Harpoon: Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre
Sub-Genre- Slasher/Icelandic Horror
Cast Members of Note- Pihla Viitala, Terrence Anderson, Miranda Hennessy, and Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen.
What's it About?- Leatherface is now a retired movie maniac, and spends his white haired days captaining a boat that offers whale watching tours in Iceland. These days, he's all silver haired and wise looking, and seems as if he's left his murderous past behind. Good for him!
With Leatherface's boat full of tourists from a bunch of different nations, they set out on an idyllic trip to find some of natures most majestic mammals, and watch them. Instead they find a crazy, inbred Icelandic family (led by a guy that looks suspiciously like crab boat Captain Phil Harris) that hates Greenpeace and whales, and really seem to enjoy killing tree-hugging hippies/tourists. Especially the tree hugging American hippie/tourists.
I won't spoil what happens next here, mainly because it's a slasher and there isn't much to spoil, but suffice it to say that once it hits the fan, shit get's seriously frigging crazy aboard the death boat. Iceland could be re-named "Bloodland" and it would somehow be fitting after this movie.
The Good- Had this been an American horror film, I think my overall verdict would be something along the lines of "meh." It's fairly simple, a bit slow to start, and really brings nothing new to the horror table. But... for a country that has produced less than 100 films in their entire history as a nation, Iceland has managed to come up with a pretty good horror flick.
It's a bit choppy and awkward throughout, and most of the plot elements and characters were borrowed from other genre movies (TCM, Wrong Turn, etc...), but it was bloody enough and fun enough to make me happy in the end. There's even a part that made me laugh pretty hard; be on the lookout for the "I'll be right back, don't you move!" scene involving the rapist deckhand... Oh no he didn't! Oh yes he did, and I LOL'd. Hard.
It's also of note to mention that horror legend Gunnar Hansen (TCM's original Leatherface), makes an appearance in this movie as the tour boat Captain. I never realized he was from Iceland, but it was a neat little surprise to see him show up in this one.
The Bad- One of the film's killers reminded me a lot of the late, great Captain Phil Harris from the Discovery Channel show, Deadliest Catch. A great show and a great guy, this movie just made me think about him and his recent death, and it bummed me out a little.
The Downright Horrendous- I just knew there couldn't be a horror flick with a gay, black hero that didn't involve some sort of racist B.S. going on... even in Iceland the man is always there to keep a brotha down! All I'm sayin' is if I ever go on a creepy boat trip through the waters of Iceland, I'm bringing a gay black dude with me... because he took care of business!
The Gory- The gore factor in this movie is pretty high, as we get all sorts of nastiness including, but not limited to; vomit, eye violence, throat slashing, impalement, axe violence, exploding heads, blood body paint, people burning alive, rape, and yes, we do get some pretty awesome harpoon violence! The kind you mount on a boat, not carry.
The Naked- There's a fair amount of nudity and some sexual situations in this movie, but almost all of it involves near-rape. Once scene at the beginning was nice, but the rest was just downright creepy. Nothing fun here.
What did we learn?- People in Iceland hate whales. They seem to hate American Hippies too. Also, never fuck with the quiet Asian chick, or she will teach you a harsh lesson.
The Master Says- B- (7.0/10) For many of you, this will be your average run of the mill slasher, albeit set in an interesting locale. For the rest of you, this will be a bloody, disturbing, fun, hell of an effort by a country that basically has no history when it comes to making horror flicks. The beginning lagged a bit, but once the "massacre" begins, it was a fun ride that didn't make a ton of sense, but delivered the goods. Not bad Iceland. Not bad at all.
Final Thoughts- She's in this.