Hey there, horror fans! Welcome to another edition of Horror With a Side of Cheese. Here is a quick breakdown for all the newbies joining for the first time. I am on the hunt for the cheesiest horror movies ever created. Twice each month, on the first and third Fridays, I talk about my latest find. Throughout my search, no subgenre, time or country of origin is left unchecked. I rate each film on a scale of one to five cheese slices. Several factors go into the rating, such as acting, story, dialogue, effects and re-watchability. In this edition, I present the 1996 film Leprechaun 4: In Space. Stick around to see how many cheese slices I am giving this one.
About Leprechaun 4: In Space
After terrorizing Earth for many years, the Leprechaun has moved to a distant planet where he has set his sights on a princess. When a bumbling squadron of space marines stumbles upon the pair, everything takes an interesting turn. After a series of events leads to Leprechaun scheming to eliminate the marines and take over their ship, all hell breaks loose.
Leprechaun 4: In Space stars Warwick Davis, Rebecca Carlton, Guy Sinner, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Gary Grossman, Brent Jasmer, Tim Colceri, Debbe Dunning, Geoff Meed, Rick Peters, Ladd York and Mike Cannizzo. Brian Trenchard-Smith directed the film. The story is based on characters created by Mark Jones and was written by Dennis A. Pratt.
This film is the fourth installment in the Leprechaun franchise. Several more additions followed. It has a 17 percent Tomatometer Score and a 21 percent Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.
I admit to watching every film in the Leprechaun franchise, and I regret nothing. The original, while a bit cheesy, is an excellent, creepy horror film. The subsequent movies do not live up to the first, but some are still decent. Admittedly, In Space almost lost me.
First, I want to talk about the dialogue, which is easily the best and cheesiest part of the film. Leprechaun, as usual, has numerous lines that made me cackle. For example, at one point, he tells another character, “Shut your cakehole, you oozing great zit.” At another point, after bursting forth from someone’s genitals, he says that’s why you should always wear a prophylactic. Of course, other characters have some wild lines as well. If I were rating on cheesy dialogue alone, Leprechaun 4: In Space would easily be a 10/10.
Moving on to the story, this is where things begin to go downhill. This franchise, particularly once the sequels started rolling in, was not meant to be taken seriously. However, I feel like this one took it a bit too far. My first issue is that there is no explanation for how or why Leprechaun went to another planet. His motive for being there is to become the king, but viewers do not know how he knew that the planet or the inhabitants existed. The gold-loving villain does have magic, so I can only assume that is how he achieved interplanetary travel, but I wanted more information.
My second issue is the story focuses too much on the space marines and not enough on the supposed main character. For a Leprechaun film, the titular character was barely seen for much of the movie. I watch this franchise for the Leprechaun’s antics, and I did not get much of that in this addition.
In terms of the effects, they were on par with the rest of the franchise. To sum it up, there are some epic explosions, the Leprechaun’s makeup is incredible and the rest is pure, unadulterated cheese. Given the rest of the film’s aspects, the FX department did a spectacular job. Now, that does not extend to the prosthetics used to indicate skin over metal. Those are where the super cheesiness comes into play.
The acting from Warwick Davis gave the movie life. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the rest of the cast. On the other hand, it was those performances that upped the cheese level. The over-the-top, exaggerated moments added to what makes this movie a cheesy horror.
Finally, re-watchability. I will watch Leprechaun 4: In Space again, but only when I do a rewatch of the entire series. Overall, I am giving the film two cheese slices, mostly for the dialogue. While there is some heavy cheesiness to the film, it is not particularly enjoyable to watch unlike others in the series.
If you are a fan of the first film, give this one a chance. If nothing else, it is good for some laughs. Embrace the ridiculousness. However, if you want something serious with an intriguing lot, look elsewhere. This is the movie you pull out when you do not want to have to pay close attention and still get some gruesome, but amusing moments.
There you have it, horror fans, another cheesy horror in the books. Have you seen Leprechaun 4: In Space? Let us know in the comments! Also, leave a comment with a movie suggestion.
Leprechaun 4: In Space is streaming on Peacock. Before you head off to watch some cheesy goodness, check out the trailer below. Stay spooky, stay cheesy, and above all, watch more horror movies.