Horror Movie Review: Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)


Leprechaun 4: In Space…sure, why the hell not? It’s not like the concept/stories could get any more absurd anyway!

As is the norm with the Leprechaun sequels, this 4th one has absolutely nothing to do with the previous three films. The only link is the Leprechaun himself once again played by the great Warwick Davis. He really is the best thing about these movies.

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The first three films aren’t terrible. The third in particular is a high point getting the blend of silly horror & comedy mostly right. You can read our review of the first film here, the second film here, the third film here & the remake/re-imagining (Leprechaun Origins) in 2014 here.

Leprechaun 4: In Space is directed by the same man who did Leprechaun 3 (Brian Trenchard-Smith), an instant positive mark. It shows too as once again; this fourth film has some great jokes & great effects.

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On a faraway planet, old Leppy wants a bride (again) & has chosen a princess named Zarina (Rebekah Carlton). He woos her with promises of sharing his gold but his real goal is to be king of her planet. Unknown to him though she also plans to kill him once they’re married so she doesn’t have to share the throne!

Unfortunately for the pair, before they can wed a group of space marines arrive & kill the Leprechaun. Roll credits.

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Of course, it’s not as easy as that. Having defeated the little Irish scamp, one marine decides to take a piss on the remains of his body whereupon the spirit of Leppy travels up into his penis & stows away. The marines return to their ship with the injured Zarina & head off to her planet to return her to her father safely.

The marines are under the orders of Dr. Mittenhand (Guy Siner), a human cyborg that discovers Zarina has advanced healing abilities. Something he really wants to take advantage of to restore his damaged body.

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The Leprechaun busts out of the marine’s body during a moment of sexual arousal & sets about claiming his bride by killing off the rest of the marines. He also transforms Mittenhand into a grotesque monster called ‘Mittenspider’ & initiates the self-destruct mechanism of the ship. Will anyone survive the latest rampage of The Leprechaun? Will the diminutive one actually get his bride? Or will he somehow end up in the hood?

Spoilers: It’s that last one seeing as Leprechaun in the Hood was released in 2000.

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While not as good as the third in the series, Leprechaun 4: In Space is still an enjoyable & idiotic romp. It’s dumb, it’s silly & it isn’t as funny as it often thinks it is (a cross-dressing scene seems to last forever) but it’s doesn’t shy away from any of its flaws. In fact, it embraces them, turns the dial up to 11 & just asks you to detach any semblance of logic. It’s a Leprechaun in space, for goodness sake, you shouldn’t be taking this film seriously at all. The bloody Leprechaun uses a light-sabre at one stage!

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That doesn’t mean it gets away with everything though. A lot of the acting is bad, really bad. Like Troma Movies bad. Cheesy dialogue is one thing, cheesy dialogue spouted poorly & without feeling is another.

At this stage, it seems as though Warwick Davis could play this role in his sleep & at times you can’t help but get the impression he may be checking out. He still does a great job of being both amusing & threatening but it’s not quite hitting the highs of previous films.

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Where Leprechaun 4: In Space really excels though is with some of its effects. Mittenspider in particular looks great, with wonderful makeup & great practical effects. He’s a creepy looking monster & if spiders aren’t your thing it will really make you feel uncomfortable.

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All in all, not the worst Leprechaun movie but certainly not the best. With the next two taking place in a more realistic environment & dropping the series number, Leprechaun 4: In Space can be looked at as the last of the series to really use its imagination.

Leprechaun 4: In Space
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