Piranha (1978)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  3 August 1978 (USA)
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Reviews: 116 user | 144 critic

When flesh-eating piranhas are accidently released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie McKeown (as Heather Menzies)
Laura Dickinson (as Melody Thomas)
Bruce Gordon ...
Shannon Collins ...
Shawn Nelson ...
Janie Squire ...


When flesh-eating piranhas are accidently released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Then... you were shocked by the great white shark - Now... you are at the mercy of 1000 jaws! See more »


Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 August 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piraña  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$600,000 (estimated)


SEK 1,585,673 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the novelization, Brandy dies as well when she jumps in the water after the piranha to avenge Jack. Since she isn't seen again after Jack's body is found, that scene was probably cut from the film. See more »


The speed boat is racing in the lake at full speed. The shot cuts to the skiers POV looking at the boat and the pull rope is slack and there isn't any tension on the line at all. See more »


Dumont: People eat fish, Grogan. Fish don't eat people.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title sinks into the pond water at the start, and turns it blood red. Over the end credits, we hear the sound of piranhas swimming in the ocean. The water turns red as well. See more »


Featured in Chatulim Al Sirat Pedalim (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Not just a cult film, but a cult film with all the right moves!
10 July 2005 | by (The World Of Movies) – See all my reviews

On a dark, foggy night, two back-packers ignore the "no trespassing" sign, to engage themselves in a rest after a long while of mountain-climbing. They discover a pond, and instantly feel obliged to cool off. Before they can manage to enjoy this nice break, the most horrid feeling comes over them, and both become victims of a savage death, resulting in blood, only blood. Such an opening is familiar, yes, but also attention-getting, and enjoyable. This is "Piranha", the 1978 camp-classic horror film from acclaimed director Joe Dante and the production of Roger Corman. Given, the production values are some what less than "Jaws" and "Close Encounters.." but the heart and joy of film-making is also there, and thusly, the film is much more enjoyable than most Hollywood film of that era. The film is scripted by a then, young John Sayles, whom also makes a cameo! The two leads, Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies are perfect, and chemistry is dead-on making for a very fun time indeed! The writing is, perhaps, the best part of the film, seeing as Corman obviously wanted a real cultish feel, and as such, the film has so many noticeable , fun, and convenient in-jokes such as a swimmer reading acclaimed novel 'Moby Dick', and lazy workers watching old cartoons involving fish. The thrills are pretty good too, seeing as the situation involves genetically enhanced knowledge within the fish. Therefor, it is much harder for Dillman and Menzies as they attempt to over power the deadly fish while chasing them down stream a beautiful Texas river. Dillman and Menzies lead a cast of familiar faces seen in earlier Corman films such as Paul Bartel, Dick Miller, and Barbara Steele. The piranha themselves don't look too bad, and thusly, the effects are pretty good for a low budget film such as this. Other goodies are one-liners, and other dialogs that are so witty, they will either make you howl, or are just plain great to hear over and over again. Yes, this film has all the right moves, as well as many other to boot! It is comic when needed, and when the element of serious conflict is present, so is the presence of serious characters. This film was remade in '95, with the most wretched cast and concept ever! And the thought of another remake causes my blood to boil! You cannot re-create an original classic! That is what makes it original! In any case, this film is a great classic, and an always enjoyable film, every time viewed!

22 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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