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Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning — Imperial Edition (DVD Review)

9 Oct, 2009 By: John Latchem

Prebook 10/13/09; Street 11/10/09
Sci-Fi Comedy
$19.98 DVD
Not rated.
In Finnish with English subtitles.

As a “Star Trek” parody, much of Star Wreck’s humor depends on cheesy wordplay or random sight gags, and it isn’t as guffaw-inspiring as one might hope. Seeing as how the film is Finnish, perhaps something is lost in the translation. On the other hand, Star Wreck is one of the most lovingly ambitious “Trek” tributes one is likely to see.

In the Pirkinning is actually the sixth installment of the "Star Wreck" parody series, which dates back to a simple animated battle sequence made in 1992. The complexity of the productions evolved to eventually combine CGI visual effects with live-action storylines, resulting in Star Wreck V: Lost Contact in 1997, a half-hour time-travel adventure that ended with the main characters trapped on modern-day Earth. (The earlier movies are available online at starwreck.com/legacy)

The series focuses on a cowardly buffoon named Capt. Pirk, who commands a ship called the Kickstart. His sidekicks are the robotic Info (a spoof of Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) and Dwarf (a parody of Worf).

Expanding to a 90-minute feature-length format, In the Pirkinning, first released in 2005, picks up where Lost Contact left off, with Pirk, Info and Dwarf deciding to use their knowledge of the future to take over the world and construct a fleet of warships.

In something of a dark departure from the humanistic optimism of “Star Trek,” Pirk develops a taste for power and seeks new planets to conquer. He sends the fleet through a portal to a parallel universe, leading to the film’s true purpose: to depict a giant battle between “Star Trek” and “Babylon 5.”

The visual detail should be enough to amuse even the most casual of “Star Trek” fans but is definitely worth checking out for hardcore Trekkers.

Star Wreck is a truly independent effort, filmed in a small apartment with a small crew of mostly volunteers. In the Pirkinning took seven years to complete, owing to the extensive use of bluescreen backgrounds and CGI rendering of the effects. Extras on the DVD delve into the hardships of the production, such as accidentally recording over previously shot scenes, but reveal the film as a true labor of love.

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