Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Notable Cast: Warwick Davis, Brent Jasmer, Jessica Collins, Guy Siner 

As with plenty of other horror franchises that ran out of steam, the "Leprechaun" series takes its fourth entry and haphazardly decides to throw it "in space," if you couldn't tell from the awkward sounding title. While "Leprechaun 3" showcased a film in transition from a 'little horror' to 'no horror,' returning director Brian Trenchard-Smith seems to completely abandon the horror elements and drive the film straight into comedic territory. To be honest, this film is purposefully made so awkward and bad that it just might end up being the one I watch the most out of sheer hilarity. While the concept of a killer leprechaun terrorizing a massive group of inept marines on a space ship seems ridiculous, know that everyone involved with "Leprechaun 4" seemed to think so too.

Whether you like it or not, "Leprechaun 4" has nothing to do with any of the previous films. While the first three entries had small connectors between them (as asinine as they might have been), this film simply says 'fuck it' and just starts anew. This time around our greedy and violent villain is intent on marrying a space princess so that he may kill her father and then her to become a king to satiate his greed. Yet, some silly marines are intent on stopping him from his intergalactic bride and he has to go through the old slasher routine to get his way.

Oh yes, that's a light saber.
Now that I mentioned it, essentially this film feels like one massive 'fuck it' through out. Not enough budget for legitimate CGI? Fuck it, we'll use the worst CGI possible for ships. What about sets? Fuck it, we'll use ones that look like they're discards from TV shows. How about a plot? Fuck it, none of it makes sense anyway so lets have fun with it and just do ridiculous things. Can't think up of any more rhymes for the leprechaun to say? Fuck it, we'll just have him talk like he's going to rhyme even though he doesn't. So as long as you are yelling 'fuck it' right along with Brian Trenchard-Smith and company you'll have a blast with this film. Ironically, it's this kind of mentality that saves this film from being a complete disaster. Warwick Davis once again eats up scenery in the role as the villain (even though his make up is TERRIBLE in this film) and his kills are so over the top that it's hilarious. I mean, his 'resurrection' after being blown up by a grenade (?!) has to be one of the funniest kills I have ever seen in the history of slasher-dom. I won't spoil it here. It's that awesome.

Where did he find a smaller suit?
Unfortunately, our heroes could have used a bit more of ham to really run the distance with Davis. A couple of the secondary characters are instant B-movie classics, the Sergeant single handedly steals every single scene he's in with his intense stares and silly looking head gear, but the two main character tend to be watered down even for this kind of film and it's disappointing. I almost would have liked them to be worse if that is even possible.

No caption needed.
It's hard for me to justify this film garnering more than one blood drop when you look at it. The budget couldn't have been more than a couple hundred bucks, the story is idiotic, the acting is terrible, and the special effects are some of the worst I've ever seen for a 'real' film. Yet, it's quite obvious that "Leprechaun 4" is quite okay with this and embraces it for all its worth by running with its B-grade issues. When the space princess gives people a 'death sentence' by flashing her breasts at them, you know this is the kind of movie that cannot take itself seriously. So the question for those interested in seeing the film remains, are you will to just say 'fuck it' and enjoy it for what it is?

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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