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[‘Jaws’ Week] 5 Notable ‘Jaws’ Ripoffs

Orca: The Killer Whale

Orca: The Killer Whale [1977]

One of the more by-the-book (no pun intended) rehashes of Spielberg’s film was 1977’s Orca, a story that was also based on a novel by author Arthur Herzog. Despite its significant lack of character development, the film has to this day earned a significant cult following.



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  • Fantasma Del Guapo

    Holy shit that’s all you’ve go to say on Orca? It isn’t even a ripoff, it’s a revenge film! And the scene that sparks the vengeful killing spree is balls-to-the-wall insane!

    • oldrestless

      You should write for this site.

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      • Fantasma Del Guapo

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  • J Jett

    i love ORCA. it’s really a haunting, heartbreaking movie. the ending remains one of the most haunting endings i’ve ever seen.

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  • Daniel Baldwin

    While it’s comprised of a ton of stock footage, I’ve always been rather fond of Cruel Jaws.

  • McGilli


    There’s just something about how I cheer for the revenge that is being dished out – but the ending – as J Jett mentioned – it just really makes me sad. I think it’s the fact that once the revenge is finished… You still just get the sense that ultimately – it’s all for nothing as her baby is still dead and essentially everyone loses.

    • J Jett

      McGilli, word for word i agree w/ you! 🙂

    • LoriCFranco
    • Creature_of_the_Night

      I didn’t cheer for the revenge – I actually got ticked off at that whale for some reason.

      Like I get ticked off at Ellen Page in Hard Candy.

      Maybe I shouldn’t – but that whale and Ellen tick me off.

      I don’t think Richard Harris’s character in ORCA is so bad.

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  • Werewolf

    Richard Harris was awesome in Orca. That film left your guts feeling truly wrenched. No shark movie has or probably ever will come close to the psychological level of disturbing Orca reached.

    • macguffin54

      Uh, in YOUR opinion. Nothing is better than Jaws.

      • Werewolf

        Two different genres of films there. Jaws, while awesome, is just a monster shark film. Orca is more of a psychological revenge film with a whale in it. The Orca in that film has a calculated motive behind it’s actions.

      • Creature_of_the_Night

        That is YOUR opinion too.

  • oldrestless

    Despite its significant lack of character development, the film has to this day earned a significant cult following. Why did you use significant twice in the same sentence? I feel you’re not putting in the effort. Insert some personality into these lists.

  • ultrazilla2000

    We REALLY need Alligator on this list! One of my favorite Jaws influenced creature features. Great cast, good special effects (especially for the time), and some intense moments.

  • Gerald Button

    Orca, to this day, is one of my favourite films. Jaws is my favourite. I rented Orca so much from my local Jumbo Video one day the owner just gave it to me. I must have been about 10-12 years old.

    I also happen to LIVE in Newfoundland, where the majority of this film was done. There are many shots of the Orca’s that were done in different areas such as some parks and southern waters (as can be seen in the opening, Newfoundland water is not tropical what so ever). It’s a big deal to me that this film was done here and has become a cult hit, as we really do not see much action in terms of hollywood folk coming up here to make movies or TV Shows.

    Many of the locations for the movie are gone, and were just sets, the house is gone, the tanks that explode where built just to be blown up, you get the idea. However Petty Harbour, where it takes place is a real community and is still a full fishing community. I have considered many times going around and doing a look for the locations of some of the scenes in the film.

    I do not consider this to be a Jaws rip-off at all. I can see why one would make the comparison, but it’s completely different. The only real thing it has in common is the ocean.

    • J Jett

      Gerald, i agree that ORCA really isn’t a JAWS rip-off. i’ve never not once ever thought it was a rip-off. ORCA in my opinion stands on it’s own.

  • macguffin54

    So, Grizzly is now a part of the “aquatic horror sub-genre”?

  • Royal Rican Prince

    I’m sorry BUT I saw Orca as much more than a “Jaws” rip-off!

  • Laura2456
  • tbaio

    There was one with Susan George many years ago entitled Tintorea…….silly but bloody and fun killer shark movie. Btw, I saw Orca as a twisted version of Moby Dick rather than Jaws, but that’s just me. Good list.

  • Darnell

    Orca is a Jaws rip-off? Orca is nothing like Jaws at all. First of all Orca is based off a book. It also has a totally different tone and motivation behind it. It is still to this day one of my favorite animal style horror films.
    I also can’t believe Alligator didn’t make this list or Cujo? Since you didn’t stick with aquatic monster films I can’t understand why you missed some of the best of the lot.
    I still can’t get over your trashy comments towards Orca…..

    • zombie81

      Jaws was a book first too

  • Evan3

    I love how every director of these knock-offs decided to give their creatures comically ridiculous “roar” noises.

  • czarnajama

    Too bad “Orca” presents such a dated, incorrrect image of orca, which have never been known to attack humans in the wild or even harm them in any deliberate way. For a true story of orca-human interaction, see “Killers in Eden” on Youtube. Unfortunately, it is humans who have harmed orca, not the other way around.

    • Creature_of_the_Night

      It’s a movie.

      And the whale is ticked off that Harris killed its family and wants revenge – it’s not “inaccurate” because it is NOT trying to be accurate –

      and is a tale of revenge.

  • Creature_of_the_Night

    That ORCA poster is cool.

  • Creature_of_the_Night

    The original Piranha is so cool – the remake was fun too.



    Plus the remake had some hot chicks and porn stars.

    Never saw the second one – wonder if it is any good.

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