When I first started this new series, I didn’t expect to wind up with THIS movie on the to-watch list. I had heard of it and knew it was a bit of a trip, but even that didn’t prepare me for the full experience itself. This is a movie that even as I type this out it’s kind of hard to describe. Orca is a film about a killer whale out to get revenge on an old fisherman for killing his pregnant whale wife. Seriously.


Now the movie starts off somewhat like a normal monster flick. They introduce the characters, set up the monster with an expert who explains everything, and then the attacks begin. Parts of the first act are almost like a nature documentary. With the hauntingly beautiful music set over footage of orcas in their natural habitats, you’d swear you flipped the channel and started watching Planet Earth. We’re then introduced to Nolan the fisherman. He’s a somewhat amoral man who catches animals for aquariums. It’s kind of sleazy but he’s always careful to not injure the animals so… it’s still not cool, but it could be worse. After learning about how much he could make catching and selling an orca, he sets out and finds a pod of whales. The capture goes horribly wrong and you may just want to fast forward through this part. It gets rough. Thankfully no whales were actually harmed making this, but the models they use are incredibly convincing and make this rough to watch. Like seriously. How is this rated PG??

So while this all happens, the husband orca watches on in horror and vows revenge on the boat and crew. Especially Nolan, the man who led the whole thing. Now here is where things start getting crazy… The second act follows the usual monster trend of the creature committing various attacks. But in most monster movies these are simple attacks. In this film, these are more like strategic chess moves. The whale doesn’t simply attack people, he finds clever ways to make Nolan’s life tough. The whale drives away fish to make the other fishers angry, then it starts sinking boats at the docks, knocking over houses, and finally starts cutting gas lines and blowing up buildings around the small fishing village. I’m not joking. A whale blows up several buildings in this movie.

After all the insanity, Nolan agrees to a showdown. This all ends with a big final fight on an iceberg. As insane as this movie gets, this part is actually pretty cool. By now you’ve decided to buy into the nonsense. Sure, why not have a Tekken style fight between the fisherman and an orca.

Overall this film is bizarre. It’s definitely different, you have to give it that. It’s often considered a copy of Jaws but even then the shark didn’t coordinate a town to turn on the old fisherman. The premise is insane, but the movie seems to know that and accepts it. It’s not an amazing movie, in fact it’s bad. But if you’re looking for something to make your jaw drop with absurdity I’d say watch it. Unless you absolutely can’t stand seeing hurt animals. STAY AWAY. Again no animals were actually hurt, the ones from the rough scenes are rubber and fake, but it’s still hard to watch.

Is there a cool movie you’d like to see me talk about? Tweet me a movie at @WyattTheNerd!

Banner art by Emily Kardamis (@corruptedgem on Twitter).