Written by / 7/02/2016 / No comments / , ,

WILLIAM SHATNER RIDES A WHALE OF A TALE

Must be seen to be believed YEAR: 1976
This obscure and completely mind-boggling A WHALE OF A TALE is basically a feature-length commercial propaganda for MarineLand, at one point (before their demise) Sea World's prime competitor where dolphins, seals, an assortment of fish and that great mammal, The Killer Whale, were the showcase for families to "spend an entire day with"...

And STAR TREK icon William Shatner, who hadn't really banked on that soon-to-be icon status and was obviously handed small roles in big films or big parts in small films to simply get by, plays a Marine Biologist named Dr. Jack Fredericks, giving a curious, fatherless ten-year-old... Scott Kolden's Joey Fields... an unintentional mentorship at the aquatic theme park, figuring the thrill would soon ware off; but it doesn't...

Meanwhile, Shatner's Captain Kirk would, exactly a decade later, recover a couple sperm whales to save the future of mankind yet here, humanity is just fine but a corporation sure needed some promotion, although not without artistic value since TALE was a probable inspiration for the later FREE WILLY franchise as this wayward (bored, not criminal) youngster quickly connects with the whale, and vice versa, only our "Willy" lives where he "prefers" to be – and doesn't need no stinkin' freein'!

A young Norman Bates?
Low Budget to an awkward and almost creepy level, the first half basically provides the kind of video tour you would see playing on monitors inside the park itself, only there are, during the seal, dolphin and whale acts, grainy inserts of the young curious Joey staring through cracked backstage doorways, like shots from a voyeuristic exploitation drive-in flick. Then there's a romantic angle where the as-usual charming Shatner, wearing a horribly discernible toupee,  smoothly talks the kid's mom into letting him keep his fetch-it job, despite a pesky aunt's intrusion. Eventually, both gals need convincing of the Park's non-monetary value, not only adding to the "story" but conveniently allowing for two more tours – all about MarineLand!

Had that same shirt
Throughout the bizarre attempt to turn a visual leaflet into an actual movie is a pivotal scene where Joey and comic relief Marty Allen, as a goofy fisherman who helps "the doc" rescue injured sea-life, set out with an old captain played by TWILIGHT ZONE favorite Andy Devine and, backed by a variation of an – especially at that time – very familiar soundtrack theme, they wind up catching a relatively small shark made bigger with wide lenses... Playing out like some kind of oceanic documentary, and a clumsy one at that.

CAMP VALUE SCORE: ***1/2
All Motion Pictures need a finale, and TALE has a stupid enough young protagonist that, for absolutely no (logical) reason whatsoever, takes to the fog-shrouded sea in a tiny boat: making the nice mom worried, the bitch aunt validated, the comic relief serious and of course, Shatner (and the whale) a hero. But screw resolution – the best times are had with the kid just wandering the park under blown-out lights of cheap 1970's film-stock as if from a grainy Super-8 camera, and by far the funniest moments are any and every attempt to legitimize TALE as being real and/or "accidental". It's not just a bad movie but one of the strangest ever conceived. And so, not to send curious readers (and fans of camp cinema) down a blind alley – this uniquely horrendous marvel exploiting a desperate company (wherein MAC AND ME seems subtle and yet a quick shill for McDonald's occurs) is available for prime subscribers on Amazon.
This shirt was popular in the 1970's, when Whales were captured and we thought they liked it, so they did!
Opening Credits Show as we pan into and onto MARINELAND, California
Share This Post :
Tags : , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

SIAN BARBARA ALLEN IN THE TV-HORROR 'SCREAM, PRETTY PEGGY'

Sian Barbara Allen & Ted Bessell Year: 1973 Rates: ***1/2 Sian Barbara Allen is one of those artsy-looking actresses that could only der...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Most Popular Last Year

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

UPCOMING ARTICLE/REVIEW

UPCOMING ARTICLE/REVIEW
Sean Penn in Rick Rosenthal's 1980's cult exploitation prison flick BAD BOYS

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "The common man will still be here when you get back." David Warrilow to John Turturro, Barton Fink

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

FILM NOIR/NEO NOIR/CRIME


"One false move and you're over your head."

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)THE CROWDED SKY 2)THE FEARMAKERS 3)JAWS 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 6)HOT CARS 7)VIOLENT SATURDAY 8)CANYON PASSAGE 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)HARDCORE 11)CURSE OF THE DEMON 12)THE DEFECTOR 13)SHARKS' TREASURE 14)SWEENEY TWO 15)OTLEY 16)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 17)ASH WEDNESDAY 18)THE SERGEANT 19)ROYAL FLASH 20)THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN 21)THE ROARING TWENTIES 22)FALLEN ANGEL 23)AL CAPONE 24)THE ASPHALT JUNGLE 25)AIR PATROL 26)KILLER FISH 27)THE SYSTEM 28)WHITE HEAT 29)EASY LIVING 30)ATLANTIC CITY 31)COMPULSION 32)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS 33)JUNGLE STREET GIRLS 34)MADISON AVENUE 35)THE SHARKFIGHTERS 36)DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS 37)MY BLOOD RUNS COLD 38)THE LINEUP 39)SWAMP WATER 40)THE DAY THEY ROBBED THE BANK OF ENGLAND 41)RUMBLE FISH 42)CANYON RIVER 43)THE HEARSE 44)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 45)CORVETTE SUMMER 46)THE DRIVER 47)FRENZY 48)HOUSE OF STRANGERS 49)THE KILLING 50)FORCE TEN FROM NARAVONE 51)BULLITT 52)ROBBERY 53)THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE 54)KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE 55)HOTEL 56)THE BREAK 57)CRIME WAVE 58)BRANNIGAN 59)THE STONE KILLER 60)BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA

ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)ORSON WELLES 6)PETER O'TOOLE 7)TOM COURTENAY 8)CHARLES BRONSON 9)GENE HACKMAN 10)VICTOR MATURE ACTRESSES 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN CARPENTER 7)MAURY DEXTER 8)JOHN LANDIS 9)MICHAEL WINNER 10)SAM PECKINPAH

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES & EXPLOITATION

Popular This Month

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

TRIPPING INTO THE SIXTIES

STRIKING THE SEVENTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

PUNCHING UP THE THIRTIES

PEELING OUT THE FORTIES

BACK TO THE FIFTIES

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE