Who would’ve ever thought that someone would decide to make a movie about a leprechaun, those mischievous little mythical creatures from Irish folklore, and have it set on a futuristic spacecraft? That level of ridiculousness, dare I say, is the product of pure genius. It’s as if they wrote a bunch of random, unconnected movie concepts on a wall and threw two darts at it. Bravo.
However, before we dive into what really makes Leprechaun 4: In Space so nonsensically amazing, it’s worth understanding the context in which this piece of cinematic mania was created.
The Leprechaun series of films began in 1993 with the release of the original Leprechaun, with the female lead being played by one Jennifer Aniston. So, if you need any other reason to love this series of movies, consider that we might never have seen Jennifer in Friends or Along Came Polly if her career wasn’t kickstarted by her starring role in Leprechaun.
Alongside Jennifer Aniston was Warwick Davis, who played the leprechaun himself in the original six Leprechaun movies. Davis has also played other prominent roles such as Griphook from the Harry Potter series and the title character from Willow. However, none of his other roles were quite as eccentric and strangely lovable as the leprechaun. Apparently, throughout the entire series, the leprechaun’s name is supposedly Lubdan. I’ve rewatched the series several times now, and not once have I heard or seen that name mentioned anywhere other than the credits. I guess its an easter egg for true Leprechaun devotees?
Anyway, the first three Leprechaun movies all follow more or less the same formula: someone finds the leprechaun’s gold and takes it, the leprechaun emerges and brutally murders several people until they give the gold back, some greedy person hangs on to one piece of gold, then the leprechaun counts his gold and murders some more people until he himself is eventually killed. Pretty simple.
The first three films are nearly as horrible and incredible as Leprechaun 4: In Space, with the third film receiving a literal 0% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. But just when we all thought it could get no worse, director Brian Trenchard-Smith really kicked the ridiculousness up a notch with the fourth installment in the series.
I can’t say for certain whether or not this is true, but it seems like after the first three Leprechaun movies, the filmmakers began to realize that people were watching their movies because of just how excessively absurd the plots were and how unnatural the writing and acting was. So, it’s possible that they set out to make the most awkward, jarring, and overall odd movie of all time with Leprechaun 4: In Space. Again, I don’t know for certain whether or not that’s true, but I sure hope it is.
Leprechaun 4 Plot Summary
Attempting to describe the plot of Leprechaun 4: In Space is a lot like trying to keep water from running between your fingers. Even after watching the movie several times through and reading numerous other plot summaries online, I’m still trying to untangle the rich complexities of this seemingly untraceable plotline. And I’m sure by the time you finish reading this, you’ll understand the experience of having attention deficit disorder. Good luck.
The film begins in a cave that looks like the inside of a liquor store brown paper bag. The leprechaun is courting Princess Zarina as the two of them plot to overthrow Zarina’s father and establish the leprechaun as king of her planet. Meanwhile, a troop of marines led by Sergeant Hooker, a shameless misogynist with a half-metal head, plans to attack the leprechaun because he has been interfering with mining operations. Whose mining operations they are and in what way the leprechaun is interfering with them are never explained.
As the marines search the cave, the leprechaun pulls out a leprechaun-sized green lightsaber and slashes one of them in the back of the knee. From there, a Star Wars-style shootout ensues that results in the leprechaun getting blown to bits and the marines capturing the unconscious Princess Zarina. Before leaving the cave, however, a marine by the name of Kowalski decides that the classy thing to do would be to urinate on the leprechaun’s scattered remains. As he’s draining the dragon, the spirit of the leprechaun swims up his pee stream like an Amazonian candiru fish and begins his process of rebirth, presumably within Kowalski’s genitalia.
The marines then return to their ship and turn Zarina over to their ship’s commander, Dr. Mittenhands, a cyborg with a human face and only one hand, which bears no mitten. At first, he appears to the ship’s crew only through a monitor, on which he speaks to them in a Nazi-esque accent and makes overly exaggerated facial expressions. Through his experiments, Mittenhands discovers that Zarina is able to self-regenerate, and so he plans to use her DNA to regrow his human body and rejoin the human race.
Meanwhile, the marines are getting drunk and dancing at the ship’s 80’s-themed bar. Kowalski is getting frisky with Dolores, a female member of the unit, and the two of them go off to another part of the ship to consummate their forbidden lust. Before they can really get anywhere, though, Kowalski starts to feel intense pain in his nether regions. The leprechaun then emerges fully clothed from Kowalski’s penis, ready to cause mayhem and reclaim his alien bride-to-be.
For about the next hour of the film, the marines hunt the leprechaun, who ends up killing most of them in rather extreme ways. At one point the leprechaun appears to one member of the crew on a computer monitor and cuts off two of his own fingers for no apparent reason whatsoever. He also somehow mind controls Sergeant Hooker into cross-dressing and performing a burlesque dance in front of his platoon. Hooker then goes mad, alternating between his hypermasculine marine persona and an emotionally unstable drama queen, until he’s finally killed by his own crew.
After killing off most of the crew, the leprechaun confronts Dr. Mittenhands and demands Princess Zarina back. When Mittenhands refuses, the leprechaun puts a ball gag that looks like it’s from a highway-side adult store in his mouth, puts a tarantula in a blender along with Zarina’s DNA, and injects Mittenhands with the concoction. As a result, Mittenhands becomes a human-spider hybrid, and declares that his name is now “Mittenspider”.
The rest of the movie basically consists of the remaining crew members getting attacked by both Mittenspider and the leprechaun while they try to disable the ship’s self-destruct sequence, which was activated by the leprechaun. Mittenspider wraps up one of the marines, whose name is Sticks, in a fleshy cocoon that looks like it’s made of prosciutto. The leprechaun gets hit with a ray that makes him ten times his normal size. There’s a lot going on.
Eventually, Dr. Tina Reeves, the female lead who really has no role in moving the plot along at any other time in the movie, freezes Mittenspider to death with a conveniently placed liquid nitrogen-spouting hose. The enlarged leprechaun is sent out into the void of space through an open door and explodes. With only seconds to spare, Reeves’s romantic counterpart Malloy correctly guesses the password to the computer, which is “wizard”, a word referenced nowhere else in the movie. The self-destruct sequence is deactivated, and the movie ends.
If almost no part of that plot summary made sense to you, don’t worry. From beginning to end, this movie seems more like a randomly assembled group of sounds and images than a coherent attempt at an understandable plotline.
Why You Should Watch It
From the hilariously poor acting and writing to the extremely strange and often unnecessary plot devices, Leprechaun 4: In Space is guaranteed to provide endless cheap laughs for you and your friends. This movie is packed to the gills with raw material for inside jokes that will sound like complete lunacy to anyone who hasn’t seen it. Classic one-liners and slapstick violence make this movie an absolute joy despite how difficult to follow and undeniably bad it is.
Want to know what it’s like to take too large a dose of psychedelic drugs without actually ingesting any substances? Watch Leprechaun 4: In Space.
Want to know what happens when you combine ancient Irish mythology with the worst futuristic sci-fi movie you’ve ever seen? Watch Leprechaun 4: In Space.
Want to laugh your ass off for 90 minutes and introduce your friends to a cult classic that they’ll rave about for the rest of their lives? Watch Leprechaun 4: In Space.
It’s worth it.
Now that you’ve enriched your life with what the Leprechaun 4: In Space is all about, perhaps next, you should learn about everything there is to know about The Plumbus.