Episode 11 - Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning

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Before working on the upcoming awesomeness called Iron Sky (which promises to be the best movie of 2012), director Timo Vuorensola and his friends created another piece of awesomeness called Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning. The last and most well known entry in a series of Finnish Star Trek parodies, Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning is a tongue-in-cheek dark comedy parodying both the Star Trek and the Babylon 5 franchises. If you ever wondered what it would be like if Captain Kirk tried to conquer the Universe as a ruthless dictator while only Babylon 5's John Sheridan's long speeches stood in his way, this movie is a must see.

The film starts off with our "hero" (and we use that term very loosely here), Emperor Pirk (that would be Kirk's parodied alterego, and no, the "Emperor" part is not a typo) preparing to enter a wormhole (referred to as a maggot hole in the movie) while he reminisces about how he got there. Stranded in the 21st century in a messed up timeline with no ship and almost no crew, he realized that he had to do something to make sure the future wouldn't get completely overwritten by the lack of twist drive (warp drive) capability. So he decided to invent the engine himself, which is fine, but his megalomaniac nature quickly got out of control as he realized that he could pretty much conquer Earth with a single starship. So once he built the CPP Kickstart (that would be Star Wreck's USS Enterprise) he basically used it to take over the world and declare himself Emperor. Sporting a Bison outfit he ruled the planet as a ruthless dictator and it wasn't long before he found himself looking towards the stars to expand his rule.

This is when he ends up near the maggot hole and flies through with his entire fleet in hopes of a quick conquest. Much to his surprise he finds himself in an alternate universe based on the Babylon 5 franchise where he encounters Captain Sherrypie (Star Wreck's Sheridan), the man in charge of space station Babel 13. Upon realizing that there is another Earth in this parallel universe Emperor Pirk decides to just go ahead and conquer it. Unfortunately for him, Captain Sherrypie is not about to let that happen without a fight.

Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning trailer

That's the basic premise of the movie in a nutshell. As this brief summary suggests, this parody takes quite some liberties as compared to the base material. Yes, Captain Kirk was a ladies' man but spoofing him as a witless, gutless, brainless, megalomaniac buffoon like Pirk is so over the top it's cheesy, but that's exactly what makes the good Emperor so much fun, not to mention a much more unique and interesting character. We see several other parodied characters such as Dwarf and Info (Worf and Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation) or Fukov (a reference to Chekov from the original Star Trek) the incompetent engineer who used to work at Chernobyl (yikes!) and ends up on Pirk's crew only to cause disaster. On the other side of the maggot hole we have Captain Sherrypie whose main characteristic is that he tends to give dead boring long winded speeches, Commander Ivanovitsa (Star Wreck's version of Ivanova) who has little choice but to endure Sherrypie's speeches, Chief of Security Garybrandy who is a mockery of the well documented drinking problems of Garibaldi from Babylon 5 and who ends up hatching a desperate plan while he's dead drunk, and let's not forget Festerbester (Star Wreck's Alfred Bester, played by the same actor who plays Fukov, showing that the filmmakers know their source material well; and if you don't know why it's the same actor, you're probably too young for this website) the seemingly psychotic telepath in command of the Excavator, a powerful flagship on Sherrypie's side with a gun so powerful and requiring so much juice to operate that the ship's power core needs to restart each time the weapon is fired.

The humor of the film partially stems from the interaction of these over the top parody characters, and partially from the absurd events that take place. We really don't want to spoil much of the movie so we won't go into details, but suffice to say that the insane events that happen throughout the movie are well represented by the concept of a maniacal buffoon version of Captain Kirk entering a fistfight with a long winded speech loving version of Captain Sheridan, a truly epic fistfight with a hilarious finale. To put it simply, the movie is over the top, hilarious, and epically awesome.

Bear in mind that this movie is an independent production filmed on a low budget so don't expect the best production quality from it, but even so the movie is surprisingly well made and, what's even more important, very entertaining. More, this film is a fine example of why independent productions are often better than the majority of the utter shit spewed out by Hollywood in the past ten years: production value may be low but the creativity value is outstanding and you can tell by watching it that Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning was made with love and care, that the people involved were having fun and gave it everything they had when they filmed it. It truly warms the heart to see such wonderful movies come out of the independent scene.

In summary, we highly recommend this movie for just about everyone who loves a good sci-fi comedy. Fans of Babylon 5 and Star Trek will of course appreciate the movie much more but any fan of sci-fi parodies should find great enjoyment in watching it. The original movie was released free on the internet  under a Creative Commons license so you can find it on the web as a freely and legally downloadable film (e.g. on Google Videos) but a newer version is available for purchase on DVD with improved ship designs and some worthwhile extras. The DVD also comes with a sneak preview of Iron Sky, which is just another reason to buy it while we wait for that movie's release. Also, for all you Star Trek fanatics out there: yes, Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning is available with Klingon subtitles.

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