Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Orca: The Killer Whale (1977)

After a killer whale saves a crew member from a shark attack, strange looking Captain Nolan pays the helpful species back by deciding it would be a great idea to hunt one down and sell it for a profit. However his harpooning isn't the best and instead of hitting the happily swimming male, he lances the female.

Nolan has already been warned by Rachel, the towns resident whale psychologist, and Annie (played by Bo Derek) that he shouldn't mess with the whales. They mate for life and capturing one could mean you've taken away a whales mate.   Unfortunately for the killer whales, Nolan's a dick.

When they pull the female aboard, the crew discovers that Nolan killed a mother and her unborn whale child.  Orca is not amused.  In fact, Orca is so pissed that he decides he won't rest until Nolan pays for destroying his family.  In a strange coincidence, Nolan reveals that his wife and unborn child were driving to the hospital when they were killed by a drunk driver.  If only a drunk Orca behind the wheel, then we wouldn't hate Nolan as much.

Vengeful Orca starts sinking boats in the towns harbor, because that's what revenge crazy killer whales do.  A Native American shows up to make sure we know that Orca is sinking all the boats except Nolan's because he wants to fight Nolan at sea.   Nolan ain't gonna mess with no bat shit crazy Orca, which is essentially the same as telling the town to go to hell because Orca's on a killing spree that can only be appeased by Nolan facing him.

Whale psychologist Rachel tells a class that killer whales are smart and that if we were as smart as whales we wouldn't need words because we could communicate telepathically and words would just be redundant and retarded, (yes, Rachel actually says retarded).  Soon Orca proves her right by sinking all the boats, busting a hole in the towns gas line,  setting the fuel tanks on fire, and knocking over the supports on the dock so she can chomp on Annies broken leg.  After this, not only does Orca hate Nolan, but so does the whole town. I'm not sure whey they don't just throw him in the water, but they're trying to force him out of town on his own accord.

Released a few years after Jaws, this isn't as interesting a film. It's scarier to have a killer shark randomly attacking people, than a killer whale out for revenge against the guy who killed it's mate and child.  You want the shark in Jaws to die because he kills for no reason, but you feel sorry for Orca whose been traumatized.  You're routing for Nolan to die, while wondering why all the other crew members need to go out on his ship because you know they're going to taste Orca's vengeance.

There's an unintentionally funny scene with Rachel with a voice over talking about how cold it is on the boat.  She's lying under the covers and appears to be naked. No one shall ask why she doesn't just put on some clothes, as that would probably help her feel warmer.

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