IMDb > Piranha (1978)
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Piranha (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Piranha -- Trailer for Piranha


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Popularity: ?
Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Robinson (story) and
John Sayles (story) ...
View company contact information for Piranha on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 August 1978 (USA) See more »
A hideous death lurked unseen in the river... See more »
When flesh-eating piranhas are accidently released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal. See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
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User Reviews:
Not just a cult film, but a cult film with all the right moves! See more (116 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bradford Dillman ... Paul Grogan

Heather Menzies-Urich ... Maggie McKeown (as Heather Menzies)

Kevin McCarthy ... Dr. Robert Hoak

Keenan Wynn ... Jack

Dick Miller ... Buck Gardner

Barbara Steele ... Dr. Mengers

Belinda Balaski ... Betsy

Melody Thomas Scott ... Laura Dickinson (as Melody Thomas)
Bruce Gordon ... Colonel Waxman

Barry Brown ... Trooper

Paul Bartel ... Mr. Dumont
Shannon Collins ... Suzie Grogan
Shawn Nelson ... Whitney

Richard Deacon ... Earl Lyon
Janie Squire ... Barbara Randolph
Roger Richman ... David
Bill Smillie ... Jailer
Guich Koock ... TV Pitchman
Jack Pauleson ... Boy in Canoe
Eric Henshaw ... Father in Canoe
Robert Vinson ... Soldier
Virginia Dunnam ... Girl

Diamond Farnsworth ... Water-skier (as Hill Farnsworth)

Bruce Paul Barbour ... Man in Boat (as Bruce Barbour)
Robyn Ray ... Screaming Woman
Mike Sullivan ... Dam Guard
Jack Cardwell ... Brandy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sally Bondi ... Swimming Deb (uncredited)

Eric Braeden ... Dr. Robert Hoak (swimming double) (uncredited)

Joe Dante ... Scuba Diver #2 (uncredited)
Amy Holden Jones ... Hertz Clerk (uncredited)
Andrew G. La Marca ... Scuba Diver #1 (uncredited)

John Sayles ... Army Sentry (uncredited)

Phil Tippett ... Scuba Diver #3 (victim) (uncredited)

Directed by
Joe Dante 
Writing credits
Richard Robinson (story) and
John Sayles (story)

John Sayles (screenplay)

Produced by
Roger Corman .... executive producer
Jon Davison .... producer
Chako van Leeuwen .... co-producer (as Chako Van Leeuwen)
Jeff Schechtman .... executive producer
Original Music by
Pino Donaggio 
Cinematography by
Jamie Anderson (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Joe Dante 
Mark Goldblatt 
Casting by
Susan Arnold 
Art Direction by
Bill Mellin 
Kerry Mellin 
Set Decoration by
Jeff Ayers 
Makeup Department
Rob Bottin .... special makeup
Vincent Prentice .... special makeup
Production Management
Thomas M. Hammel .... production manager: second unit
Tom Jacobson .... production manager
Harry Wowchuk .... unit production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles H. Eglee .... assistant director (as Charles Eglee)
Greg Gears .... assistant director
Dick Lowry .... second unit director
Costa Mantis .... background director
Art Department
Tim Doughten .... assistant art director
Kathleen Hughes .... property master
Kevin Hughes .... property master
Sound Department
Richard L. Anderson .... sound effects editor (as Richard Anderson)
Teresa Eckton .... sound effects editor (as Terry Eckton)
Joel Goldsmith .... location sound mixer
Anthony Santa Croce .... boom operator (as Tony Santa Croce)
David Lewis Yewdall .... sound effects editor (as Dave Yewdall)
Velcie Yewdall .... foley artist
Kendrick Sweet .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Douglas Barnett .... mechanical effects (as Doug Barnett)
Jon Berg .... special effects
Dave Morton .... mechanical effects
Robert Short .... special properties
Chris Walas .... special properties
Visual Effects by
Adam Beckett .... animator
Bill Hedge .... photographic effects
Peter Kuran .... photographic effects
Pat O'Neill .... special opticals
Jules Roman .... effects assistant (as Jools Tippett)
Jerome Seven .... effects assistant
Rick Taylor .... photographic effects
Phil Tippett .... creature designer and animator
Chris Casady .... photographic effects (uncredited)
Phil Tippett .... model construction (uncredited)
Roger Creed .... stunts
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator (as Conrad Palmisano)
Nick Palmisano .... stunts
Bobby Sargent .... stunts
Bruce Paul Barbour .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Daniel Adams .... best boy (as Dan Adams)
Ted Boehler .... still photographer
Chris Brightman .... grip
Clyde E. Bryan .... assistant camera: second unit (as Clyde Bryan)
Scott Buttfield .... grip: second unit
Dana Christiaansen .... assistant camera
Bill Decker .... grip
Ben Haller .... key grip
M. Todd Henry .... director of photography: second unit
Michael Katz .... gaffer (as M.W. Katz)
Andrew G. La Marca .... assistant camera (as Andy La Marca)
Moshe Levin .... grip: second unit (as Moshe Levine)
O.C. Perkins .... still photographer
Eric Stoner .... underwater grip
Lynn Troupe .... underwater grip
Christopher Tufty .... assistant camera: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jack Buehler .... wardrobe assistant
Linda Pearl .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Brenda Balanda .... assistant editor
Stacy Russo .... assistant editor
Music Department
Natale Massara .... conductor
Transportation Department
Michael K. Davis .... driver: grip (as Michael Goldson)
Other crew
Jim Boni .... production assistant
Robert Brown .... production assistant
William Decker .... dog wrangler
Jeffrey M. Hoffman .... production assistant (as Jeff Hoffman)
Nava Jacoby .... location auditor
David Kayler .... coordinator: Los Angeles
Michael Martin .... production assistant
Sharron Reynolds .... production secretary
Jeanne Rosenberg .... script supervisor
John Smead .... scuba instructor
Ashley Stieglitz .... production secretary
Ed Tarbutton .... production assistant
Harry Wowchuk .... location manager
Susan Arnold .... adr voice (uncredited)
Taira Rosales .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min | USA:106 min (TV version)
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:X (original rating) | Argentina:16 (re-rating) | Australia:M | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-15 (2010) (uncut) | Finland:K-16 (1984) (cut) | Finland:(Banned) (1978) (uncut) | France:-12 | Iceland:L | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R13 | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2002) | UK:18 (video rating) (1987) | USA:R | West Germany:16
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Executive producer Roger Corman called this film "my homage to 'Jaws' (1975)."See more »
Continuity: The position of the plane ticket in Earl's hand as he gives it to Maggie.See more »
Reporter:Terror, horror, death. Film at eleven.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Starz Inside: Fantastic Flesh (2008) (TV)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
Not just a cult film, but a cult film with all the right moves!, 10 July 2005
Author: Banshee57 from The World Of Movies

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!

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Piranha (1978)
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The 18 (UK) rating surprises me osiris_amanpour
I got to meet Roger Corman at a recent signing event! SmakethDown638
Piranha discussed on Rotten Rantings Amish_Assassin8
The extras mr-murph
Shout Factory's DVD and Bluray - Any real difference...? butcherofbakersfield
Barry Brown in Pirahna! annhartnett
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