Leprechaun Collection: Leprechaun 4: In Space Review

This is a Blue Rider production! And normally, when a straight-to-video film is heralded by the bonding of two production companies, neither of which I've heard of but which feature 'blue' in their names, that means pornography. It usually implies an opening scene in which an abnormally top-heavy lady's attempt to wash her underwear is interrupted by a man who is entirely naked but for a postman's cap. He may be accompanied by a dog but films of that nature are usually passed hand-to-hand on otherwise blank videotapes with no one, certainly not a Blue Rider or the like, claming responsibility for them. But their enthusiasm for laundry and postage does not last and thereafter the screen dissolves into a swirl of psychedelic pink and purple. And if you're particularly unlucky, the sound of a saxophone.

If you imagine that the Leprechaun, through this series of films, is descending through the circles of Hell city-by-city then it stands to reason that after a dreary part of the Midwestern United States, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, he should, in this fourth film, have pitched up in Harlow. As it is, the Leprechaun is, without any explanation, on a desolate planet otherwise devoid of intelligent life. So far, so much like Harlow but where this differs is that we find the Leprechaun summoning up all his magic in an attempt to woo the Princess Zarina. From experience, no such effort is required with the young women of Harlow. Unfortunately, a table overflowing with food, a bottle of Champagne and goblets of gold and jewels do little for the Princess Zarina. Her rejection of the Leprechaun's charms may have something to do with his kidnapping her and killing her father in order to become ruler of the planet Dominia...but such details are barely mentioned, perhaps due to this film having an audience restless for the killing to begin.

And begin it does when a group of marines land on the planet. There is some suggestion of a war between Earth and the Dominians but the marines only find the Leprechaun. As one of the soldiers helps themselves to the Leprechaun's gold, our little friend sneaks up behind him and cuts off both his legs with an emerald green lightsaber. And how ironic it is that Warwick Davis, star of Return Of The Jedi, must wait to Leprechaun 4 to handle a lightsaber! The rest of the marines close in and open fire. A stray grenade threatens the Princess Zarina and so the Leprechaun throws his tiny frame on top of it. That might have finished any lesser man but not so the Leprechaun. Showing the body of his enemy no mercy, Kowalski steps forward and pisses on the Leprechaun's severed head. But with a sparkle of green magic, the Leprechaun ascends the stream of urine and, within Kowalski's bladder, is carried back to the ship with the marines.

On board the ship, the Leprechaun, in a quiet moment between Kowalski and Costello, is reborn. He emerges from Kowalski's penis and sets off to take bloody revenge on the rest of the crew. "Let that be a lesson to you, lad! Always wear a prophylactic!" Seeing the mess that he made of Kowalski - "Damn! Gonna take more than penicillin to fix that shit!" - the marines arm themselves for battle but being so well used to simply shooting the bastards, they're ill-prepared for an enemy as sneaky as the Leprechaun. Or as verbose. Eventually, though, the reasons for wanting Princess Zarina on board the ship becomes clear. The half-robotic Dr Mittenhand wants her regenerative powers to rebuild his body. But the Leprechaun wants her untouched, at least until he can have his wicked way with her. And he has a surprise in store for Mittenhand.

'Allo 'Allo never did very much for anyone's career. I could be wrong, of course, and it may be that the famed painting of the Fallen Madonna With Ze Big Boobies is now hanging alongside Virgin of the Rocks and The Crowning with Thorns in the Louvre but it did little for the likes of Kirsten Cooke and Richard Gibson. And that English policeman who was very fond of saying, "Good moaning!" to all and sundry has never been seen again. Not so Guy Siner, though, who went from playing the very camp Lieutenant Hubert Gruber to Leprechaun 4, where, as a testament to the quality of his German accent, he gets to reprise it for Doctor Mittenhand. Unfortunately for Siner, his need to speak in an accent that he'd hoped he had left far behind him is as nothing when compared to what else Leprechaun 4 forces upon him. At least in 'Allo 'Allo, he was permitted clothing. Here, he's naked but for the necessary bits of metal needed to transform him into a Davros-like mad genius and is eventually gagged with a billiard ball and injected in the brain with a bright blue concoction of DNA, a spider and a scorpion. As if that's not quite bad enough, he eventually changes into a spider-creature who is greeted by the words, "There's a big, ugly, motherfucking spider behind ya!"

And no one would object to that if the film was at least any good. As a reflection of its very limited budget, the spaceship is no better than those that Blue Peter once constructed out of bottle tops, straws and a washing-up-liquid bottle. The acting is even worse. The marines are a handful of actors who barely know which end of their balsa-wood rifles to point away from them. Jessica Collins strips and is stripped but avoids showing anything to the camera, leaving that to Rebekah Carlton and explaining the showing of her breasts by it being a declaration of the death sentence on the planet Dominia. But it's Tim Colceri (playing Metal Head Hooker) who really ploughs the trough of this movie. He's treated so badly that he must have pissed off the director. Not only is he left wearing a steel plate on his head for most of the film but is forced into a drag act so bad that it probably heralded his retirement from acting. So pitiful is he that in the Hall of Movie Shame, he's second only to those who pitched up in the made-for-television Omen IV. And they needed shooting. Like the rest of the Leprechaun films, only Davis has any fun the film but when he is transformed into a giant on account of Dr Mittenhand's experimental enlargement ray, the film loses part of its raison d'etre. After all, use an experimental enlargement ray and our leprechaun isn't so little any more.



Transfer

Unlike Leprechaun 3, which was as straight-to-video as this film, this arrives on DVD fullscreen and is probably the worst-looking of the four films to date. It's cheap, certainly, in the way that only direct-to-video horror movies are, but the picture is terrible, being obviously interlaced and with the colours being on the wrong side of richness, heading towards garish instead. And the special effects are no more special than had they been done with crayons. The DD2.0 is even worse, though. The action and what little ambient effects there are sound fine but the dialogue can vary depending on who was standing nearest the microphone at the time. As the film becomes more hectic in its last forty minutes, you could either turn it up, in which case you might be deafened by Warwick Davis, or miss most of what Jessica Collins has to say. Although, playing the least-gifted doctor in the entire universe, that's no loss. Finally, there are English subtitles.



Extras

There are no extras on this DVD release.

Film
3 out of 10
Video
2 out of 10
Audio
1 out of 10
Extras
0 out of 10
Overall

2

out of 10

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