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"Orca: The Killer Whale" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 3 [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : "Orca: The Killer Whale" Reviews/Discussion - 2011 Horror Challenge: Day 3


Chad
09-25-11, 06:51 PM
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Orca: The Killer Whale (1977)
http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n172/dvdchad/orca.jpg

Selected by rbrown498
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IMDB ENTRY (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076504/combined)

YOUTUBE LINK (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNdMCWbmtkg)

These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/10392593-post257.html).

MAIN THREAD (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/578743-100-movies-31-days-6th-annual-october-horror-movie-challenge-10-1-10-31-a.html) | LIST THREAD (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/579437-6th-annual-october-horror-movie-challenge-10-1-10-31-list-thread.html)

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

OHMC7 HOME (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/578743-100-movies-31-days-6th-annual-october-horror-movie-challenge-10-1-10-31-a.html)
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Undeadcow
10-03-11, 05:07 PM
This movie turned out to be more gonzo than I expected... revenge movie theme, expelled whale fetus, Moby Dick homages, blatant Jaws ripping, frozen ice battle (similar to Frankenstein), environmental banter. I really don't think it would have been the same without the cheesy scottish accent. I'd heard of Orca (in part because when out of print it seems to demand a higher price) and never would have watched it but glad I did. At times the Jaws homages came a little too strong and the penultimate harpoon chase whale boat raming material was a little too close but worth a chuckle. It was better than Frogs.

Mondo Kane
10-03-11, 05:14 PM
Just got done with this. A little bit better than I always expected since I always assumed it was just about a bland, rampaging whale...But those cries,roars and tears of his sure gave him another dimension :D

It was also (Unintentionally) funny in the early going (Loved the whale's victory splashes) and regarding Bo Derek, who I didn't even recognize:
I would have had my biggest laugh of the marathon if the whale tore off the other leg!

The sets & music (Good ol' Morricone) also helped make this decent enough. Oh, and why was Will Sampson dubbed?

Chad
10-03-11, 08:44 PM
Wow, is this flick ever full of indecisive people.

And gotta love the scene where the whale saves the scuba diver (who he later kills) from "Jaws". Yeah, let's destroy and shit on a reasonable facsimile of the central character from the film we're completely ripping off. :lol:

Regardless, I was impressed.

zwolf
10-03-11, 09:01 PM
Here's my review... I liked it okay, but damn it's wacky! They asked a lot from suspension-of-disbelief...

Orca (C, 1977) Jaws variation tries to make America's sweetheart, the killer whale, into an object of terror. Richard Harris is trying to capture a great white shark for an aquarium, but a killer whale kills his target shark (and rescues a diver in the process). Charlotte Rampling, in a lecture, explains that killer whales are so intelligent that humans are "retarded" in comparison, and Harris decides to go capture one of those instead, even though she warns him off. He promptly and incompetently kills a pregnant female killer whale and gains one hell of an enemy in the form of her enraged mate. Seeking vengeance, the male orca starts attacking the ship and dragging down any low-hanging-fruit dumb enough to dangle over the side (and idiots are plentiful in this film). He spends awhile in a pitiful struggle to keep his mate alive by pushing her dying body through the water but it's hopeless and leaves him more mad for revenge. Soon he's gone full-blown terrorist, sinking every boat in Harris's harbor, eating all the fish, blowing up refineries, and knocking down houses with his head-butting. Everybody's pretty pissed at Harris, and even though he's spooked by the whole thing (and has personal demons because his own pregnant wife was killed by a drunk driver) he finally goes after Orc-sama Bin Ladin when he bites off Bo Derek's leg. The whale earns his reckoning and Harris takes the boat out again, and things get even more ridiculous when the movie turns into an ocean version of Chato's Land. I know whales are smart, but come on! Dino DeLaurentis wasn't exactly making cerebral films at the time, and this one's pretty goofy and more of an adventure film than horror. It's not boring, though, if your brain can shrug off the insult. Ennio Morricone's score will help make that easier, as always.

rbrown498
10-03-11, 10:05 PM
Orca (1977) - Oh, how I miss the Dino De Laurentiis of the mid-to-late 1970s. It's not that I think that he made good movies; on the contrary, most of his output from that time period was sheer dreck (see also Lipstick, Mandingo and its sequel, Drum, and King Kong). I think what I miss is that De Laurentiis was a showman--he knew how to package and sell a movie, how to build anticipation for a project and deliver a film that, for all its faults, still delivered the goods. Orca is such a movie. Is it a good film? Not by any objective measure. What it does have going for it is a pretty good central performance by Richard Harris, a score by the great Ennio Morricone, and delusions of grandeur. Imagine Moby Dick as written by William Shakespeare with the whale as the tragic figure, and you'll have a fairly good idea of what's going on with this movie. I don't think that even Shakespeare would have had a dying she-whale spontaneously abort her fetus onto a ship's deck, however. Look quickly for Robert Carradine, and mute the sound during the end credits so as to avoid the atrocious theme song, "My Love, We Are One." For a while, Orca was known primarily as Bo Derek's film debut--her character in the film might as well have been named "Ingenue" for all the wide-eyed non-acting she does--but now it's practically forgotten, which is understandable, but somewhat a shame.

rbrown498
10-03-11, 10:12 PM
Orc-sama Bin Ladin

*snicker*

Trevor
10-04-11, 07:59 AM
Regardless, I was impressed.
Me too. I remember loving Orca as a Jaws-obsessed 10 year old, but didn't think it would hold up as an adult viewing. Cheesy yes, but it kept me entertained throughout.
Orca (1977) - Oh, how I miss the Dino De Laurentiis of the mid-to-late 1970s. It's not that I think that he made good movies; on the contrary, most of his output from that time period was sheer dreck (see King Kong).
Hey now! The 1976 Kong was at least better than that Peter Jackson silliness.

clckworang
10-04-11, 10:52 AM
One of the funniest moments of the movie came at the very beginning with the shark. I cracked up when the diver was hiding in the rocks and they show the shark looking around for him, and then the rock falls and the way they cut to the shark reacting. It just made me laugh; it felt very cartoony.

I know it's just a movie and blah, blah, blah, but I have to admit that I think my perception of the film was probably clouded by the fact that I very recently watched The Cove. Yes, those were dolphins, but it's still fairly closely related. Because of that, some of the stuff in this film just felt too silly. I giggled a bit each time the whale would leap out of the water in triumph.

Even so, the movie doesn't deserve to live in an OOP wasteland. In some ways, I was shocked at how good it looked watching it through YouTube, and in other ways, it just reinforced for me all the reasons why I don't usually go to YouTube in the first place. But I have to admit it was entertaining.

pagefrance
10-04-11, 01:14 PM
Was much better than I expected, but then again I wasn't expecting much. Charlotte Rampling does bring a touch of class to the film and her presence is alway enjoyable.
One thing it has in common with another De Laurentiis production, King Kong, was the movie poster. In King Kong the ape is pictured MUCH larger and doing things he never does in the movie (like crushing a Blimp with his hand and standing astride the Twin Towers). In Orca, the whale in the poster is gigantic and crushing a boat by jumping on it, something we never see in the film.
By the way, I'm glad this movie replaced Tintorera in the 31 film subset, which I also saw for this challenge, because Orca is the MUCH better film.

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
10-05-11, 03:14 PM
My seven year old started watching halfway through and liked it. She went upstairs when it was over and told her other sisters all about it. It was amusing hearing her take on it.

Spiderbite
10-11-11, 01:07 PM
Cheesy yes, but it kept me entertained throughout.



Exactly how I felt. I never saw this one as a kid surprisingly. This movie screams early 80's HBO.

Anyway, super dumb but fun and interesting...which is all you can ask for in a movie like this. Damn, Rampling sure was pleasant on the eyes back then.

And the movie was not what I was expecting. I was thinking it would be more of a Jaws rip-off as everyone always states or assumes. Instead Jaws 4 ripped off Orca! How do you like that!

As others stated, it was hard not to smile every time the whale did a victory jump. And can someone tell me how Bo Derek hurt her leg? I don't remember seeing how that happened.

My rating: **1/2 out of *****

clckworang
10-11-11, 02:01 PM
Exactly how I felt. I never saw this one as a kid surprisingly. This movie screams early 80's HBO.

Anyway, super dumb but fun and interesting...which is all you can ask for in a movie like this. Damn, Rampling sure was pleasant on the eyes back then.

And the movie was not what I was expecting. I was thinking it would be more of a Jaws rip-off as everyone always states or assumes. Instead Jaws 4 ripped off Orca! How do you like that!

As others stated, it was hard not to smile every time the whale did a victory jump. And can someone tell me how Bo Derek hurt her leg? I don't remember seeing how that happened.

My rating: **1/2 out of *****

Yep, it was shown quite often on HBO back in the day. I counted this as a first-time view, but I have definite memories of watching parts of it back then, though never all the way through. And I had to laugh, too, when I thought about how Jaws 4 ripped this movie off. :lol:

Trevor
10-11-11, 02:12 PM
Wow, you're right Brian. I had erased Jaws 4 from my mind, but yes, it does rip off Orca quite a bit.