When Steven Spielberg directed Jaws, an adaptation of Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, audiences went into a frenzy. The ocean was no longer a place for fun but crowds of people were suddenly horrified of the dark watery depths which surrounded them.
As a result, many studios tried to buy into this newfound fear of the ocean. Plenty of the films produced happened to follow sharks similarly to Jaws, but one chose to focus on another aquatic predator. The Orca, to be exact.
The opening scene sets the entire tone for the film. We start off with the beginning moments of a shark attack, with a vicious Great White going after a couple of panicky swimmers. It seems to be another rehash of Jaws until something stops the shark – an Orca, otherwise known as a killer whale. It manages to kill the shark, as if saying, “Hey, Jaws, watch out! This movie is bigger and better!”
Of course this film is nowhere near as good as Jaws, but I’d definitely bet on it over any of the actual Jaws sequels. It has a few interesting characters that keep you captivated and a score from legendary composer Ennio Morricone that is unbelievably beautiful.
If not for the awesome action of a killer whale causing massive explosions and outsmarting its captors, the film is worth a watch for some gorgeous examples of cinematography and music.
The ending credits are especially great, as we watch a pack of killer whales swimming through the ice caps of the arctic. The sunlight beams down below the ice, creating an angelic glow beneath the water as Morricone’s soothing music continues to play over the credits.