Traumafessions:: Kinderpal FilmFather on Orca

Hey Guys,

Here’s a Traumafession that I’m surprised no Gen-Xer has submitted yet…

In the summer of ’77, my folks took me to the local drive-in to see ORCA. I was 8, so I’m not sure why my parents felt like a JAWS rip-off about a killer whale munching on people was appropriate. Another neglectful yet nostalgic chapter of ’70s parenting…

Anyway, my Trauma is the scene that triggers Orca to feast on RICHARD HARRIS‘ crew (and BO DEREK‘s leg):

HARRIS accidentailly harpoons Orca’s pregnant mate and reels her up to his boat’s deck. While she’s hanging there, she miscarriages — in blood-spurting slow motion — as she squeals in agony.

The baby whale plops to the deck, and what does Harris do? He hoses the poor little critter over the side like so much chum!

I was barely learning about the birds and the bees at age 8, so seeing all this water-mammal miscarrying mayhem unfold on a huge drive-in screen definitely scarred me for many moons to come.

(Shameless plug: Read my review of ORCA HERE.)

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orcacita (@orcacita)
11 years ago

OMG, this is too funny. You read my mind. I sat through this film when I was 4 years old. Although tramatic, I thank it for making what I am today: a killer whale researcher. Today we call ourselves Cetologists, not Marine Biologists. What a film. Check out our work at
It’s interesting to note that some of the “human” characteristics seen in the film have been documented in wild populations.

bdwilcox (@bdwilcox)
11 years ago

Traumafession seconded. My story exactly parallels yours to the point of almost being creepy. Parents brought me to drive-in where I see psychotic killer whale miscarriage.

rifframone (@rifframone)
11 years ago

My parents took me to see Orca in a theatre- that was on a pier! I remember being scared walking back to the car because I thought we may be attacked from beneath. I also remember the scene described here fairly well even though I haven’t seen the movie since then. It was a rough bit to watch, especially as a kid. I felt really sorry for the whale. It made me root for him, but didn’t help the fear of being eaten later!

Morbid (@morbid)
11 years ago

Like some of you, my experience with ORCA was the same, eerily echoing FilmFather’s. Same age and at a drive-in with parents (the same drive-in they took me to see JAWS that left me screaming in the back of the station wagon.) I’ve never forgotten the miscarriage scene and thanks to you guys and your screenshots, it actually looks nastier than I remembered.

Professor Von Whiskersen
Professor Von Whiskersen (@professor-von-whiskersen)
11 years ago

Mickster has a Kindertrauma-by-proxy regarding this movie. I’ll have to remind her to post it to the comments later.

mickster (@mickster)
11 years ago

At the great video store in my hometown, my nephew spied the box for Orca the Killer Whale. He was around 7 or 8 at the time. He decided that he wanted to watch the movie and kept bugging me to rent it for him. Since he had already watched Jaws and Orca was rated PG, I caved in and rented it for him. He did fairly well watching until Bo Derek’s leg was chomped off. When this occurred, my nephew screamed and ran to his bedroom. This was his typical reaction when frightened.

Chuckles72 (@chuckles72)
11 years ago

Yup – I wasn’t so much traumatized as infuriated by this scene. I was probably ten or so by the time that I saw Orca and I recall pumping my fist in the air with triumph when Nolan finally gets iceberg-launched in the end. Classic.

Brother Bill
Brother Bill (@brother-bill)
11 years ago

That moment ranked #7 in my top 10 tear-inducing film moments from childhood…