unrewarding.
Do yourself a favor, and just watch any of the other Leprechauns. Now that I’ve written this, I can go back to refusing to watch this thing ever again. I was going to review Leprechaun in the Hood and its sequel as well, but after this one, I think I’m done with Leprechauns forever. So I will leave you with this, a newsclip that is far better than this entire movie, it’s not new, but it’s a classic. Happy late St. Patrick’s Day, from OMGJeremy.
Author: Jeremy P
Jeremy P is a game-playing, film-watching workhorse from Baltimore. He wants to be left alone, but you can follow him on the Twitters. @DelishBoloney
If you aren’t a twit, then we can forward an email for you: email@example.com