From the film’s subtitle alone, it is clear that director Júlíus Kemp was planning to take more than just Gunnar Hansen from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Despite some superb photography of the Icelandic landscape, Harpoon is no different from any other slasher flick. Its top priority appears to be reminding its audience that the film is Icelandic – we hear references to Sigur Rós, a passenger singing Björk over the intercom, an older woman translating insults into Icelandic. Additionally, the film’s light-hearted attempt to show a cross-section of international holiday-makers actually ends up insultingly simplistic, as seen in Hostel. But in all fairness, Kemp was never going for the Oscar, and all things considered, the film is quite a fun little jaunt with enough blood and guts to keep your average gore-whore entertained.
Monday, 17 May 2010
As if economic collapse and the untimely eruption of Eyjafallajökull weren’t enough, Iceland is now receiving mixed attention for their first contribution to the torture porn genre. Featuring something of an alternative ‘all-star’ cast – Gunnar Hansen of Leatherface fame, Nae from Inland Empire, an extra from The Bill – Harpoon: Reykjavík Whale Watching Massacre takes place aboard a whaling ship, where a dozen international tourists are hoping to see the giant creatures in their natural habitat. But when the ship’s captain mysteriously dies, it is up to a spooky lank-haired individual to come to the rescue. At his suggestion, the passengers relocate to his family’s rickety old ship, little knowing that this is to put them in further danger.