Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Orca: He gonna Get Ya Big Free Willy Style

I consider myself somewhat of a terrible movie scholar. Not that I've intentionally gone out to the local Mom 'N Pop video stores (and that horrible abomination, Blockbuster) and rented the cream of the crap just to experience the sheer hilarity and self-abuse that ensued. No, I just like reading reviews of bad movies and, every once in a while, browse the various sections of the video store and observe the covers that stand out. I may actually get to see one of these failures of film every once in a while (the one closest to me is Blue Monkey, an obscure 80s giant bug flick with an amazingly misleading title that I once caught on late night TV. The sheer awfulness of that piece work pretty much justifies a write-up of it's own).
Tonight, while sitting around with two friends browsing the television after viewing a clown propose to his girlfriend on Howie Mandell's terrible gameshow on NBC, and after viewing the first act of the classic Rugrats Passover Special (I'm sure Jews everywhere appreciate Nickelodeon recreating one of their most important backstories with a bunch of babies obsessed with diaper humor), we turned it to the Aboriginal Network(yes, we up here in Canada get an entire channel targeting the Native populace, although the programming they choose to do so can be quite...different, as you will see). And what happens to be on? Why, legendary B-Movie Jaws knockoff, Orca.
Now, you may be wondering, what does Orca have to do with Aboriginal peoples? Well...uhhh...there's the generic Wise old, and some sort of Nature theme...well, atleast it has alot more to do with the Network's market than Batman & Robin, which also appears on it quite regularly. But, back onto the shitty movie at hand.
If you've been scanning sites featuring bad movie reviews, you've probably encountered Orca a few times. Released in 1977, the film is, as mentioned before, a transparent knockoff of Jaws. It even mimics some scenes and characters verbatim (alright, not verbatim. Replace 'Boat' with 'Cabin' for one scene.) The one thing this Killer Whale has over his shark nemesis? Instead of killing stuff for no reason, HE'S WITH A VENGEANCE. Yep, this whale is knocking people off left and right trying to get revenge on the sailor who killed his gal and baby(who just tears out it's mother's hanging corpse and is blown off deck with a hose. How dramatic.)
The rest of the movie sees Orca tearing shit up like a twister. He sinks ships, breaks cabins, bites off legs, and even causes HALF THE TOWN TO EXPLODE. All the while partaking in some of the absolute worst death scenes I've ever seen. We don't get a chance to see him actually pull people in, the camera pans so fast as to trick us, but it doesn't work in the slightest. Even worse, he mainly kills off characters that haven't even had time to become 1-Dimensional. All the while, the main hunter who killed Orca's girl watches the madness around him, and some marine biologist woman watches him watch the madness(Earlier in the film, she told some sort of class that Orca's probably thought human speech was retarded. Arrogant assholes.)
The hunter decides he must face the whale in final combat. I thought this meant a boxing match, but nope, it means the only characters with any development plus some guy who looked like the Fonz were taking the boat and going after the whale. Fonz-guy is killed off early and without fanfare, which makes sense considering I didn't know who he was or why he was there (maybe I wasn't paying attention...). They follow the whale to the frozen north, where the bearded guy tries to make it out in a lifeboat and is chomped by our whaley friend. We then see Orca pushing a damn iceberg into their ship, causing ice rocks to crush Wise Old Native(wait...that's never happened before!) and causing hunter and marine biologist lady to flee onto the iceflow. Orca then separates the two, plays a short game of dodge bullet with the hunter, gets him to fall in the water and then does an amazing underwater tail slap that sends the guy flying against the iceflow in the most hilariously cartoony fashion a supposed suspense film could muster. The movie ends with Orca swimming off, finally getting the revenge he sought, and the one survivor, marine biologist lady, being rescued by a helicopter.
It's been a while since I've laughed so hard at a movie. It is so ridiculously dumb, with all the scenes mentioned above and the addition of the R2-D2-dying-while-being-raped-anally sounds the hurt whales emit. And, of course, the best part of all: the intro, where a whale breaks a fake-looking great white shark like a graham cracker, meaning to lampoon the movie that is much, much, much, much, much, much better than this is.
If you and you're friends desire to make your own Mystery Science Theatre 3000, this is a prime target for your jokes. Leave Blue Monkey for seconds....


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