ORCA KILLER WHALE
Almost every person who sees Orca hates it. I contrarily liked it. It is a transparently obvious attempt to rip off Jaws (1975). It has the potentially ludicrous but in actuality quite ingenious idea of conducting a role-reversed retelling of Moby Dick (1851) here it is the whale who plays the Ahab role and obsessively pursues the sea captain in revenge for the slaughter of its mate. This works quite a bit better than it sounds and there is a nicely doom-laden sense to the exercise. The photography has a stunning beauty there is one gorgeous scene as the whale pushes its dead mate off into the sunset.
Michael Anderson, director of films like Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Logans Run (1976) and Millennium (1989), conducts some wildly fantastique visions there is an amazing apparition of the whale flipping in mid-air while triumphantly outlined against the burning refinery. There is also an extraordinary climax set in the Arctic with the whale attempting to crush the ship with icebergs, prowling beneath translucent ice-sheets and then leaping up to tip the sheet into the air and send Richard Harris flying. On the minus side, the human element is lacking with there being zero screen ignition between Richard Harris of wavering Irish brogue and the perpetually glacial Charlotte Rampling.
In the mid-80s, Dino de Laurentiis was at one point purported to be toying with the idea of making a King Kong sequel that would have teamed Kong up against Orca.
Michael Andersons other genre films include an adaptation of George Orwells 1984 (1956); The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), a political thriller concerning a near-future Pope; Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze (1975), based on the pulp hero; the dystopian sf film Logans Run (1976); the psycho-thriller Dominique (1978); the tv mini-series adaptation of Ray Bradburys The Martian Chronicles (1980); the thriller Bells/Murder by Phone/The Calling (1981) about killer telephone calls; the excruciating Adam and Eve softcore comedy Second Time Lucky (1984); the John Varley time travel film Millennium (1989); the tv movie remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997); and The New Adventures of Pinocchio (1999).