Saturday, April 22, 2017

Leprechaun 4: In Space



The Leprechaun series had really outlived its usefulness after the rather awful first film, but taking the character into space truly proves that all bets were off and no place was too outrageous. Seriously, at this point Warwick Davis had just said, “Fuck it.” Fortunate for him the Harry Potter series of the 2000s would offer redemption to his career. Many do actually enjoy these movies, but once Lep was grown into a giant and had turned a half-man/half-machine Machiavellian scientist into a half-man/half-machine/half-spider/half-scorpion and later “went to the Hood”, there comes that point where one must wonder how it all got here. At least in the first film, Leprechaun sort of made sense and as a one-off, the character might have existed as a made-for-video creature feature lost into the obscurity of rental shelf fodder occupying space with the likes of Rumpelstiltskin (1995). Instead, Davis remained employed, continued to inhabit his Gabe Bartalos make-up and remain dedicated to the wicked glee of the character, and never just went through the motions. I don’t think you ever saw Davis just giving us the middle finger (as his lopped off hand in space does at the very end) and cop out even when the character went to the Hood. Still out of the films in this series, …In Space is closest to the 80s Corman New World cycle of low budget sci-fi monster movies. It exists without tying to any of the other Leprechaun films. It simply appears completely standalone.

* / *****
Despite what happened to him in the previous film, …In Vegas, Leprechaun is alive and well on some red atmosphere planet with a queen he plans to make his wife, gold seemingly a mineral in abundance where he resides. A Marine team work for Dr. Mittenhand (Guy Siner), at Midnight closing out a contract for him. Mittenhand’s scientists, the measly, small-statured Harold (Gary Grossman) and stunning blonde, independently-minded Tina (Jessica Collins), realize that the queen on the planet kidnapped by Leprechaun has regenerating tissue. Mittenhand sees this as a miracle he can exploit, certain to secure her DNA for his own purposes. This possible queen (Rebecca Carlton, going all the way with the scheming villainess, complete with treacherous intent and diabolical plans to rule the universe) spends some time plotting with Leprechaun while other times at odds with him. Either way, Carlton looks fantastic in her scantily clad intergalactic princess outfit. Also looking mighty alluring is future Home Improvement show model, Debbe Dunning, as the female Marine of the galactic soldier team, Delores.

While Leprechaun is engaged in laser gun combat with the soldiers (replacing the usual terrorists or space creatures in these films), Mittenhand continues to develop his plans for Carlton’s genetic material. Carlton, during the middle of the film, is unconscious while Leprechaun picks off the Marines throughout the ship. Dropping a cargo box on somebody or causing another to fall from great heights off one level scaffold to another; Lep is dutifully eliminating B-movie casting as expected. Soon Davis and Carlton, when not arguing, are scanning the ship orbiting their former world for his gold (Mittenhand has a machine that can shrink objects and return them to their original size). Lep is always concerned for and obsessed about his gold. Even as the sequels change in absurd ways, Lep’s focus on his gold remains the same. When Mittenhand’s machine has an adverse reaction on Leprechaun, increasing his size so he can move about the cargo hold a giant, as an auto-destruct sequence is underway (started by Lep to blow up the remaining survivors he hadn’t killed already); the film fulfills its duty to the series of remaining ridiculous to the extreme.

Brian Trenchard-Smith is dedicated to producing a sequel complicit in its desire to amuse without a hint of subtlety or wit. Even when Lep does his rhyming shtick, the dialogue isn’t exactly tickling that part of your brain wanting to be challenged with profundity. It doesn’t parade rich insight into our thoughts or request us to reach within our intellect to mull it over. This is a leprechaun, with a monstrous face, in full costume, on a space ship, waving his hands and causing spells that create handcuffs out of thin air that lock a soldier to a metal shelf. He is blown up not once, not twice, but three times. We’re talking Lep exploding into bits and pieces. He actually bursts out of a soldier’s dick. He injects genetic material, a spider, and a scorpion, mixed in a blender, into Mittenhand. Lep even causes Carlton to develop sores on her face because she’s a bit too vain. You get Carlton exposing her breasts because her species consider that a death sentence to those flashed! This isn’t a film dedicated to brightening young minds.

I actually recall renting this when I was like 20 years old. That has been 19 years ago! Hard to believe. But in the 90s, you found shit like this all the time. There were some nuggets along the way on those rental shelves. This was a steaming pile certainly not suggesting much merit beyond perhaps entertaining you depending on your mood. Why I felt the film deserved a couple bucks, a VHS tape grabbed off the shelf of some makeshift service station/rental store hybrid is anybody’s guess. I guess I was one of those in the mood for a steaming pile, hoping it’d entertain me.

I’d hate to leave the review without at least giving the film credit for not killing Miguel A. Núñez Jr. He’s wrapped in spider webbing and icky red, sloughed off skin, but it could have been much worse. He rarely leaves these films alive. He’s that running joke where when you see his name in the credits the immediate thought it wondering how he’ll be killed during the film. I guess when you see his Sticks trying to find a code to rectify the auto-destruct ticking away, knowing that Mittenhand’s hybrid monster was loose, it is a given thought he’d be cocooned lunch. But thankfully we got to see him spared. Not so good is the Marine leader, Sarge (Tom Colceri), made to look foolish by Lep, behind this spell that causes him to dance about without will, dressed in lipstick, cocktail dress, wig, stockings, and heels (that I’m not saying is foolish, but Lep’s causing him to act outside of his own free will to do his bidding, as he sings and dances until a rifle with bayonet shows up out of thin air for him to use against others) before Tina suckers him into electrocuting himself, revealing that he’s actually a cyborg. Colceri, during the film, has a metal plate on his head. Rigors of war, it seems, but ultimately once he is fried does the inside of his skull reveal wires and robotic parts. Bayonet into an electrical socket and Sarge is no more. Despite some variable special effects (budgetary restraints obvious), I thought Sarge’s electrocution was rather impressive. The sets of the ship (and the ship itself, CGI low-grade) are what you might anticipate…maybe some of them were borrowed from those behind the production of Babylon 5.

Brent Jasmer is “Books”, the hero of the film. He’s the prototypical Z-movie hunk who has some initial tension with the lead female of the film (Collins) before they settle their differences as peril provokes them to join forces not continued bickering. That was for Lep and his queen. Rick Peters might be a recognizable face as a television character actor. Here he’s the secondary victim fodder, entering a waste disposal chamber with Books looking for Lep, his protective suit ripped exposing flesh-eating bacteria that renders him a bloody skeleton in seconds! That’s the movie’s logic in a nutshell.














The series wouldn’t have lasted through so many films if it didn’t appeal to some demographic. These films leapt (or “lept” if you so prefer) off the rental shelves in their day. In fact I have noticed the series is available together in a set at Walmart. So there you go. In the film, you have the customary escape through ventilation system, Collins' pants being ripped off, and Monster squealing, "Help me." Lep causes a pan to squish a face as if  right out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Lep even has his own green light saber! Not be undeterred, Lep even quotes Shakespeare...well maybe his own Shakespeare.

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The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.