Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning
directed by Timo Vuorensola
starring Samuli Torssonen, Antti Satama
Independent fan film from Finland
It’s Finnish. It’s Sci-Fi. It’s free. It’s even funny, in a weird northern European sort of way. I love foreign film, but Finland lacks much of a cinema industry, even though they have time, space and technology just lying around. Finally, it got put to use, and even though “fan films” can be tedious, Timo Vuorensola puts together a very entertaining view of flying space junk.
As Star Trek parodies go, this one is solidly in the middle of the pack, and by that I mean it is much better than the worst actual Star Trek movie released, and nearly as good as the best one released. And let’s face it, at this point in the space time continuum, most major sci-fi franchises are just elaborate self-parodies.
Pirkinning consists of two major parts: some motivating plot and endless special effect space battles. The plot dissipates early, but in it Captain Pirk (Torssonen), Dwarf (Vuorensola) and Info (Satama) are stuck in crappy jobs in Finland. They were accidentally sent back in time to earth, went native, and now wait for the antimatter drive to be announced so they can get off this rock. When the announcement fails to arrive, Pirk goes to Russia and steals back the remnants of the ship they arrived in, sold off by Lt Cochbrane (Rudi Aristo). With the help of the Russians, they build a fleet, Pirk becomes emperor of the world, and the restless Russian public drives Pirk to look for other Earth-like planets through a maggot hole in space. There he finds a Babylon 5-like space station run by Captain Sherrypie (Atte Jousten), a man given to making long, fatuous expositional speeches. Pirk attacks and we get what we’ve waited for — endless special effect battles.
I am very impressed with those effects. The website says it took seven years of mostly volunteer work to create, and it’s top notch. The ships are slick, ripped off from all variants of Star Trek sources, and they move and explode like a well-wrought ballet. The weapons systems seem kinder and gentler — they shoot light balls and use twinkle rays to blast each other. If you like seeing billions of credits’ worth of hardware trashed, along with countless innocent civilians deaths off screen, this is for you.
The film comes in Finnish with English subtitles. All the English gags are simple-minded, running toward off color puns like “Commander Fukov”. Much of the humor revolves around Russian culture, like gritty propaganda films and Stalinist imagery that has now gone from scary to retro cool. I suspect there are plenty of bad Finnish jokes lurking as well, but unless you already speak Elvish or you have more than two double letters in your surname, it’s probably not worth it to look for them.
The whole film has a very professional indie look to it, and the acting is appropriate to the material. Pirk has a very hot looking science officer who runs around in a tight leather mini dress, but she doesn’t get nearly enough lines, and looks all pouty as a result. And while Pirk is a bit of an ass, Commander Fukov (Janos Honkonen) has some potential as a physical comedian, looking a bit like Ozzy Osborne before the really hard drugs kicked in.
Star Wreck is free, a labor of love, and yours for the download time. It runs about 90 minutes, and comes as a 500 MB AVI. Get it from the site or one of its mirrors, or use Bittorrent. Hey, it it’s actully legal!
Star Wreck: www.starwreck.com