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Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009) Review

If you’re looking for a heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat thriller, Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre is not the movie for you. However, if you’re in the mood for a darkly humorous, satirical take on the “whale watching” industry, then this Icelandic film is definitely worth checking out.

Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre tells the story of a group of tourists who sign up for a whale watching excursion, only to find themselves stranded in the middle of the ocean when their boat is attacked by a pod of killer whales. As the stranded tourists desperately try to find a way back to shore, the body count starts to pile up.

It’s been a while since i saw a good and fresh slasher flick that doesn’t pull it’s punches. I think where Harpoon differentiates from most other slasher flicks of the moment is in the variety of it’s victims. The characters seem really quite genuine, like the kind of group you would meet out on a touristy trip. This makes things all the more tense when the action kicks up and the gore n blood starts flowing. And Harpoon has some good gore. Not spoiling anything but be prepared to see impalings, slicings, bashings and most other ‘ings’ you can think of. Fantastic.

The tension that’s created from the second half of the movie onwards is really superb and it’s thanks mainly to some solid camera work and good quality acting that this is acheived. Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre) is awesome as the Captain and basic ‘leader’ of the murderous family that lives on board the whaling vessel. His performance is manic but also disturbingly calm… Very twisted stuff. The rest of the cast are also superb, kudos to all of them.

Harpoon has more twists than a melted curly wurly, it’s tough to explain without giving things away but if you watch it you’ll see what i mean, you never really know who’s the good guy or the bad guy at certain points, things are not always as they seem. This definitely helps the movie to remain interesting and saves it from being another relatively dull and linear slasher flick.

So Harpoon is recommended without reserve. It has all the things that make a good slasher flick, in fact it’ll be interesting to see how this movie is accepted years down the road. I think it may still be as fresh then as it is today. Something worthy of note is that certain dialogue in this movie is in Icelandic with subtitles, most of the movie is in English however, so it’s not an issue, certainly not a big one. Get it and enjoy it!

Although it may not be the most action-packed movie out there, Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre is a clever and entertaining satire that is sure to leave you with a few laughs.


Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre follows the story of a group of tourists who go on a whale watching tour in Iceland, only to be attacked and killed by a pod of whales. The film follows the survivors as they attempt to escape the whales and find help. The film is set in the backdrop of the beautiful Icelandic landscape and features some amazing whale footage.

Movie Details

Director: Júlíus Kemp
Writer: Sjón Sigurdsson
Actors: Miranda Hennessy, Carlos Takeshi, Terence Anderson, Nae
Release Year: 2009
AKA: Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre