Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (Review)
Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning
Directed by Timo Vuorensola
Written by Samuli Torssonen, Rudi Airisto, and Jarmo Puskala
Official site: StarWreck.com
From the icy depths of Finland comes a surprise, and I’m not talking about the country’s defined border after the Treaty of Tartu. This is something that’s actually interesting, and fulfills one of the long held dreams of Star Trek nerds everywhere. No, not the dream involving Counselor Troi, Jadzia Dax, and a pool filled with lime jello. The one where Star Trek and Babylon 5 fight to the death!
How do we get this dream? Thanks to the free fan film Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, available at StarWreck.com.
Similar to the previously reviewed Star Wars Revelations, except it’s a full-length movie, and is by far the best fan film ever made, bar none. Does that mean it’s perfect? Of course not! Minor limitations include the fact it’s direct out of Finland, which means it is in Finnish, so it requires subtitles for people like me who have Finnish around number 37 on their list of languages to be learned. Therefore, several jokes fly right over my head, and most non-Finnish people’s heads. Though that would probably explain a few random things, overall, the quality of the film more than makes up for the language barrier.
Most of the effects were done on some home computers, with actors filmed in front of a makeshift blue screen and sets drawn around them. There are also outdoor shots and a few real sets, this also allows lots of extras to be seen during some of the outdoor shots. The entire process is really amazing, taking seven years to complete (and even revolving reshooting scenes as the actors and effects got better and better.) The result is one of the best looking fan films, and one that really catapulted fan films to a bigger audience. Sure, there were a few groups already making their own series, but other fan productions gained new publicity when people searched for similar work. We’ll visit some of those other fan productions in due time.
When I first wrote this review, the only available film was Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, the numerous older films made by the crew were mentioned in passing but not available. Boy how things have changed! You can now order a DVD with all of the other films! Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning is the sixth film in the series. The others are Star Wreck I, Star Wreck II – The Old Shit, Star Wreck III – Wrath of the Romuclans, Star Wreck IV – The Kilpailu, and Star Wreck V: Lost Contact. Star Wreck V was the first film to use live action actors, the other films were done with cartoon characters. Check them out!
In addition, there are now two versions of Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning. We’re reviewing the version released on the internet for free in 2005, but there is a special edition (the Imperial Edition) done for a DVD release where all the visual effects are redone. The most noticeable difference is that all the starships are redesigned into a more “Russian” look. At the end of the review I’ve added in the wallpapers of the new ships so you can see what they look like
Scotty, beam me into this recap!
We open with a beautiful shot of the entire space fleet, made up of many Starfleet ships: Mirandas, Constitutions, Intrepids, Defiants, Galaxys, Akiras, and an Enterprise-E as the flagship. Of course, these aren’t really Starfleet ships, as this is a parody. This is the P-Fleet invasion fleet that Pirk is leading towards a maggothole (a wormhole). There is some turbulence on the flagship, Info is at the helm, Dwarf is at tactical, and Emperor Pirk comes out of the bathroom trailing some TP on his shoe. Before the invasion fleet attacks, Pirk reminisces about 8 years ago and how he became Emperor…
Jump to a flashback of Captain James B. Pirk and several of his fellow crew members stranded in the Earth’s past. Pirk lamenting being stranded in the ancient Earth, but dips his sorrow into eating lots and lots of hamburgers. It’s at one such hamburger place we see him, and his failed attempt to hit on a girl at the joint. Pirk instead manages to get himself beaten up by a passing gang of Finnish youths. Pirk is not the Kirk we all know and love, he’s a whiny, egotistical jerk. So more similar to Shatner in those days than Kirk. Kirk gets sick of being beaten down by the natives, and sets up a meeting with his fellow crew members Info and Dwarf. Dwarf hates his current job of serving hot dogs to noisy rail workers and happily agrees to come. Captain Pirk is most upset about the newspaper failing to mention the anti-material drive being discovered. Instead, the entire space program has been cancelled! This means that their history has been altered, and there will never be a P-Fleet to rescue them from Earth. Pirk hears about the Vulgars (this universe’s version of the Vulcans) and how they hung around with rock star Lt. Jeff Cochbrane. Cochbrane is portrayed as some sort of music superstar like Jim Morrison who gets the Vulgars drunk and on drugs, making them not care about logic anymore. I’m not sure if Cochbrane is supposed to represent anyone, it’s probably one of those jokes American’s (or maybe just me) won’t get.
Pirk instead decides that they should start the P-Fleet themselves! As the conversation continues, Pirk realizes that he could be emperor of the planet. During this discussion, we must point out that Dwarf is wearing a “Porn Star” T-shirt. Pirk contacts Cochbrane to get a hold of the antimaterial drive from the Vulgar ship that is now abandoned, and Cochbrane reveals he sold the ship for a small amount of money to the Chanistanya Nuclear Plant in Russia, then hangs up on Pirk. Pirk is outraged! Pirk can’t do anything about it and is even more outraged! Pirk rage at it’s finest.
We go to said Chanistanya Nuclear Plant in Russia, where a crazy Russian engineer named Fukov is being ordered to repair the reactor. He mentions he used to work at the Chernobyl plant, and soon the supervisors are rushing to keep him from fixing things. Fukov will be the source of many many jokes about how much of a Fukov he is. And boy is he! After Pirk and company show up with their twinklers (phasers) and blast their way to taking over, everyone cheers. The Russians are happy about Revolution, Russia having become a pile of junk after democratic reforms that they are willing to follow anyone who will make them great again (odd, this sounds like Hugh talking about Lore from Star Trek: The Next Generation…)
Some very nice shots of the Kickstart getting built over a montage as Pirk realizes he has to get into shape to make himself look like a leader, yet fails and fails again. Finally, he discovers the secret: those packs that shoot electronic stimuli to your muscles, causing them to contract, therefore making you “exercise” (here dubbed the “Buttdoer.”) Pirk teams up with the Russian President, played as some sort of drunken gangster by famous Finnish actor Kari Väänänen. He is like Boris Yeltsan meets Tony Soprano, yet looking like Peter Stormare (who was a Russian in Armageddon.) With a major power backing them, they are free to begin building their first ship, the CPP Kickstart. The Kickstart looks amazingly like the Enterprise-E!
Finally, the big day is upon them, the Kickstart is ready for take off, and to set the P-Fleet into motion. They beam the drunken Russian president aboard, mid-vodka pour, who is very impressed at the piece of hardware. They’ve launched into space, and begin to test their weapon systems. Instead of photon torpedoes and phasers, they have light balls and twinklers. Target practice involves destroying the International Space Station (ISS), much to the Russian President’s outrage.
Now it’s time for Pirk and the Kickstart to take over the world. We jump to one of the best concepts from the movie, a black and white propaganda film showing how Pirk took over the world one country at a time. They build up their armies and march across Europe, Asia, and Africa, concluding with America, gunning down the Statue of Liberty and shooting ICBMs out of the sky. The film is retro-licious, and coming from a country much closer in proximity to the Soviet Union so they have probably seen more than their share of those films, but the style is currently in vogue. At the conclusion, Pirk is sharing a drink with the Russian President, when the film abruptly ends, returns to color, and in the next shot the Russian President is dragged off camera and “taken care of,” with only me wondering why it didn’t happen earlier. Still, nice exit.
Conquering a world is a lot more fun than actually running it. Pirk finds this out the hard way, as the population grows unhappy at it’s predicament, and Pirk’s ineptitude in handling the managerial tasks needed in world domineering. Pirk grows increasingly unhappy at his citizens’ demands, and begins to get sharp with a few of them. Finally, he decides to keep them busy by building a grand P-Fleet (Starfleet), which will allow him to conquer other planets. This allows for the use of practically every popular Star Trek ship model. We got Enterprises A, D, and E; Defiants, Voyagers, Excelsiors, and Reliants. This is a Trekker’s dream team, and soon we’ll be seeing all these ships in action.
Fukov manages to get a ship captaincy, on the CPP Kalinka, which is an Enterprise A model. He is out patrolling around when a “maggothole” (aka a wormhole) opens and a Babylon 5 Fighter flies through. Remembering that they need to destroy any ships they come across, Fukov blows the fighter to kingdom come. Later, the realize that there was a human on the ship, and wonder how he got out so far in a short range fighter. This incident, thanks to Info, gives Pirk the idea to send his fleet in to conquer the other side of the maggothole, to help give his people something else to keep them busy so they don’t bother him. The mission is dubbed Operation Vampyyrin Haykke.
Meanwhile in a parallel universe, Commander Sherrypie welcomes Ambassador Flush to Babel 13. Yes, this is the Babylon 5 universe, where things are slightly different than in the Star Trek universe. On the other side of space the background even looks different, yet completely familiar to fans of Babylon 5. A nice touch of changing even the space backgrounds for each universe, I give them props. Ambassador Flush is the Vorlon ambassador. Mikhail Garybrady interrupts the greeting, saying someone went on a drunken joyride in one of the fighters, and the only thing recovered was a data crystal. After Sherrypie mistakenly thinks that the pilot was turned into a data crystal, they play it and see the shots of Fukov’s Kalinka blasting the fighter.
Back in Universe Star Trek, the P-Fleet mobilizes, and soon are waiting outside the maggothole. Pirk sends Fukov’s ship in first to test the waters, and when everything is okay, the rest of the fleet enters. Inside, they see some alien ships warping away through a jumpgate (called a hop gate in this universe) and then they pop out on the other side. Space looks different, and soon we will be having the battle of the century. The 23rd Century. Or the 24th Century. Whatever Century.
Info figures out how to make a hopgate using their engines, and soon jump off to where Babel 13 is. On Babel 13, Commander Sherrypie sees the 40 ships from the invasion fleet arrive, and starts to give another of his speeches. He’s interrupted, but then hails Pirk. In their conversation, Pirk finds out that Babel 13 is from Earth, and gets the idea to conquer this Earth. One problem, he left the comm channel open when he was scheming, and Sherrypie heard the whole thing. Info theorizes that since they have deflector shields (called deflector plates here) and Babel 13 doesn’t, they can win easily, so they prepare to attack.
The battle begins! And it’s AWESOME!!!!! Ships fire, things explode, ships fire back, lots of carnage! Babel 13 says it will attack the heavier ships and sends the rest of their ships to take on the lighter P-Fleet vessels. P-Fleet also makes the uncomfortable discovery that their deflector shields don’t work. Still, they press on, and we get lots of cool battle shots.
Babel 13 is losing, so Sherrypie will give a speech to try to stall for time, and contacts Pirk to surrender. He offers shore leave for the crews on the station, and Pirk scoffs at him. But then Sherrypie offers Ivanovista’s virginity to Pirk, and suddenly Pirk is interested, despite the fact this is obviously a trap. Even Dwarf is frustrated at how obvious the trap is, but Pirk goes ahead, and renames Babel 13 “Praise of Pirk’s Greatness.”
Emperor’s Blog, dunno what moondate, Pirk takes a shuttle over to Babel 13, and meets Ivanovista who is wearing a black dress and looking disgusted. She says Sherrypie shot himself in the head three times in disgrace. She shows Pirk around the station as more P-Fleet crew members arrive on the station for shore leave. We get a montage set to a Finnish rock song as a victory party is held, with lots of drinking, puking, and rocking out. Now it is Seduction Time! Pirk and Ivanovista head to the bedroom.
Back in the Kickstart, Info recalibrates the sensors to work best in this universe, and detects some odd readings by the jumpgate. On the bridge of Babel 13, the crew distracts the occupying P-Fleet forces as the jumpgate opens and reinforcements arrive. They shoot the security force on the bridge and Commander Sherrypie emerges from hiding. The reinforcements are lead by the Excavator piloted by Festerbester, who is a parody of Psi Cop Alfred Bester. Since both he and Chekov (represented here by Fukov) are played by Walter Koenig, both Fukov and Festerbester are played by Janos Honkonen. Sherrypie gives a general announcement to retake the station, Pirk is captured by Ivanovista, and there is a big phaser battle on the station as the P-Fleet crews rush to the shuttles to escape. And let’s not forget that outside we have lots more ship battles going on!
Pirk is taken before Sherrypie, but refuses to surrender. Sherrypie gives a long speech, which annoys Pirk. Tired of being interrupted by Pirk, Sherrypie says he’ll just shoot him. But as the security forces aim to fire at Pirk, a crash of weapons fire outside causes some of the ceiling to fall on the security troops, allowing Pirk to escape. Sherrypie chases after, vowing revenge because one of the security guys was killed. Pirk scoffs at him caring about one of his men, and the two have a running firefight. Soon, both men are out of ammo, so they must settle it the old fashion way: with their fists! Except Pirk just runs, only to be chased down by Sherrypie. The resulting fight gives us several signature Kirk fight moves like the double karate chop, and even results in a ripped shirt. Pirk loses, but Sherrypie gives one of his speeches so Pirk ties his shoelaces together and escapes again. He leaves on the last shuttlecraft, but is soon attacked by fighters and calls for help.
Meanwhile on the Kickstart, some drama of their own is happening. Dwarf continually ignores Info’s orders, and then tries to control Info with a remote control. Info tires of this, and slaps Dwarf. Dwarf cries, and then they rescue Pirk in the nick of time. The P-Fleet has only 14 operating ships left, and twinklers are ineffective on the Excavator, so they must use light balls. The problem is they only have nine light balls left. Pirk says he will fire them all at once, and will do the firing himself. Dwarf is not so confident, but Pirk overrides him and readies the manual firing, which is operated by a joystick. He aims and fires! And misses! Dwarf is in hysterics, as Pirk failed to give any lead to the target. Pirk tears the joystick off in rage, and the Excavator has noticed the Kickstart and fires its big gun at them, narrowly missing. Just like in the Bablyon 5 show, the big gun uses all the power, and the computers on the ship take 40 seconds to restart. The Kickstart flees at this time and hides behind the Babel 13 station.
Fukov’s ship the Kalinka was repairing instead of fighting, so they still have lots of light balls. Fukov manages to damage the comm system by dropping some coffee on it, and when Pirk calls the ship to demand they send over light balls, the message is erratic and Fukov mishears him thinking Pirk wants light beer. This exchange doesn’t go down perfectly in subtitles, so it was hard to figure out what was happening until later when the light beer is revealed. The Kickstart gets the torpedoes and warps out of the way of a blast by the Excavator and fires, pelting the ship with light beer.
The Kickstart is hit by the big gun of the Excavator, and is terribly damaged. They plan to ram the Excavator. The Excavator can’t fire back, as their main weapon was damaged by the beer, so they fire their secondary weapons knowing that their massive size advantage will protect them. Pirk mocks them on the intercom, but we see that the crew of the Kickstart is escaping on a shuttle to the Kalinka that is just behind them, pushing the Kickstart forward with a tractor beam. Pirk tells Fukov that it is time to veer off, but the control stick for the Kalinka breaks.
Luckily there is a spare stick, and they escape. We get a beautiful sequence where the Kickstart smashes into the Excavator, both ships destroyed. All of the fleet for the Babylon 5 universe is destroyed, and Garybrandy gets drunk and sets off the self destruct for Babel 13. Sherrypie tries to lure Pirk into staying near the station with another speech, but they realize what is going on and try to escape. However, the engines of the Kalinka are now damaged so they can’t go fast, and Fukov is too busy calling a sex chat line to tell the surviving P-Fleet ships to escape as well. Captain Hayday (the Captain Janeway-type) realizes what is happening and leads the rest of the ships away, but it is too late and they are caught in the resulting explosion.
The Kalinka exits the maggothole, but the other end has moved so it is right next too Earth. They are too close to the planet, and the ship begins to burn up. There is only enough power left to beam three people down, so Dwarf, Info, and Pirk get to go. Fukov and the hot Lt. Ruoska are left to die.
On Earth, it’s freezing. Because they are out in the icy wilderness. Of Hawaii. Yes, they arrived back in time during the last ice age! Info tells them he can probably survive on low power mode until it is time to warn them not to go on their mission of conquest. As our heroes slowly freeze, we get a pullout of the Earth, yet notice that the zoom out isn’t from Hawaii, but from Finland….and there is debris from the International Space Station in orbit! Did Info lie? Or was it done because it looked cool. You make the call!
Thus ends the best Star Trek parody ever
Pirk to English Dictionary!
Babel 13 – Babylon 5
Deflector Plates – Deflector Shields
Emperor’s Blog – Captain’s Log
MKV Excavator – the Excalibur from the Crusade series
First Directive – Prime Directive
Halludeck – holodeck
Hopgate – Jumpgate
Kentucky – The Centari from Babylon 5
CPP Kickstart (CPP Potkustart) – The USS Enterprise
Korg – The Borg
Light Balls – photon torpedoes
Maggothole – Wormhole
Minibar – Minbari
Narc – The Narn
P-Fleet – Starfleet
Plingons – Klingons
Psy-Co – Psy-Cops
Quarton Crystals – Dilithium Crystals
Romuclans – Romulans
Shove – Impulse
Sled – Shuttlecraft
Star Flurries – Starfuries
Sucking Beam – Tractor beam
Turengis – Ferengi
Twinklers – phasers
Twist Drive – Warp Drive
Vulgars – Vulcans
Amigo-class destroyers (Backgammon, Mannerheim, Appalling, Ilmarinen, Ehrnrooth) – Earthforce Omega Class Destroyers
Rated 10/10 (Russian Prez, Pirkbird, Start the reactor!, The secrets of ancient races, AT&T, Party!, Damage, Exercising, Phone sexing, Janeway never wins)
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