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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Harpoon Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009)

Film Review: Harpoon Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009)

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An epic tale about a group of whale watchers, whose ship breaks down and they get picked up by a whale fisher vessel. The Fishbillies on the vessel has just gone bust, and everything goes out of control.


Well, I did have high hopes for this one, but in the end it’s a case of same story different location. Not to mention the fact that could they have picked a longer film title? Harpoon: Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre, seems a bit of a mouthful. The one good thing though is that it was filmed in Iceland which is a nice change of scenery. Gunnar Hansen also stops in for visit under the role of Captain Pétur. Though I’m still snickering a bit with that accent they gave him. Gunnar though is the best thing going for this.

The film features an odd match of character actors each with different accents, and reasons to get killed in the film. I’m beginning to think that any foreign vacation or tourist outing may lead to some sort of shady situation that involves being eaten, robbed or sold for parts. WE certainly are no stranger to these type of films, but after about 10 of these now, I’ve begun to really hunger for something new. The new portion of this film is that the tourists are taken from a stranded boat and placed on a bigger boat to be killed off one at a time. But before we get ahead of ourselves lets see where we are. A group of tourists, travelers…or whatever you want to call them meet under the thrill of taking am Icelandic whale watching boat trip. Gunnar Hansen is their trusty Captain who per a botched traveler accident gets harpooned and disabled (to say the least) This creates a bad situation, that is not helped much by the pervert assistant on hand. When all hope is lost, a small vessel saves the day with a helpful pickup. The shady captain takes them to a fisher vessel where they are greeted by his 2 odd family members.

Now first mistake, this group of travelers easily outweighs this 3 person crew, though they run and hide when the greeters turn out to be murdering freaks. I never really did get the full story on what they were about. We assume maybe part selling, cannibalism, or something there in between. Someone please fill me in when you’ve figured it out. Any ways, as you guessed it…. a terror on deck scenarios breaks out and the vessel crew search each traveler out to toy with and kill in some macabre fashion. We do get quite a few harpooning scenes, so thats a plus. I especially like the Asian harpooned in the water and used as an anchor moment. Now as this mess slowly grinds to a third act, I really began to lose all sense of where the story was going. Some folks escape, then they don’t, then they do….then they don’t again. The local Icelandic coast guard seems to be no help and all normal reasoning is thrown out the window. Oh ya, I “think” there was a statement being made in he film about whale fishing and the extinction of the species, but it was sort of glossed over into partial scenes. Who cares right? I was here for a horror film, not a message on animal rights.

Save that crap for the documentaries. Getting on with things this film directed by Júlíus Kemp is really not much more than rehashings, confusion and maybe some cool scenery in between. I had wondered why it was taking so long for this to arrive on the market. I get it now. Other acting talent? who care….. again, I just assumed they were on board for fishing bait. Some of the accents are thick which makes a few lines hard to understand. I ran out of things to talk about on this one so I did a little further digging and pulled up this trivia fact. “Gunnar Hansen portrays Captain Pétur but during post-production, his voice was dubbed.”

Ya, now its making sense, I’m guessing Gunnar wasn’t too happy about his voice pick, but that’s just my guess. Let’s keep him away from the whales and give him back his chainsaw already… Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre in the end with maybe a few good kills really is a bit of a massacre, but not the kind we signed up for.

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