MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 256 this week

Piranha (1978)

 -  Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  3 August 1978 (USA)
5.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 12,044 users  
Reviews: 111 user | 132 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 22 Jun 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 15 Aug 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 18 Apr 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 20 Jun 2012
 
list image
a list of 36 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Piranha" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Piranha (1978)

Piranha (1978) on IMDb 5.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Piranha.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Piranha (TV Movie 1995)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

Doctor Baines has been conducting genetic experiments on piranhas and has made them virtually unstoppable. Unfortunately, his assistants, Maggie and Paul, accidentally release the hybrids ... See full summary »

Director: Scott P. Levy
Stars: William Katt, Alexandra Paul, Monte Markham
Piranha 3D (2010)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Richard Dreyfuss
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A scuba diving instructor, her biochemist boyfriend, and her police chief ex-husband try to link a series of bizarre deaths to a mutant strain of piranha fish whose lair is a sunken freighter ship off a Caribbean island resort.

Directors: James Cameron, Ovidio G. Assonitis
Stars: Tricia O'Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen
Piranha (1972)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.7/10 X  

Wildlife photographer Terry and her brother Art go to Venezuela for a photo shoot. They hire Jim Pendrake to guide them through the jungle. However, the trio run afoul of evil local hunter Caribe.

Director: William Gibson
Stars: William Smith, Peter Brown, Ahna Capri
Piranha 3DD (2012)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

After the events at Lake Victoria, the pre-historic school of blood-thirsty piranhas make their way into a newly opened waterpark.

Director: John Gulager
Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Ving Rhames, David Hasselhoff
Piranha (2014)
Short | Action | Drama

Haunted by visions of chasing rioters, a junior banker tries to make it safely to the financial headquarters of the City for his first day at work, but little does he know the greatest danger facing him is not from the rioters.

Director: Elcid Asaei
Stars: Sid Phoenix, Stephen T Box, Ruggero Dalla Santa
The Howling (1981)
Fantasy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a bizarre and near fatal encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Joe Dante directs this story of the glamour, the glitter, the magical allure of Hollywood... and not a speck of it rubs off on Miracle Pictures, where "If it's a good picture, it's a ... See full summary »

Directors: Allan Arkush, Joe Dante
Stars: Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, George Wagner
Mega Piranha (TV Movie 2010)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.4/10 X  

A mutant strain of giant ferocious piranha escape from the Amazon and eat their way toward Florida.

Director: Eric Forsberg
Stars: Paul Logan, Tiffany, Barry Williams
Frankenhooker (1990)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A medical student sets out to recreate his decapitated fiancée by building her a new body made of Manhattan street hookers.

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: James Lorinz, Joanne Ritchie, Patty Mullen
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The Gremlins are back, and this time, they've taken total control over the building of a media mogul.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover
Piranhas (TV Movie 2010)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Wealthy young bond traders dominate both the market and the L.A. nightlife with a blend of manipulation, narcissism and debauchery.

Director: Jason Strouse
Stars: Larry Joe Campbell, Jamie Kaler, Alex Scarlis
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

piranha | river | fish | u.s. army | police car | See more »

Taglines:

There's something in the water at Lost River Lake. Something you can't see...something you can't feel...until it's too late! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piraña  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 1,585,673 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Barry Brown's last role in a theatrical feature. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Maggie McKeown: Are there any other shacks around here?
Paul Grogan: Cabins! This is a cabin!
Maggie McKeown: Well, are there any more of them? Any place they might be hold up in?
Paul Grogan: There's an old fella named Jack who has a place downriver, but he woundn't treat any hospitality towards them. Oh, and there was some kind of Army test site way up on top of the mountain. But that closed down five, six years ago.
Maggie McKeown: C'mon, let's go.
Paul Grogan: To where?
Maggie McKeown: You're taking me up there.
Paul Grogan: Oh NO I'm not!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Lesser Evil (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Jaws parody with enjoyable moments and plenty of gruesome carnage.
20 June 2006 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Not many movie-makers do parodies better than Joe Dante – the director who brought us The Howling (a werewolf movie parody), Gremlins (a monster movie parody), Innerspace (a Fantastic Voyage parody), The 'Burbs (a neighbours-from-hell parody) and Piranha (a Jaws parody). This 1978 comedy-horror is one of Dante's early movies, but despite that he shows an assured touch and gets generously tongue-in-cheek performances from his cast of horror veterans. While the film is never a truly great rival to the awesome Jaws, it is a fun and entertaining homage that has much going for it. Easily the strong point of this film is the gruesome make-up provided by whiz-kid Rob Bottin, but more will be said of that later.

A couple of teenagers go missing while trekking through the woods. Private eye Maggie McKeown (Heather Menzies) goes searching for them, and discovers a burnt-out hermit Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) living on the mountainside who offers to help her in her hunt. McKeown and Grogan stumble upon a secluded military research centre where crazed scientist Dr. Hoak (Kevin McCarthy) is busily conducting experiments to create a strain of piranha fish able to survive in rivers and oceans, and always eager to devour anything in their way. The plan is to release these super-fish in enemy rivers, thereby making the entire river system too dangerous to use. McKeown and Grogan mistakenly release the piranhas into the local river, and realise that anyone using the river for recreation – including the bustling summer camp miles downstream – are now in desperate danger. The army is brought in, but instead of helping to solve the terrifying situation they seem more concerned with covering up the whole business. In particular, General Waxman (Bruce Gordon) has cause to keep the existence of the piranha secret, as he has invested his savings in the summer camp and doesn't want to scare away his paying customers. In a race against time, Grogan and McKeown try to release poison into the river to prevent the piranhas from devouring everyone in sight and proceeding to the ocean…..

Piranha is fast-moving, gory fun. It's nice to see Dillman in a heroic leading role after so many years of playing the supporting bad guy in numerous films. Menzies is fine as his partner-in-adventure, and there are great supporting roles for horror legends like Barbara Steele (as a military scientist), Dick Miller (as a cowboy entertainer) and Keenan Wynn (as Grogan's doomed buddy who lives at the riverside). As I said earlier, Rob Bottin provides some bloody make up effects that make some of the half-eaten victims look pretty yucky. The gently mocking script is by John Sayles, and is full of humorous references to earlier books and films along the same theme. The finale in which the holiday-makers fall foul of the piranha fish is packed with blood and guts, and should definitely appeal to gore-hounds. Even though the film keeps its tongue in its cheek, there are still some dumb moments along the way that mar credibility even on this level. For instance, Grogan spends much of the closing scenes underwater being attacked by the piranha…. earlier in the film we were made to believe that the piranha devoured their victims in literally a few seconds, but they seem to make ludicrously hard work of attacking Grogan while he's in the water (in fact, he surfaces after several minutes in the firing line with just a few bites, which seems somewhat fortuitous!!) Piranha is enjoyable, though, and should be well received by genre addicts.


12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Picture quality on new Piranha DVD? mborick
The piranhas weren't the only thing at the base... andresfprieto
Filming locations for Piranha - a detailed look! RABerg66
Piranha 1978 MITTENZ73
Shout Factory's DVD and Bluray - Any real difference...? butcherofbakersfield
Remake??? longview_22
Discuss Piranha (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page