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DVD Review

DVD cover

Star Wreck
Imperial Edition


Starring: Samuli Torssonen, Atte Joutsen, Antti Satama and Janos Honkonen
Revolver Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: PG
Available 04 May 2009

Captain James B. Pirk has a problem. Due to unforeseen circumstances he, and part of his crew, are stranded in Earth's past with no starships to further Pirk's imperial ambitions. Not a man to stand idly by while history catches up, he strikes a partnership with the Russians. With a ship at his command he quickly takes over Earth, but are they grateful, of course not. With poverty and famine raging across the planet, Pirk sees an opportunity for expansion and glory when a wormhole opens up to another dimension. With his fleet behind him Pirk invades only to be met by the forces commanded by Captain Sherrypie of Babel 13...

Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning - Imperial Edition (1 hr, 43 min, 14 sec) was directed by Timo Vuorensola and stars Samuli Torssonen in this Finnish fan made parody of Star Trek and Babylon 5.

Since 1992, when he released the first Star Wreck short, Samuli Torssonen has continued to increase the length, depth and breadth of his Star Trek parodies. Normally available free to download his amateur endeavours have finally borne fruit with the release of Star Wreck: Imperial Edition on DVD, which sports better special effects compared to the downloadable version, which was downloaded nearly four million times making it the most successful Finnish movie of all time.

For an amateur venture the film is a lot more polished than I would have thought possible. It wasn’t until I watched the extras that I realised that the sets are, for the most part virtual. Watching it through again you can see this in a few places but overall it’s an impressive achievement. Apart from the acting which, if you were feeling generous, would be classed as passable and a script written just for the laughs, the main point of the film is the space battles and these do not disappoint with tens of ships flying around blowing each other to pieces.

Want to know who would win a battle between Star Trek and Babylon 5 ships? Well this answers the question. Of course the film makers have had to alter both ships and character names, presumably so they don’t get sued, but you would have to be blind not to see who they are parodying. Although there are space battles aplenty, the film strikes a good balance between action and narrative, the film also boasts scope, not only does it star the five core film makers, but also has contributions from three hundred extras (I’m pretty sure that this is a PR typo as I didn’t see the legendary three hundred on the screen).

The film comes as a two disc package, though the review copies were very bare boned affairs. Disc one contains the film and apparently the finished version will have a commentary and a featurette. Disc two is where most of the extras live; once more the review version had no menus with the features just playing one after another. That said the number of extras would put a major studio to shame. First up you get the inevitable Blooper Reel (8 min, 02 sec) followed by the extra which should have appeared on the first disc Spirit of Star Wreck (49 min, 24 sec) which is quickly followed by Definitive Inside Out (1 hr, 10 min, 11 sec), both features demonstrate the modest self effacing of director Timo Vuorensola, creative driving force, producer Samuli Torssonen and writer Rudi Airisto amongst others. For these guys making the film was an obvious labour of love. Birth of the Imperial Edition (19 min, 49 sec) looks at the birth of this version of their film and the extras are finished up with the film's trailer (3 min, 09 sec) and a feature Towards the Iron Sky (29 min, 53 sec) which looks at where the team want to go in the future.

If you’re a fan of the creators of Star Wreck then this is a must have purchase as it's superior to the downloadable version. Otherwise the film is likely to appeal to fans of Star Trek and Babylon 5, so long as you check any preciousness about these two franchises firmly at the door. This is not a subtle film but it is a lot of fun.


Charles Packer

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