Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996) — Hey, Kirk stole his lucky charms!

“May ALL our wounds be those of flesh wounds only. Amen.”

Justin’s rating: Shakespeare has met his match

Justin’s review: My local video store had a bargain bin of used movies for $2 each (that’s $150 Canadian). How could I resist? As I rummaged through such gems like Kazaam, I stumbled upon Leprechaun 4: In Space and let my grubby paws snatch it before the lady behind me could steal it for herself. The title intrigued me for one: There are leprechauns in space? The history channel NEVER covers stuff like this.

Lo and behold, I think I have found one of the best cult flicks ever made, even better than Benji Returns.

Take the overwhelming success of the first three Leprechaun films (yes, I know you’ve seen them all) and where do you go from there? Well, why not blatantly rip off James Cameron’s Aliens? Sure! It’d be a lark! So we get a team of overly gung-ho idiots, er, marines who manage to honk off the leprechaun over some deal with a princess and lots of gold. Tell me, what do space people need with gold? After conquering space, is it really that rare a commodity? Mr. Lucky Charms boards the super-fake CGI spaceship and engages in a battle of marine Go Fish for the next hour and a half. It’s easy to see the similarities, once you mentally replace those big black aliens with a pint-sized Irishman.

Only the Swahili language contains enough synonyms for “stupid” and “cheesy” to accurately cover this film. Unfortunately, I’m still taking classes for that, so you’ll just have to read my mind. Actors swallow and spit out lines like “Semper Fi, Do or Die, Kill, Kill, Kill!” with such honest, straight faces that you just want to adopt them out of sheer pity. Our main hero marine looks like a cousin of Sly Stallone, and emotes about the same. The marines have the most inaccurate weapons ever made, as the bullets veer miles off target, and even if they hit, the leprechaun just regenerates anyway.

Every cliché is dredged up from the dead for yet another exploitation exercise. Sex kills (as one marine finds out when the leprechaun bursts out of his crotch — and YES, you read that right). If you’re not dying fast enough, split up so the baddy can pick you off easier. There is no financial reward high enough to trade for your life. And breasts signify a death sentence.

Whoa, okay, let me back up. Almost toward the end of the film, the princess (yes, a Princess: In Space) undoes her spiky bra for a random flashing. Apparently, on whatever backwater planet this princess comes from, showing one’s breasts level a death sentence on the viewer. Don’t be mistaken: This movie was made by guys.

Dr. Evil’s little brother makes a seriously silly appearance as the part-man Dr. Mittenhand, who takes every stereotype of the mad Nazi doctor and never stops talking. He eventually gets transformed into a spider-thing, but that’s neither here nor there.

I could sense that the filmmakers really tried, very hard to get that extra credit for this project. They put in many details in trying to make this realistic… or something… one does wonder why they have a discotheque on the ship, or why marines are on a contract basis, or if romance mainly consists of falling on each other a lot. The leprechaun legend lends itself strangely to an outer space situation, but he gets the least attention, as everything and everyone else is way more kooky.

Read me right, you’d have to be devoid of any sense of humor to not enjoy Leprechaun 4. It’s thoroughly inventive and saturated with goofiness. If you get to the scene where the leprechaun uses a lightsaber to, um, bring a marine to his knees and don’t find yourself bouncing in cult glee, then go find yourself Meryl Streep-inspired movie.

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