Orca: the Killer Whale (1977)
The Killer Whale
Orca - A Baleia Assassina
Orca - Djupets Hämnare
Orca - Dræberhvalen
Orca - Syvyyksien Kostaja
Orca - Tappajavalas
Orca, der Killerwal
Orca, la Ballena Asesina
Orca: Killer Whale
Nomination Year: 2013
SYNOPSIS: Call me Talks With Exposition. I bring you a tale of a man and a whale, of greed, stupidity and revenge. A tale that tries really, really hard to not just be a rip-off of Jaws.
But let us begin at the beginning...
Richard Harris is a man called Whale. Er. Wait, that's not right. (checks notes) Nolan! That's his name. He's a grizzled ship captain, trying to make big money by capturing a Great White Shark for an aquarium. His plans are foiled when the shark he's hunting goes after a pair of whale researchers. The whale being researched doesn't much care for this, and rams the shark at about Mach 3, killing it instantly and saving the life of the young, stupid grad-student type that we promptly dubbed "Bait Boy."
Captain Nolan is very impressed by this and starts pumping Dr. Bedford (Charlotte Rampling as the Attractive Female Scientist and narrator of the flick) for information about killer whales. She tells him a lot before belatedly realizing that he intends to capture one.
He ignores the good advice she gave him (i.e. "Just don't.") and goes hunting. His plan fails. Badly. He accidentally kills off the pregnant mate of the biggest, meanest, smartest Orca in the whole North Atlantic. This Orca beats the hell out of his ship, kills one of his crew, then swims away to plot revenge.
Nolan heads back to port to get his ship fixed up, then refuses to head out again - possibly the first smart thing he's done all movie. He's having flashbacks about how his pregnant wife was killed by a drunk driver, so now he's all full of sympathy for the Orca. A bit late for that.
Unfortunately, nobody wants him hanging around their port. The wise medicine man Umilak (aka Talks With Exposition) tells him that the Orca will be hunting him. The fishermen of the town agree. People shun him, like he's got a Scarlet Orca stitched to his jacket... Nolan scoffs at their superstition for a while, but they're soon proven correct.
First, the schools of fish vanish from the usual fishing grounds. Then people spot an Orca fin whenever they go out on the water. Then the Orca comes into the harbor and smashes every boat but Nolan's. Then the killer whale burns down half the town. That's one seriously vengeful pyromaniac killer whale.
Eventually, the Orca knocks over Nolan's house and bites off the leg of the least annoying member of his crew. This finally gets Nolan and his last crewmember to come back on the water, along with the Attractive Female Scientist, Talks With Exposition and (reappearing after vanishing for almost the whole movie) Bait Boy.
The Orca then spends an inordinate amount of time luring him up the coast of Newfoundland and into the polar ice, leading one of your Smithee viewers to comment, "Suddenly it's Frankenstein?"
Eventually the Orca gets tired of picking off the crew of the ship one by one and rams the whole thing with an iceberg. Having killed everyone but the Attractive Female Scientist, the Orca then swims off under the ice cap to die.
...And now you don't have to watch it.
- Deus Ex Machina
Deus Ex Orca!
Divers are in the water, but a great white shark is closing in. Things are looking incredibly bleak, when suddenly an orca appears, smashing into the shark's flank at top speed. The shark "limps" off to recover, and the diver is saved!
Can't hold a candle to that Orca. He'd kill you with it.
The Orca, frustrated by the ship captain's refusal to put back out to sea, gets its revenge in a most unexpected manner. It knocks up against a dock from underneath, detaching a fuel hose. Then it knocks up against a house-on-stilts-over-the-water, knocking over a lantern. The resulting conflagration blows up the fuel depot, and burns down about half the town. Meanwhile, the Orca is out in the harbor doing backflips to celebrate another victory over the stupid humans.
- Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame Richard Harris yep, he played "Dumbledore" in some of the Harry Potter movies, that Richard Harris Charlotte Rampling the same Charlotte Rampling who was naked in Swimming Pool Bo Derek yes, that Bo Derek Keenan Wynn Son of famous old-time comic Ed Wynn, was the villian in some Disney films (like Herbie Rides Again and The Shaggy D.A.); voiced the Winter Warlock in Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Robert Carradine best known as "Lewis Skolnick" in the Revenge of the Nerds films; son of John, half-brother of David, full brother of Keith Peter Hooten Don "Red" Barry "Red Ryder" from the 1940s-era film serial Adventures of Red Ryder, which is where he acquired the nickname
Director Claim to Fame Michael Anderson
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