[Screen It]


(1999) (Denise Crosby, Star Trek cast & fans) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
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Smoking Tense Family
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Documentary: Former "Star Trek" actress Denise Crosby visits the show's many conventions and interviews the fans to see what makes them "trekkies."
As hosted by past "Star Trek: The Next Generation" cast member Denise Crosby, this documentary explores the "Star Trek" phenomenon. Through interviews with former cast and crew members, as well as various fans who've adopted the Trek philosophy into their everyday lives, the film highlights the Star Trek world, those fans, and the various related conventions they attend.
If they're fans of any of the "Star Trek" shows or movies, they probably will.
For mild sexual and drug references.
Beyond the cast performers from the real shows/movies who simply recount stories about their experiences with the show, it's doubtful many parents would consider any of the obsessed fans who are showcased here to be good role models.


OUR TAKE: 6.5 out of 10
Upon seeing the first several minutes of "Trekkies," the prominent thought bound to materialize -- faster than a transporter beam -- for anyone with either a casual interest in the "Star Trek" universe -- which includes the original TV show, its spinoffs and theatrical releases -- or complete apathy toward Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the gang, has to be "Get a life!"

Yes, before the freaks of nature came out of the woodwork in the past several years to populate trashy tabloid TV programs like "The Jerry Springer Show," the only place to find such people was at movie and TV show conventions. And there was -- and apparently still is -- no better place for that than the "Star Trek" conventions.

To be fair and kind to those devoted, if occasionally misguided souls, there's no sleeping with in- laws or animals and relatively little in the way of chair throwing at such events. Instead, these conventions are the equivalent of a big sci-fi-based Halloween party with a touch of Mardi Gras thrown in for good measure. This documentary not only details those conventions, but also the interesting and certainly unique characters -- we're talking about real people -- who not only attend them, but also extend such fanaticism into their everyday lives.

As pseudo-hosted by Denise Crosby, who appeared as Lt. Tasha Yar on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," we get to meet an eclectic mix of people. There's Dr. Denis Bourguignon, an Orlando dentist who's completely redone his office and practice with a Trek motif, and Barbara Adams, a woman actually chosen for jury duty in the Arkansas Whitewater trial, but dismissed due to her Trek attire, ever present "accessories" and the need to be called "commander."

Helmed by filmmaker and editor Roger Nygard, the picture never fully reveals whether it's poking fun at, or paying homage to these people, and one can't wonder if -- and certainly hope that -- some of what occurs has been staged or at least somewhat exaggerated.

Case in point is an auction of a rubber Klingon forehead mold that soon goes beyond the one- thousand dollar mark, and a female fan -- a "Spiner femme" -- who has so many convention photos of actor Brent Spiner that he's bound to get a restraining order placed on her after seeing this film. Regardless of its sticking with the truth or not, the film's certainly interesting -- in the manner of a roadside car wreck -- and often funny during its eighty-some minute runtime.

Surprisingly, it also has some truly touching moments where fans or the performers from the show recount how "Star Trek" affected their lives for the better. In particular, a story told by James Doohan -- "Scotty" on the original show -- about a suicidal fan who finally pulled their life together in part due to Doohan's care, manages to put a big tug on the heartstrings. That's especially true when the beloved actor tears up from joy, stating that receiving the "all's well" letter from that fan after a long silence was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Some of the film's better moments, in fact -- especially for those of us who grew up on the original show -- are seeing those cast members and hearing their tales about the whole Trek experience in both their past and present lives. One includes a fun story told by Leonard "Mr. Spock" Nimoy regarding a funny run-in with John Wayne, while another told by Nichelle "Lt. Uhura" Nichols is about getting a fan letter from a little girl who later became quite a star herself.

The odd thing about such moments, however, is that Nygard identities those cast members with on-screen titles, a bizarre move since the only people who are probably going to watch the film are "Trek" fans, and if they can't identify the cast members, then their fans cards certainly need to be revoked.

The documentary does occasionally feel a bit long -- especially when it's seemingly just treading water -- and it's questionable how many people apart from "Trek" fans will want to see it -- let alone pay to do so. Nonetheless, this odd, but amusing little film -- complete with the obligatory shaky, grainy and often out-of-focus camera work -- is certainly one of the most unique, eye- opening experiences of the year. We give "Trekkies" a 6.5 out of 10.

Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-rated documentary. That rating comes from brief mention of a marijuana joint being mailed to a cast member, as well as some sexually related material. Some of that regards several viewed paintings/drawings that feature two of the Trek characters in sensual/suggestive poses (akin to the cover of steamy romance novel). Other sexually related talk also briefly occurs.

Beyond the seemingly odd and obsessed behavior of some of the showcased fans, though, the rest of the film's categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable material. Should you still be concerned about its appropriateness for someone in your home, however, we suggest that you take a closer look at the listed content.

  • Deforest Kelley ("Bones" on the original show) recounts getting a letter from a fan who included a marijuana joint with it. He then says that it read, "You turned me on so many times, I thought I'd return the favor." He then adds that he kept "that one."
  • Some fans at a barbeque hold bottles of beer.
  • None.
  • Some viewers may see some of the fans portrayed here as having some of both for being so fanatical and/or obsessed.
  • None.
  • Fake "Trek" weapons such as phasers and knives are seen in various shots.
  • The film may inspire some kids to dress up/act weird like some of the real people do in the film.
  • One of those people mentions that he tattooed a related emblem on his chest by himself.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 1 use of "For God's sakes," "Oh my God" and "Good God," along with some bleeped out profanity heard in some comedy routines, are used as exclamations.
  • A male fan is dressed like a woman (ie. A transvestite).
  • Two gay men briefly talk about "Trek" and one states they he's from the starship "Battle Queen." Later, they talk about hoping that in the future (as on "Trek") that everyone will get along with gays and lesbians.
  • A dentist and his wife briefly talk about their relationship being helped by them alternating dressing up like different "Trek" characters (presumably sexually related).
  • Some women dressed in Klingon costumes show a great deal of cleavage in several scenes.
  • Deforest Kelley ("Bones" on the original show) recounts getting a letter from a fan ("a very delightful looking girl") who included a marijuana joint with it. He then says that it read, "You turned me on so many times, I thought I'd return the favor." He then adds that he kept "that one."
  • We see many drawings, photos and paintings that fans have created of "Trek" characters in sensual embraces, but nothing explicit (such as a color one of Denise Crosby -- wearing something resembling a bra and panties -- seductively posed on top of Brent Spiner). Others show them in intertwined poses.
  • We also see that one of the "Trek" producers has a lamp with a base consisting of part of a classic nude statue of a woman (no head, or arms, and stopping at the knees, but showing breasts and a crotch area -- sans any hair).
  • Someone else mentions stories about Kirk and Spock and not wanting to see them with any women, and another talks about a story where one character ties up another and strikes them with a riding crop. Another mentions a "Klingon Sex Manual" and then talks about there being no "safe sex" with Klingons and about "initiating the mating ritual." A woman dressed up like a Klingon then slaps the man with her, stating that's part of the mating ritual and means that she wants to go out with him.
  • Someone then talks about a latex "Klingon condom" having ridges on it (to go along with the real characters' bumpy foreheads).
  • We see a "Trek" action-figure toy of a woman dressed in a mini S&M leather outfit.
  • A comedian shown during the end-credits talks about the "Next Generation" show and that if he had been the 14-year-old on board who had never been kissed, he never would have left the "holodeck" (a place that uses holograms to represent fantasies, etc...).
  • None.
  • None.
  • Whether the people presented are "fans" or actual "fanatics."
  • A male fan is dressed like a woman (ie. A transvestite).
  • A woman dressed up like a Klingon slaps the man with her, stating that it's part of the Klingon mating ritual and means that she wants to go out with him.

  • Reviewed May 13, 1999 / Posted May 21, 1999

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