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

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Piranha -- Trailer for Piranha

Overview

User Rating:
5.9/10   12,941 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Richard Robinson (story) and
John Sayles (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Piranha on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 August 1978 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A hideous death lurked unseen in the river... See more »
Plot:
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:
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Jaws parody with enjoyable moments and plenty of gruesome carnage. See more (114 total) »

Cast

  (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)
 
Stunts
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:
Runtime:
94 min | USA:106 min (TV version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
The piranha were done by attaching rubber puppet fish to sticks.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: As Dr. Hoak is attacked by a piranha, he gets onto a raft and his sweater alternates between torn and intact.See more »
Quotes:
Reporter:Terror, horror, death. Film at eleven.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
Jaws parody with enjoyable moments and plenty of gruesome carnage., 20 June 2006
Author: Jonathon Dabell (barnaby.rudge@hotmail.co.uk) from Todmorden, England

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.

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Message Boards

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The extras mr-murph
Shout Factory's DVD and Bluray - Any real difference...? butcherofbakersfield
A theory I have **SPOILERS** Dr_Adam_Warlock
Barry Brown in Pirahna! annhartnett
The 18 (UK) rating surprises me osiris_amanpour
commentary gromurg
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