LOOKING OUT FOR #1:
A Review of 'Sev Trek: Pus In Boots'
by Michelle Erica Green
Great Sev! The much-anticipated first Sev Trek movie, featuring the beloved crew of the Sevship Enterforaprize, finally becomes available this month. Reminiscent of The Simpsons (with delightfully dimensional animation by Andrew Simpson, presumably not related to Homer), Sev Trek: Pus In Boots tells the dramatic tale of the crisis that erupts when Captain Pinchhard must decide the fate of a sentient life-form aboard his ship...a giant pimple on Commander Piker's face.
Piker wants to pop his zit, but when android Beta warns Pinchhard that the pimple has demonstrated sentience by attempting to protect itself, the captain cites their responsibility to protect new life and demands that they uphold the P.C. Directive. However, he soon has reason to regret this humanitarian gesture -- for, as Barf points out, every week the Enterforaprize tries to befriend unknown aliens, and every week the aliens end up attacking.
Sure enough, the pimple breaks loose from Piker's face and flees through the ship, leaving mayhem and grossness in its wake. Despite a seemingly endless supply of ensigns with names like Anonymous, Expendable and Cannonfodder, the crew soon finds itself decimated and demoralized. But if the Borg can't get Pinchhard down, you can bet that no measly pimple will do the job, even if this pimple is much larger than those on the face of annoying ship-saving boy wonder Measly Cruncher. 'The line must be drawn here!' announces the captain, leaving the crew to struggle with broken tardylifts and 'technobabblian interference.' It takes a shipboard struggle with traditional Clingon weapons as well as a space battle to weaken the enemy, but the crew refuses to give up, even though Deep Sev Nine got all the good morphing effects.
Like Galaxy Quest, Pus In Boots was clearly made by people with great knowledge of and affection for Star Trek, even though they claim the goal of the producers is 'to boldly milk the franchise till it can be milked no more!' Longtime Sev writer John Cook incorporates elements from many of his best comics in the 45-minute film. Structured like a typical Next Generation episode into five acts with teaser and tag, Pus In Boots offers more consistent dialogue and characterization than many actual Trek episodes, and gets in hilarious digs at all four past series; I particularly liked Piker's impression of Garth of Izar from 'Whom Gods Destroy,' which featured two Jim Kirks...excuse me, Gym Quirks.
Pus in Boots is based on a comic series of the same name from several years ago, but contains numerous sight gags and more recent parodies that will surprise long-time Sev readers. The animation is impressive though occasionally uneven; after the superb opening credits with a 3-D ship flying through a multi-layered starscape, Pinchhard in his bathtub looks a little flat, but the mobile zit (nicknamed 'Old Yeller') has the perfect mix of comic mobility and icky realism. Actor Wally Fields provides most of the character voices and does a generally excellent job, particularly with Pinchhard and Barf; Piker's whinier than his alter ego Riker, but Beta is hilariously deadpan as he tries to play Pokémon instead of studying his padd.
Truly a delight for longtime readers and newcomers alike, the Sev Trek movie offers hundreds of laughs as well as some pointed commentary on the foibles of the franchise. Pus in Boots is available at the Sev Trek web site now; fans will receive 20% off on orders placed by May 25. In addition to the video, the site offers a Deluxe Pack with a Sev Trek print signed by writer/director Cook and animator Simpson. Illustrations from the film can be found here.