After witnessing the killing of its mate and child, a male killer whale decides to get even, attacking the small fishing harbour where Captain Nolan, the man responsible, lives.
A cheap and tacky attempt by producer Dino De Laurentiis to cash on the phenomenon of Jaws, in which Richard Harris takes over crusty sea salt duties from Robert Shaw and Bo Derek gets her leg bitten off. There’s a loose eco-message, attempting to add depth to its otherwise obvious copycatting, in which marine professor Charlotte Rampling teaches us all about how whales are good creatures and quite smart. Perhaps, smarter than even director Michael Anderson who, ostensibly, is delivering a blubbery slasher movie — Orca, driven mad, is on a killing spree and manages to burn the whole town down (clever whale).
There must be some irony in the fact Harris’ old man of the sea (another of his tiresome “shouty” performances) catches Great Whites to put in aquariums — man, that Quint was a wuss in comparison. It’s all cod-profound — white man against nature, white man against women, white man against Inuits. Where does our great white hunter fit into the post-post whatever world? Not that anyone’s questioning anything but those phoney looking icebergs.
Jaws but bigger, more mammal, and just plain bad.