Piranha (1978)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  3 August 1978 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.9/10 from 13,454 users  
Reviews: 116 user | 144 critic

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



(story), (story), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Piranha 3D (2010)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 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
The Howling (1981)
    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
Piranha (1995)
    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, Maggie, a private investigator, and Paul, an environmentalist, ... See full summary »

Director: Scott P. Levy
Stars: William Katt, Alexandra Paul, Monte Markham
Alligator (1980)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael V. Gazzo
Piranha 3DD (2012)
Comedy | Horror
    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
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: halfman, halffish which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the men and raping the women.

Directors: Barbara Peeters, Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow
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
Jaws 2 (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc
Stars: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton
Critters (1986)
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A race of small, furry aliens make lunch out of the locals in a farming town.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush
Lake Placid (1999)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Three people attempt to stop a gigantic crocodile, who is terrorizing residents in Black Lake, Maine.

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt
The Blob (1988)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A strange lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.

Director: Chuck Russell
Stars: Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon, Donovan Leitch Jr.


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?


The extras were all paid $5 a day and given a box lunch. See more »


Looking at the Commanding Officers ribbons, they are up side down. However, they are turned over in his next close up. 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 »


Followed by Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This Movie Rocks!!!!
8 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie rocks! One of the very best B movies of the 70's. OK I did see this movie on TV when I was a small child and yes I was scared for very good reasons. It wasn't safe to swim in the ocean and now rivers weren't safe. What next pools? This horror classic is fun to watch with friends just for laughs. OK you can see the strings on the piranhas, and yes the fins don't move? It is a little unbelievable. Or is it??? Unfortunately this movie is a hard to find which I find very disappointing. I would love to carry this title on DVD and purchase this as a great gag gifts for a few of my friends whom also love classic B movies! I myself highly recommend this movie especially if you enjoy B movies such as Day of the Animals, SSSSSS, and Alligator. I promise you a good time… Just beware of fresh water!

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The 18 (UK) rating surprises me osiris_amanpour
Picture quality on new Piranha DVD? mborick
Shout Factory's DVD and Bluray - Any real difference...? butcherofbakersfield
The piranhas weren't the only thing at the base... andresfprieto
Filming locations for Piranha - a detailed look! RABerg66
Piranha 1978 MITTENZ73
Discuss Piranha (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page