While it may be appropriate for modern horror's best-known little green man to invade space, the fourth LEPRECHAUN film hasn't much to offer except a new setting.
While on an alien-hunting mission on a distant planet, a crew of spacefaring soldiers interrupts the Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) as he woos Princess Zarina (Rebekah Carlton). The diminutive fiend apparently is blown to bits, and the wounded Princess brought back to the squad's spaceship. There, she
regenerates her lost hand, while the Leprechaun re-manifests himself and begins to bump off the crew. Meanwhile, Dr. Mittenhand (Guy Siner), the barely ambulatory cyborg scientist in charge of the mission, sees the Princess's regenerative powers as the key to making his own body whole again.
The Princess and the Leprechaun catch on to Dr. Mittenhand's scheme and add a tarantula and a scorpion to a brew of her bodily fluids before injecting him with it. The Leprechaun then sets a self-destruct timer running, and the surviving Books (Brent Jasmer), Tina (Jessica Collins), and Sticks
(Miguel A. Nunez Jr.) race to save the ship from destruction. They encounter resistance from both the Leprechaun and Dr. Mittenhand, now mutated into a human-arachnid monstrosity, and are barely able to stop the countdown. They also kill the Mittenhand monster and force the Leprechaun into an
airlock, from which he is blasted into space.
While the new science-fiction milieu offers a visual change of pace and makes this the slickest of the LEPRECHAUN movies, in all other ways this sequel demonstrates that there's not much left to do with the character. It even dispenses with the mythological elements (the pot of gold, the granting
of wishes) that motivated the little monster in the previous films; here, he's just an ill-tempered jokester who kills the space soldiers because the genre requires it. The plight of Dr. Mittenhand, both as cyborg (a human head, shoulders, and arm on a wheeled mechanical base) and multilegged
mutation, is in fact given almost as much attention as the film's ostensible star.
While it's understandable that the filmmakers wanted to play the ridiculous story as a live-action cartoon, there aren't enough honest laughs or cleverness to make up for the lack of story elements or characters worth caring about. The actors are personable but given little to do, and the more
exploitative elements remain just that despite the attempts to play them for laughs. After the Princess defiantly pops her top before the soldiers, for example, one of them gravely states that "on the planet Dominia, when a woman of royal blood shows you her breasts, it's a death sentence." Right.
(Graphic violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
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