Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning could arguably be considered one of the single most successful ventures in all of Finnish filmmaking. It basically launched the careers of several of its creators who have since gone on to make the feature film Iron Sky and for which a sequel is currently in the works, and with several million downloads since its initial online release in 2005, certain sources would even claim In The Pirkinning is the most popular Finnish film ever made. Not bad for a film with a budget of roughly 15 000 euros and for which the primary studio was a converted two-room apartment.

>em>Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning is a feature-length sci-fi comedy based around parodying Star Trek and Babylon 5. In the film Captain James B. Pirk and his crew have become stranded on present day Earth after a mission has sent them back in time from the future they originate from. When Pirk sees things are not progressing as he knows they are supposed to based on the history he knows in the future, he decides to take matters into his own hands to make sure the future he comes from will come to pass. And in the process he sorta ends up becoming the emperor of Earth, as you do.

In The Pirkinning was however not the first time Pirk appeared in a film. Actually, the film is the sixth installment in the Star Wreck series - seventh if you count Star Wreck 4½ - Weak Performance. The series' humble beginnings can be traced to a four-minute short film produced by Samuli Torssonen - the guy who portrays Pirk in the films - in 1992. The short was animated using computer graphics available to Torssonen at the time, and basically looks like an Atari 2600 game where ships shoot at each other with badly dubbed in dialogue on top. But from these humble beginnings more shorts followed, each more ambitious than the last.

The second short titled Star Wreck II: The Old Shit followed two years after the first short and graduated from the crude graphics of the its predecessor to still crude but improved animation which enabled showing the insides of the ships this time, and the actual characters. Star Wreck III: The Wrath of the Romuclans continued a similar style of animation with slight improvements such as a more three-dimensional look overall. By Star Wreck IV: The Kilpailu the animation had been replaced by real live actors in front of a green screen, which is the style in which the follow-up Star Wreck V: Lost Contact and the feature-length film In The Pirkinning were made.

Despite being low-budget and crudely executed, all of the Star Wreck short films - including the very first four-minute Atari game look-a-like - are all entertaining and genuinely funny. All the shorts have jokes that work, and despite their often juvenile nature they're all funny and amusing. In fact, I would argue the longer and better produced the shorts get, the less entertaining they become. The fourth and fifth short, while both still entertaining, suffer due to their run times which clock in at over half an hour each. Mostly I would say it's because the shorter the film, the easier it is to pack it full of funny jokes. When the film becomes longer, if you don't come up with enough funny material to spread out evenly across the entirety of the short, you risk having moments where the viewer loses interest, and I feel that is sort of the case with Star Wreck IV and V. Then again I find the full-length film In The Pirkinning, which is an hour and forty minutes long, entertaining as hell and incredibly funny, so clearly there isn't always a correlation.

The reason the Star Wreck shorts are entertaining is not because they tell unforgettable stories or because they revolutionize the field of cinema. They're entertaining because they're essentially films made by a small group of friends who had fun making them. When a filmmaker or a crew have a passion for their craft and make a film for no other reason than the fun of it, it shows. Star Wreck even in its most infantile form is in some strange way still fun and endearing, proving that you need to have passion and heart in your film before you can wow the audience with special effects. And that the core crew of Star Wreck did for yours truly with Iron Sky. While the special effects in the film are nothing out of the ordinary, I can't ignore the fact that the film's budget was roughly eight million euros and the effects rival many blockbusters I've seen with budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars. While it's perfectly alright to spend money on a movie if it warrants it, I'd still say Iron Sky works an example of what you can do when you spend said money wisely.