Horror Movie Review: Harpoon: The Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009)

This Icelandic horror has been described as Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Gunnar Hansen even has a role here) on a whaling ship. That there is enough reason to check this movie out but the real question is does it really compare?

Unfortunately, not…but that doesn’t mean it’s bad film.

Harpoon Pic 1

The story is simple, a group of tourists go out on a fishing vessel to hopefully see some whales. Along the way the captain is killed in an accident leaving the boat stranded in the Ocean. The group are picked up by a local who takes them back to his whaling vessel. An odd fella, his claim to ‘not speak English’ makes one or two of them wary but with no other help coming they are forced to go along with him.

The group are emotional & shaken but grateful to be picked up. However once they arrive at the whaling ship things quickly get worse as the crew are a group of blood-hungry killers. They’re on board a matter of minutes before things get gory very quickly all with a nice touch of dark humour.

Harpoon Pic 2

Seeing people die is rarely this fun!

So lets’ talk cast…it’s a right mix here & it can be a real problem taking in the many accents & dialects. Parts of the movie are subtitled which helps but it can still be a struggle & there are far too many stereotypes (Japanese who have far too much camera equipment, obnoxious French man who drinks too much etc.)

There are no real characters so it’s impossible to care about what happens to anyone. The downtrodden Japanese helper woman has the most of anyone but her story arc in this film is wacky to say the least. It breaks up the random boat slaughter even if it doesn’t sit quite right.

Harpoon Pic 3

The acting is a mix of good & terrible (the French guy is just awful) but thankfully most are just fodder & they all die in spectacular form! That’s where the fun is, watching the many deaths. There is a lot of variety & the cat and mouse games that play out don’t drag on. It’s also really nice to see that the victims aren’t all helpless too!

Harpoon Pic 4

It would have been nice to see a bit more details regarding the killers, their background isn’t explored nor their reasons beyond the occasional conversation between them that hints towards a hatred of foreigners.

It’s a fairly long film & by the end it begins to drag but for the most part it’s a decent flick that has some fun with the slasher genre.


  • Carl Fisher

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Harpoon: The Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre
  • The Final Score - 6/10
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