It seems odd to make a documentary about killer whales with “fish” in the title, and it gives me flashbacks to my favorite Seinfeld episode, where George has to pull one of Kramer’s golfballs out of a beached whale’s blowhole so he can keep pretending to be a marine biologist, even though he keeps referring to the whale as “the great fish.” Man, that was a good episode.
But enough about me and my word association games, Blackfish is an intense-looking documentary focusing on Tilikum, an orca that killed two trainers before winding up at Seaworld in Orlando, where he killed again in 2010. The movie seems to blame the harsh practices of whale captivity for turning the whales crazy, but if you ask me, that’s just the effect living in Florida has on a mammal. This is well documented.
I’ll say this, any time a trailer includes the line “a whale has eaten one of the trainers,” you have my undivided attention. I could also use a .gif of the whale moving ominously past the kids banging on the glass. That was scary as hell. Whales always look like they’re smiling maniacally.
I’d pay double the admission price for a Werner Herzog-narrated version of this. “Imagine zeess, a creatah raised een za cold blackness uff izolation foaced to sell dolls to screamink cheeldren oont zair over caffeenated parentz, oo ‘appily pose for peectah, schmiling oont dreenking zair Schtarbucks fockeeng coffeez, completely eegnorant uff za pyoah malevolence uff za great beast een zair meedst. Eez byootiful.”
Opens July 19th, from Magnolia Pictures.