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Piranha (1978)

 -  Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  3 August 1978 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 11,830 users  
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When flesh-eating piranhas are accidently released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.

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Title: Piranha (1978)

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Cast

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

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A waitress from the Holiday Inn where the director and crew were staying stood in for Heather Menzies during the topless shots because Menzies was concerned that her husband might not approve of the nude scene. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Robert Hoak drives away in the Jeep, the tires make squealing sounds, as if it was driving on asphalt, when in fact it was a gravel road. See more »

Quotes

Reporter: Terror, horror, death. Film at eleven.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The FBI warning at the end of the credits ends with the phrase "So There." Producer Jon Davison used the same joke for the FBI warning in his later picture "Airplane." See more »

Connections

References 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

This movie bites....in a good way.
15 November 2004 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

In the wake of "Jaws" came countless man vs. nature flicks with everything from bees to grizzly bears to frogs coming out to get man back for his crimes against the ecology (and don't forget "Night of the Lepus" in which huge bunny rabbits munched on hapless victims!) This film is considered one of the best imitators, primarily because of its tongue-in-cheek approach and it's deliberately campy writing and casting. Menzies is a hotshot missing persons expert who goes in search of two young hikers who have disappeared. She enlists the aid of hermit-like Dillman who lives near an abandoned government testing facility where the hikers were last suspected to have been. When they come upon a murky tank and believe the bodies could be at the bottom, Menzies releases the contents, unwittingly unleashing a school of vicious, genetically-altered piranha onto an unsuspecting river full of camp kids and park revelers. From there, it's a race against the clock to get to Dillman's young daughter who is about to enter a camp relay race in the water downstream. The film is deliberately peppered with actors who've made their mark in either horror or suspense films and it makes no pretenses about its lack of originality (though it does manage to come up with some despite itself!) Dillman (sporting an atrocious come-and-go Southern accent) and Menzies have a surprisingly decent rapport with each other with a few amusing scenes tossed in amongst all the panic. McCarthy pops up as a terrified scientist who knows his plans have gone awry. Wynn has a cameo as a gruff, but likable neighbor of Dillman's. Steele plays an ominous scientist in cahoots with Army colonel Gordon to keep the whole situation under wraps. Bartel is the persnickety camp counselor and Miller is the smarmy amusement park owner, both of whom disbelieve that there's any danger. Despite it's minuscule budget and rather homemade effects, the film does generate a bit of eye-opening gore and more than a little discomfort as these tiny fish nibble away at anything in the water. If "Jaws" caused people to avoid the ocean, this film could make people think twice about cloudy rivers and lakes! The murkiness of the water only adds to the horror of it all as the bikini-clad tourists and innertube-wielding kids can't begin to see what's coming. It's just a sting, then a nibble, then blood everywhere! Some of the effects are tacky and amusing, but there's a certain level of true fear as well. If one likes this genre to begin with, it will probably be a pleasure to watch. Others may be less enthralled.


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