top of page
  • Rev Horror

Leprechaun 4: In Space

Dir. Brian Trenchard-Smith (1996)

The Leprechaun tries to win the heart of a woman who just wants him for his money. In space.

It's a fairly common running gag about how a movie franchise has truly jumped the shark once it sends its characters into space. Whether that trope began before Lionsgate sent the Leprechaun there or after, who can tell, but one thing is for certain: this one definitely fits the stereotype. From extremely dated (and basic) CGI to a bizarre space Marines plot that is completely ill-fitting with anything that came before in the franchise, Leprechaun 4: In Space goes straight off the rails of normal horror to become a cheaply made sci-fi slasher that somehow won't let you look away.

The Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) has found a bride in an alien Princess named Zarina (Rebecca Carlton), luring her nuptial agreement through his offer of lots and lots of gold. They are interrupted by a group of space marines, led by a grizzled drill sergeant named Metal Head (Tim Colceri). After the Leprechaun is blown to bits and the Princess taken aboard the Marines' ship, the soldiers come under attack by the resurrected green man who has made his way onto their vessel. As romance blossoms between the ship's science officer Tina (Jessica Collins) and the slightly-less-meatheaded Books (Brent Jasmer), the Marines find themselves in a fight for survival.

Leprechaun 4: In Space is a cheap imitation of a cheap imitation, a movie with effects straight out of 1988 despite being made in 1996. It's also very aware that it's a cheap, shitty, straight-to-video sci-fi version of a slasher movie. With references to better films within the science fiction genre like Alien and even Star Wars, the film leans fully into the farcical aspect of being a direct-to-video film. It's made for cheap laughs, and cheap laughs it receives. It wears its inspiration on its sleeve to be sure, but it never sought to do anything other than that. It's raunchy at times, ridiculous more often than not, and a generally pretty entertaining film.

Perhaps more than any other franchise, the Leprechaun series (at least so far) seems to be made for watching with friends. It's not scary, and never even attempts to be. It's more of an action-adventure with gore, and it tries its hardest to be funny, though that's often hit or miss within the series. In Space is funny at times, to be sure, and while not all of the jokes hit, the attempts at humor are more than enough to make it an extremely watchable film. The effects, which are laughable at best in certain scenes, are actually quite good later on in the film. Despite the film's many (many) shortcomings, there's really a lot to appreciate about what would otherwise be a throwaway movie.

When you're making a movie starring a little person, Warwick Davis is the obvious choice, but he's especially fitting for a series with the more playful and fantasy perspectives that the Leprechaun series maintains. Having cut his teeth in roles like Willow and Star Wars (where he played a lovable Ewok), Davis knows exactly what it takes to perform in a role that is meant to be patently ridiculous but also hilarious at the same time. Anyone looking for more serious fare will absolutely hate this entire series, but if you're willing to let your standards drop a little bit and you're just down to watch an entertaining and wild franchise, you can't get a whole lot better than Leprechaun. Just don't expect good movies, because they are absolutely, unequivocally, not.

Who this movie is for: Leprechaun franchise fans, Sci-fi horror lovers, Irish astronauts

Bottom line: Leprechaun 4: In Space is absurd, incredibly poorly made, but wildly entertaining and worth a watch nonetheless. It's dated beyond belief, stupid as hell, and a whole lot of fun despite its multiple flaws. There's even some direct-to-video boobs thrown in just for kicks, a studio demand that was handled in the most ludicrous way possible in protest. While 4 certainly isn't the best film in the series, it's not half bad, and it's definitely one that's worth seeing just to appreciate how ridiculous a horror franchise can become.

bottom of page