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Orca: The Killer Whale is a 1977 horror film released by Paramount Pictures during the "When Animals Attack" phase set in motion due to the release of Jaws. In the film, A hunter squares off against a killer whale seeking vengeance for the death of its mate.
The film provides the following tropes:
- Award Bait Song: "We Are One" is a very bad example of one.
- Bloodless Carnage: Averted, as films in the 70s were allowed to show some amounts of blood and gore.
- Dueling Movies: With Jaws and a number of "When Animals Attack" films that were released in the 70s.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Notably averted in two scenes.
- The first in which the unborn fetus slides out of the body of the orca's mate
- The second in which The orca bites off Bo Derek's character's leg
- Novelization: A novelization based on an early version of the script that seems to hint that the movie at one point was meant to be much larger than what ended up on screen, including a similar but different ending as well as a scene in which the townspeople held a hunting party not unlike the one in Jaws that ends in chaos. The novel also gives the impression that the whale is so so maddened with revenge that it has gone INSANE....
- Papa Wolf: Both ways actually.
- Revenge: The Orca's motives.
- Science Marches On: Turns out orca males don't stay with their mates or have much, if anything, to do with their own offspring, making its Papa Wolf behavior unlikely.
- Stock Footage: Similar to the Jaws films, stock footage was used to fill in the blanks between the animatronic killer whale effects. The same people who provided the shark stock footage in Jaws also provided the shark footage in the beginning of this film.
- Super-Persistent Predator: Though not for prey, rather the Orca wants revenge on the people who are responsible for the death of its mate and uborn child.
- Take That: The scene in which the orca kills a great white can be seen as one against Jaws
- A year later, Jaws 2 took a shot at Orca in which the great white has killed an Orca.