When flesh-eating piranhas are accidently released into a summer resorts rivers, the guests become their next meal.
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This review is from: Piranha (20th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD) i love this movie - it is a cult classic. it had a really good story - i know everyone now wold think it is cheese cause it is not all high tec and special effect - but movies back in the 70's and 80's had to have a real story cause they couldnt cover it up with fancy special effects - their stories were origional - i lvoe this move and if you love old cult classics like orca the killer wale - , jaws then you will love this.. enjoy
Smart, clever fast paced horror film with more then its fair share ofscares, laughs and excitement. Story deals with two people and thescientistwho created the piranha having to race down a lake after they accidentlyrelease the school of piranha before they make lunch meat out of the kidsata summer camp. Rated R; Graphic Violence, Nudity, and Profanity.
This review is from: Piranha (DVD) i love this movie - it is a cult classic. it had a really good story - i know everyone now wold think it is cheese cause it is not all high tec and special effect - but movies back in the 70's and 80's had to have a real story cause they couldnt cover it up with fancy special effects - their stories were origional - i lvoe this move and if you love old cult classics like orca the killer wale - , jaws then you will love this.. enjoy
This is the Roger Corman classic that has launch a 1000 remakes (or so it seems). The army has created and bred in a not too secure location, mutant piranha. When skinny dipping campers go missing, Maggie (Heather Menzies) is called in to find them. She enlists the help of Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman). They uncover the army's secret and work to save the locals from the piranhas that have gotten loose.The movie is cheesy. It has some of the finest B actors of the era. The special effects is minimal. It does contain some mild corny humor. Everything we expect in a Corman classic.PARENTAL GUIDE: No f-bombs or sex. Nudity (Janie Squire with a brief full frontal, Heather Menzies or her body double, uncredited swimmer)
Piranha.Oh boy... I knew from the start that I was in for some aquatic terror!And I'm glad I got what I expected, because most aquatic creatureattack movies end up in failure.Pirahna is a nice, effective little gem. I got an uneasy feeling insome scenes. The piranha's don't look fake and by making clever use ofcamera angles, you get the idea that there's a whole bunch of them.Getting ahead of myself; story time first! A special breed of piranha'sescape from a research facility (how can it be else?) and end up in themountain river. Eating people wherever they go, it's clear that thesepests must be stopped at all costs! Especially since a summer camp isnearby...I really liked the acting in this movie too! The two leads havewonderful chemistry together. Lost of enjoying dialog and funny scenes.You'd almost forget that this is a horror movie. I'd say it's a horrormovie with a nice touch of humor. So it's really a coin with twodifferent sides.Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that the music in this movie is alsopretty nice.What more can you ask for? I say go watch Pirahna right now! Unless youcan't stand killer fish chewing on people.8 out of 10 stars!
This is as good as movies about water dwelling killer animals canget...provided, of course, they don't have the budget or major studiopull of "Jaws". B movie legend Roger Corman has always been one to puthis own spin on major studio successes, so here's his own version of"Jaws" - a knowingly jokey, campy, delicious horror film with agenuinely good script by John Sayles (who also plays a small role). Itincludes an amusing political subtext wherein the (Vietnam) war comeshome as the title animals were bred to have special abilities (likebeing able to exist in both fresh and salt water, for one example) sothey could be introduced into the river system in 'Nam. Even after thewar ended, the experiments continued, and when an ambitious skip tracernamed Maggie McGowan (Heather Menzies) drains a pond in her attempt tolocate two missing kids, she unknowingly has allowed the fish toescape. Now there's bloody things in store for the children at a summercamp and the people enjoying themselves at a nearby resort. The prettyMenzies and the always reliable Bradford Dillman, as surly, boozingloner Paul Grogan, are an engaging heroic duo, and the supporting castis full of familiar faces that will make this fun for any B movie buff.Corman regular Dick Miller is the greedy, ignorant resort owner, PaulBartel (who's great fun) is the macho, gung ho camp counselor, BarbaraSteele a dubious scientist, Bruce Gordon an equally dubious armycorporal, Barry Brown (in, sadly, his last film) a state trooper,Keenan Wynn a gruff but lovable old guy, Kevin McCarthy the geniusbehind the killer fish, and Richard Deacon is Menzies's boss. ShannonCollins is adorable as Grogan's daughter, and lovely ladies BelindaBalaski and Melody Thomas round out the cast. This film gets reallygood and bloody, and although things turn deadly serious eventually, itnever loses its fun factor. It's extremely well paced, exciting, andoften very funny. The effects team reads like a true who's who oftalent in the field: Rob Bottin (whose munched upon face you can see atone point), Jon Berg, Chris Walas, Phil Tippett, Robert Short, and AdamBeckett. The music by Pino Donaggio is as wonderful as his other worksfrom the period ("Carrie", "Dressed to Kill", "The Howling", etc.). Theproduction value is impressive and there's an enjoyably high body countby the time this is over. It even has the guts to go with a questionmark kind of ending instead of really resolving anything (although onebrilliant touch has Dillman resorting to a method that's far from theecological thing to do!). It's one of the most enjoyable productionsfor Corman's New World, and so far has been followed by one sequel(marking James Cameron's first directing credit!), one made for TVremake (which uses much attack footage from this version), and onerecent theatrical 3D remake. With "Piranha", director Joe Dantesuccessfully began a solo directing career whose highlights include"The Howling", "Gremlins" 1 and 2, "Innerspace", "The Burbs", and"Matinee". It's a real hoot right from start to finish.8/10
the best part of this movie is the ominous buzzing sound made by the pirahnas when they attack! yummy.
Corman's movies always seem to have an element of humour to them and piranha is no exception. You could really sit down with a few friends over some beers and have a good laugh at this. Although, the fact that children get nibbled on is somewhat foul play in my opinion. Any head to head caparison with the Jaws movies is unnecessary. For one thing, this movie does not take itself anywhere near as seriously as Jaws. The production values are much lower and the budget was obviously far more constrained. However the acting is spirited and key actor Branford Dillman is a poor man's Burt Reynolds on steroids - escaping from small town cops and turning on a "dukes of hazard" style driving display. This is all good fun and looking at many of today's movies there should be more of it. The movie has plenty of shots of half eaten people and bodyparts flashing past the lens, but nothing substantial enough to be considered high on gore. The suspense has been all but removed with the passage of time and you tend to look forward to the next attack as a highlight of the movie anyway. Nudity consists of a pair of breasts in the opening scene so nothing to get too excited about on that front either. Overall, I say that this is one of Corman's tamer more mainstream efforts.
This review is from: Piranha (20th Anniversary Special Edition) (DVD) I don't know whether to give this film (3)stars or (4). I saw this movie I believe in the 1980's I was born in 1974, so to young to know about this film all the way. During the 80's when I saw this film it was quiet scary, now after just watching this movie in 2007, well its still scary but its alittle rusty from over the years. The one disappointment is the film is a tad bit to short of a film. Maybe back in the 1970's this was normal, maybe not. It really just came and went. At the end there's not really a clear understanding if the poison actually kill most of them or what? Now there is a Part 2 movie on Piranha, which even at the end of this movie she says they can't survive in the ocean, but they do, thus spawns a Part 2. Overall, this is a good movie for its time, and the special effects are good for a 1978 film. Its worth a watch.
Let me start this off by saying that I think this movie is veryunderrated and deserves much more recognition than it's gotten so far.It truly is a very fun and exciting horror film and a great parody ofJaws. This has already been remade once but thankfully, that versiondidn't do well at all and only made it to TV. However, there issupposedly a remake in the works for 2009 and I pray that it iscanceled soon. I'm so sick of every horror film being remade and thiswould be one that would upset me. Hopefully they end production.The acting is pretty good but not great. I really liked seeing KevinMcCarthy in it. The story is a lot of fun; a tank holding geneticallymutated piranhas is drained, setting the fish loose to feed on theinnocent! Sounds good, doesn't it? The effects are also amazing andblew away. This one will stay on my shelf until the day that I die!Check this one out if you love B-Horror and you'll love it. I canalmost guarantee it!
As a kid growing up on all the classic monster films on TV, this low-budget Roger Corman creature feature was always one of my favorites. As a teenage video collector in the 90's, I found this to be nearly impossible to find on VHS. Now as an adult in my early 20's, I own not only the video but have recently picked up the DVD and what a trip down memory lane, this "special edition" was for me. "Piranha" is Corman's answer to "Jaws", a bad genre film that takes joy in being a bad genre film. When a private investigator goes looking for two missing kids at an old army test, she unwittingly releases a school of mutated killer piranha into the town's river system. With the help of a local mountain man, the two try to warn everyone from the military to a local resort. As is always the case in these films, the military has another agenda and they don't want the truth revealed. Over the years, "Piranha" has earned a reputation as a true cult classic. With a great script from John Sayles, an amazing musical score from Pino Donaggio, and tremendous performances from underrated actors like Dick Miller, Keenan Wynn, Paul Bartel, and horror legend Barbara Steele, "Piranha" is the ultimate "nature goes wrong" B-movie. My only real complaint about this DVD is that it is presented in a full-frame format (though the opening credits are finally presented in widescreen as the other way cuts the names pretty badly). Well, that and the fact that they didn't include any of the added footage from the original network TV version. Those complaints aside, it is good to hear director Joe Dante (who went on to direct "Gremlins") and producer Jon Davison reminisicing on the filming of this movie. Not to mention, the added value of seeing lots of never-before-seen footage from the making of the film. If you loved this movie growing up or are just a fan of the classic "creature feature" titles, this is a must-have.
I saw this movie a while ago, with my brother. We were both scared about going into deep waters after watching Piranha and especially Jaws. I hated swimming. This is a very old movie, so it isn't as good visually as star wars or the matrix but it is interesting. Overall a good movie. Go see it!!!!
A mutant strain of vicious carnivorous piranha get lose in a Texasriver. It's up to boozy, grumpy, and reclusive backwoodsman Paul Grogan(a fine and engaging performance by Bradford Dillman) and pluckygo-getter skip tracer Maggie McKeown (a winningly spunky portrayal byHeather Menzies) to stop the finny flesh-eating fiends before it's toolate. Director Joe Dante, working from a sharp and witty script by JohnSayles (who also has a cameo as an army sentry), relates the fun storyat a nonstop brisk pace, adroitly builds a substantial amount oftension, stages the piranha attack set pieces with real rip-roaringaplomb, delivers a handy helping of graphic bloodshed, and tops thewhole thing off with a wickedly amusing sense of blithely self-awareand self-mocking sardonic humor (McKeown plays a "Jaws" video game, abikini-clad babe reads "Moby Dick" on the beach, plus there a fewappropriate clips from wacky cartoons and vintage 50's golden oldievintage creature features playing on various TV screens). Thefirst-rate cast of familiar low-budget exploitation cult cinema facesrates as another major asset: Kevin McCarthy as obsessive scientist Dr.Robert Hoak, Dick Miller as sleazy, greedy, penny-pinching resort ownerBuck Gardner, 60's Italian Gothic horror goddess Barbara Steele as thealoof, sinister Dr. Mengers, Paul Bartel as prissy and obnoxioussummercamp owner Dumont, Keenan Wynn as amiable old-timer Jack, BruceGordon as the stern Colonel Waxman, and Richard Deacon as Maggie'sno-nonsense boss Earl Lyon. Barry Brown appears in his last theatricalfilm role as a state trooper. Better still, this movie even offers somespot-on stinging social commentary: the military create the piranha foruse in the Vietnam war, but prove to be totally all-thumbs when itcomes destroying them, Buck Gardner cares more about making money thanhe does about the safety of his guest (he's warned ahead of time aboutthe piranha), and, in a terrific bit of irony, it's ultimately up tothe local down-on-his-luck drunk that everyone treats with completecontempt and disrespect to save the day. Moreover, Dante certainlydoesn't punk out on the horror: a gaggle of innocent little kids andmerry tourists are eaten and killed while Belinda Balaski's lovablecamp counselor Betsy meets an unforgettably haunting and startlinguntimely end. Pino Donaggio supplies a perfectly stirring and spiritedshivery score. Jamie Anderson's sunny cinematography gives the picturean attractive sparkling look. The special effects are a tad rougharound the edges, but overall effective and acceptable. An absolutedelight.
(Some Spoilers) Tongue and cheek "Jaws" like horror movie that hasthousands of genetically altered piranhas stream into the Lost River,and it's tributaries, cannonballing their way into the newly openedAquarena Springs Resort eating everything, man woman and child, that'sin their way. Paul Grogan ,Bradford Dillman, who was helping insuranceinvestigator Maggie McKeown, Heather Menzies,try to locate a couple whowere earlier eaten by the killer fish finds out that the restrictedarea that the piranha's were being kept was a top-secret military baseby the Army. It was used to create cold and salt water piranha's foruse in the Vietnam War against the Communist North Vietnamese.Getting the low down about the super piranha's from the man who wasresponsible for creating them Dr. Robert Hoak, Kevin McCarthy, Paul andMaggie have to work against the clock as well as the local police whoare working in concert with the military. Col. Waxman, BruceGordon,tries to keep the truth from coming out in order not toembarrass the top brass in both the Pentagon and CIA. Col. Waxman alsohas a secret financial arrangement with sleazy and big-mouth promoterBuck Gardner, Dick Miller, in his mega amusement park and resort whichis situated on the Lost River where the piranhas are now on therampage.Trying to get the people around the Lost River to stay out of the waterhas both Paul and Maggie arrested by the police, who are under thecontrol of Col. Maxwell, but eventually escape. Not after the piranhasattack the Lost River Camp where Paul's daughter Suzie, ShannonCollins,is spending the summer. The killer piranhas also eat half thecampers as well as savaging the camp's drill sergeant-like counselorMr. Dumont, Paul Bartel.With what seems like there's nothing left too stop the fish fromreaching the sea and multiplying by the millions and then swimming backinto and infecting every river lake and stream in the USA Paul with thehelp of Maggie has only one, slim as it is, chance to stop them. Toopen up the valves at the local water-treatment plant and let out allthe pollutions that would kill the killer fish before they make it tothe ocean.Scenes of piranhas looking like a cross between humming birds, whentheir attacking people, and kindergarten cardboard cutout, when theirin formation in the water, don't exactly lift the movie to specialeffects Acadamy Award winning heights. The acting by a number of highprofiled horror actors and actresses like Kevin McCarthy Barbara Steel,is as the cold as a frozen fish. Dr. Mengers and the always reliableBradford Dillman Dick Miller and Buce Gordon does lift "Pirahna" wellabove the average run-of-the-mill 1970's and 1980's horror flick, or"Jaws" imitation,that you were used to seeing back in those days.
I recently watched 'The Howling' for the first time in years, and wassurprised at how well it stands up, so I thought it was about time I watchedJoe Dante's previous movie 'Piranha' again (he did some uncredited work onThe Ramones classic 'Rock'N'Roll High School' in between). Dante was a longtime horror movie buff who got his big break working for Roger Corman.Corman gets an Executive producer credit on 'Piranha' and it's scripted byJohn Sayles, who would later collaborate on 'The Howling'. 'Piranha' isbasically a cheap, tongue in cheek cash-in on the success of 'Jaws', but forme it's ten times more entertaining. What I really admire about Dante isthat he manages to juggle parody with genuine scares. This movie is full ofin jokes but still delivers some real shocks. Dante may be continuallywinking at us, but what recent movie can you think of that features the massslaughter of young children?! You just don't get movies like this anymore!Bradford Dillman ('Bug') a recluse, and Heather Menzies ('SSSSSSS') a perkyinvestigator, accidentally unleash a group of mutant piranha into a riverwhich flows down into a holiday resort. Kevin McCarthy, star of the original'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' plays the scientist who helped create them,and Corman legend Dick Miller is the blowhard in charge of the resort. Dantehas used both actors regularly since. The supporting cast also includes cultfavourite Barbara Steele ('Black Sunday', 'Shivers'), character actor KeenanWynn ('Dr. Strangelove') and the late Paul Bartel, writer/director of'Eating Raoul'. Bartel worked with Roger Corman quite a bit during this1970s, directing 'Death Race 2000' and 'Cannonball' for him, both of which Irecommend. 'Piranha' is great fun and I enjoyed every minute of it! Yetanother example of why the 1970s rule!
Remember in the 1980's, horror films were violent and gory and everyone seemed to be trying to out-nasty, out-shock, and out-do any filmthat came before it? Remember those times? The era of the slasher film?The world of "gore movies?" Those cheesy, bizarre, gross, weird andneedlessly violent little films? Oh, I sure do. And I love to go backdown memory lane to visit that shlock every now and then. And here'sone I think I'll be revisiting several times.Basically, some mutant piranha that can live in cold mountainenvironments, salt and fresh water, and have a mild ability to thinkget loose in a normally quiet and happy mountain river lake. And theybegin eating people and no one believes they're there. Of course. Atany rate, it's pretty damn entertainingÂand apparently: Pro-pollution!Here's the breakdown:The Good:--For the most part, the acting is pretty good. Not great, mind you.--Actually pretty funny at times without being God-awful annoying (likethe "comic relief" in the remake of "13 Ghosts"Âsome of the worst comicrelief I've ever witnessed).--Entertaining violence and gore.Didn't Hurt It, Didn't Help:--The piranhas don't look too bad, and yet, you can't help but laughwhen people are being eaten. There's something funny about it. So thehorror is killed, but at least it's still damn amusing.--Average late 70's to mid-80's atmosphere. The same as "SleepawayCamp" (the first one), and "C.H.U.D."--Some cheesy writing.--Average Cinematography for the time and genre.The Bad:--Not for everyone, to be sure. It's a Roger Corman film. Either you'regonna like it or you're gonna hate it. Awfully cheesy, not that that'sentirely a bad thing.--Some acting.--Occasionally, the special effects are pretty crappy, but who cares?At least they're funny.The Ugly:--The obvious "homage-to-Jaws" flavor of this movie will really kill itfor some people.Memorable Scene:--This movie actually had the balls to have a bunch of childrenattacked by piranha.Acting: 6/10 Story: 6/10 Atmosphere: 6/10 Cinematography: 6/10Character Development: 5/10 Special Effects/Make-up: 7/10Nudity/Sexuality: 1/10 Violence/Gore: 7/10 (pretty decent gore)Dialogue: 8/10 Music: 7/10 (average for the time) Writing: 7/10Direction: 8/10Cheesiness: 4/10 Crappiness: 0/10Overall: 7/10This is a fun classic horror flick. If you like stuff like "C.H.U.D."and wacky stuff like that from the late 70's and 80's, then hey, man,you'll love this one, too. I just wish I hadn't waited so long to getit.www.ResidentHazard.com
I was really looking forward to seeing this film, I had heard so muchaboutit & John Sayles of Alligator fame had penned the script so how bad coulditbe? Actually it was really terrible. Possibly this is one of those filmsthat has not stood the test of time. The opening is O.K, and there aresomenice creature effects, but the acting is so bad and some of the sub plotssocorny that there is no doubt that you are watching a Roger Cormanproduction- and a bad one at that. Only watch it if you really have a burningdesireto see it - otherwise stay away.
Most people will have read the previous reviews so I will spare you the plot details and just state that this is probably one of the ultimate seventies B-movies. What makes this dvd a five star release is the amount of effort that Shout!Factory has put into it. While major studios release films with nary an insert or a special feature, Shout! has provided "Making Of..." featurettes, bloopers and gag reels, commentary tracks, tv spots, trailers w/commentary, poster galleries etc. They even provide a nice, informative booklet and reversable dvd artwork. I must say my favorite so far is the salacious reversable cover art for Humanoids From The Deep, another fine film.For fans of Roger Corman, I believe 'Piranha' and 'Humanoids' is essential viewing. Piranha's director Joe Dante would later do films such as The Howling and Matinee, classics in their own right. Piranha is a violent, bloody exploitation film with liberal doses of humour that swims comfortably next to Orca, The Killer Whale when it comes to Jaws knock-offs and is heads and fins above other dreck like Barracuda and Up From The Depths! A highly recommended dvd.
Back in the 70's, we had a series of great horror films: a little reallife terror with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a little bit of Hellishterror with The Exorcist and a little underwater terror with the firstblockbuster called Jaws. Jaws was so huge that it spawned merchandise,several sequels and actually scarred people out of the water. I'm surethe one's who knew what sharks are really like were just rolling theireyes at the reaction Jaws got and I think that's where Roger Corman(aGod amongst Hollywood with the protÃ©gÃ©s he brought up) got the idea forPiranha. Despite not being a direct spoof of Jaws, you can tell that hewas just having fun with the new genre of undersea monsters. Havingsome goofy lead characters with what is actually one of the mostharmless most scary looking fish in the sea, you got Piranha.Two teenagers exploring at night come upon an apparently abandonedmilitary installation. They take advantage of what appears to be aswimming pool to skinny dip. The teenagers are attacked by an unseenforce and disappear under the water. A light activates in the mainbuilding and a silhouetted figure investigates the screams, but is toolate to help. A determined but somewhat absent-minded insuranceinvestigator, Maggie is dispatched to find the missing teenagers nearLost River Lake. She hires surly backwoods drunkard Paul Grogan toserve as her guide. They come upon the abandoned compound, whichfunctioned as a fish hatchery prior to being militarized. They discoverbizarre specimens in jars and indications of an occupant. Maggielocates the drainage switch for the outside pool and decides to emptyit to search the bottom. The two find a skeleton in the filtration trapof the empty pool, and learn it was filled with salt water. Theyrealize that the piranhas are heading for the town and they must stopthe evil fish.The film has this often campy and fun feeling to it. Having the sillycharacters, clichÃ©s, gore and nudity is honestly just a lot of fun.This is an over looked horror film I think, it's just a good time. Iremember this movie as a kid, my parents were skimming around thechannels on Christmas and for some reason this movie was playing. Wealways joked that it was our new Christmas movie. I think I'll keepthat tradition alive, after all, what isn't more about Christmas thankiller piranhas? The attack scene at the lake is very gruesome and coolto watch with plenty of prop arms, legs and heads being chewed up withthat creepy piranha chomping sound. I have to admit, for a fish thatdoesn't really attack humans, this made me a little creeped out bypiranhas.Piranha is a good horror/comedy that works and should be given achance. I'm not sure why it's over looked, but it's a fun movie. I dowarn, it's campy and the effects are not that special. The acting isn'tanything to brag about either. But this is a horror movie that callsout all the silly clichÃ©s. Maybe it was the people who were afraid ofJaws that took this film too much to heart that they were being goofedon with their reactions. Though I think it would be funny if they wereactually terrified of this movie and had a new fish to fear. Anyways,Piranha is a fun horror movie and my new Christmas tradition in lightof my family.7/10
Joe Dante's wicked sense of humor has rarely been better put to use than inthis Roger Corman-produced "Jaws" imitation which, after 20 (!) years, holdsup surprisingly well. Although stuffed with movie references/jokes in thetypical Dante manner, "Piranha" is nonetheless well-made enough to offerfast-paced suspense and thrills between the gags. Certainly John Sayles'clever script considerably elevates what should have been a mere rip-off tocult status, with a fairly strong plot and some hilarious dialogueexchanges. Dante helps move his cast of pros (Bradford Dillman, KeenanWynn, Barbara Steele and, most amusingly, Dick Miller) through their paceswith remarkable skill for such a low budget project. Sadly, the film'sreputation over the years seems to have deflated quite a bit, presumably dueto the stench caused by James Cameron's pathetic sequel, "Piranha II: TheSpawning," and the even worse made-for-cable remake of Dante's film. Forgetthose abominations; the original "Piranha" is a truly funny horror movie(intentionally so) filled with moments of almost-classic campy chills.