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4 reviews, 9 user ratings

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by Brian McKay

"Carl's Jr. - Where all Klingon Warriors eat!"
4 stars

Okay, time for True Geek Confessions volume . . . aw fuckit, I lost count. But yes folks, I used to be a Trekkie, all the way through the NEXT GENERATION years, before I finally outgrew it. Or rather, I THOUGHT I was a Trekkie until I saw how these folks live. Whether you know anything about Star Trek or not is irrelevant: TREKKIES is a hilarious freakshow that simply must not be missed!

Although presented as a documentary about the phenomenon that is STAR TREK, and about the lifestyles of its most fanatical devotees, TREKKIES is really just a love letter to all things Trek that is obviously created by fans of the show. Still, it's not afraid to poke a little fun at Trek and Trek fans, and for that it is to be commended. The truth be told, it doesn't have to try hard to get a laugh out of the people and situations it focuses on, because the Trekkies (Trekkers, Trekken, Trekkas, or whatever the fuck you care to call them) provide the comedy with their mere existence - and the comedy is golden!

Hosted by Denise Crosby, who played a minor recurring crew member on NEXT GENERATION (Yes I remember the character's name, yes I'm embarrassed by that fact, and no I'm not going to tell it to you), TREKKIES examines various facets of the STAR TREK phenomenon, including interviews with the various cast members and show writers, convention footage, and several vignettes on some of the more extreme examples of Trek fandom. Among them are:

-A Dentist whose office is covered with Trek paraphernalia, and who makes his employees and his kids wear Trek uniforms (and don't they look thrilled).

-A group of "Klingons" who storm the local Carl's Jr. (and check out the looks on the staff's face when they walk in - CLASSIC!)

-A decidedly unsavory-looking Counselor Troi female impersonator who likes to sing Vulcan folk songs

-Another "Klingon" who bids $1400 on a Klingon hairpiece worn by actor John Colocos (not $140 dollars, but $1400!)

-The infamous juror from the Whitewater trial who insisted on wearing her Trek uniform to the courtroom (before she was dismissed), and who insists on being referred to as "Commander"

-An entire Iowa town that holds an annual Trek parade and keeps the theme going all year long . . . oh, and it's also the "Official future birthplace of James T. Kirk"

These are just a few examples of the insanity on display in TREKKIES, interspersed with some admittedly fascinating and even touching stories from the shows cast and crew members (James "Scotty" Doohan relates how he talked a woman out of committing suicide by writing to her and inviting her to keep coming out to conventions, while staff writer Brannon Braga tells the tale of an anonymous fan who has sent a package addressed simply to "Star Trek" every day for ten years - with no return address, and with items never even remotely related to the show.)

It's definitely a strange new world that these folks have chosen to inhabit, and for some the line between reality and Trek seems to be not just blurred, but completely erased. (Or, as a co-worker of mine commented: "There is no such thing as reality, just a generally agreed-upon perception of it - and these people are definitely not in agreement with the perception"). But while maintaining an air of seeming neutrality in the first half, TREKKIES eventually becomes a love letter to the fans and fandom, espousing the idea that they're just normal folks like you and I. But there's a dark side of any kind of obsession that runs this deep, and although TREKKIES shies away from it completely, it still manages to occasionally dawn through the smiling facades of what must be some acutely lonely and socially inept people. Where is the dirt? Where is the guy who lost a good job or a family because he spent all his time and money on Trek mania? Where is the fan who can look into the camera after 20 years of devotion, only to realize "My God, I've wasted my life?" Where are the stories of the kind of extreme fanaticism that leads to stalking of cast and crew members? Surely they must be out there. Yet TREKKIES would have us believe that all of these people are perfectly normal and happy as clams in their own little Trek universe - and perhaps some of them are. But there is always a danger of being obsessed with any one thing too much, whether it be Trek, religion, sports, drugs, sex, or anything else. TREKKIES seems to turn a blind eye to that fact, and while it can be admired for poking some good-natured fun at its subjects, it never becomes as deep or engrossing a study of the more bizarre side of human nature that it could have been.

Despite its apparently biased approach toward Trekdom, TREKKIES is a funny and fascinating film. Whether you choose to laugh at its subjects good-naturedly or derisively (or perhaps a little of both), laugh you will. But you may also come away from it with just a little more tolerance (if not real understanding) of the hardest of hardcore Trek geeks, who seem like decent enough folk over all - even if they are a bunch of fucking loons. But the next time I see one of them in full Klingon gear at a Carl's Jr., I hope they ask for a Western Bacon KAPLAGH!

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originally posted: 05/26/05 07:44:42
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User Comments

8/26/05 ES It's an interesting watch, but its not something most will be comfortable with 3 stars
5/27/05 Christy Schultz long and prosper... 4 stars
10/20/00 hum interesting but very shallow. a good starting point 3 stars
12/13/99 SID It really isn't very funny, just sad most of the time. There ARE some highlights though. 3 stars
10/17/99 JonnyAngel weird and wonderful 5 stars
6/04/99 Ah Dooey not a trek fan, but a really interesting documentary. Right on! 5 stars
5/30/99 MickCollins Star Trek fans are just too damn creepy. 3 stars
5/25/99 grunter Should be required viewing by all nascent Trekkies -- scary and endearing. 5 stars
5/23/99 Mr Showbiz This winning, absorbing documentary is fathomable by trekkies and mere earthlings alike. 5 stars
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  21-May-1999 (PG)



Directed by
  Roger Nygard

Written by

  Frank D'Amico
  Denise Crosby
  Leonard Nimoy
  George Takei

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