32 user 30 critic

Killer Fish (1979)

Jewel thieves attempt to recover treasure from piranha infested waters. Mistrust and betrayals happen amongst the gang in the quest for gold.


Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)


Michael Rogers (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Majors ... Lasky
Karen Black ... Kate
Margaux Hemingway ... Gabrielle
Marisa Berenson ... Ann
James Franciscus ... Paul Diller
Roy Brocksmith ... Ollie
Dan Pastorini Dan Pastorini ... Hans
Frank Pesce ... Warren
Charles Guardino Charles Guardino ... Lloyd
Anthony Steffen ... Max
Fábio Sabag ... Quintin
Jorge Cherques Jorge Cherques ... Police Inspector
Chico Arago Chico Arago ... Ben
Gary Collins ... Tom
Sônia Oiticica ... Nurse


Jewel thieves attempt to recover treasure from piranha infested waters. Mistrust and betrayals happen amongst the gang in the quest for gold.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


At 7:45 a sign displays "PERIGO/DANGER".Perigo Is Portuguese for Danger. See more »


After one crew member is attacked by the piranha, a second jumps in and is attacked before making it back to the boat. In closeup, blood is in the water. In shots over the transom he is splashing in clear water. See more »


Hans: Are you sure there's no German blood in you?
Kate Neville: Hm-hm. I win my wars.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC for an 'A' (PG) certificate with heavy edits to the killing of Ollie by the piranhas. The 1986 Channel 5 was uncut and the certificate raised to a '15'. See more »


Featured in Trailer Trauma Part 4: Television Trauma (2017) See more »


Written by Barry Leng, Simon May, Guido De Angelis & Maurizio De Angelis
Performed by Amii Stewart
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User Reviews

Almost a "guilty pleasure"
26 November 2002 | by dinky-4See all my reviews

This movie mixes together two sets of characters at a Brazilian lake-resort: a gang of jewel-thieves fresh from a heist and a company of people involved in photographing a fashion layout. The tensions and turmoils which occur when these two groups come together are not without interest but they create too much clutter. To correct this, some of the characters, (such as those played by Marisa Berenson and Gary Collins), might have been eliminated. A few of the incidents in the first half of the movie might also have been shortened or cut entirely in order to concentrate on the movie's strength -- a long but suspenseful sequence in the last two reels in which a number of people are trapped on a boat which is sinking in the middle of a piranha-infested lake.

At least the clutter provides room for a large and rather bizarrely-diverse cast. Where else can one find, on one marquee, Lee Majors, Karen Black, Margaux Hemingway, Marisa Berenson, James Franciscus, Gary Collins, and Dan Pastorini?

Lee Majors has a brief and disappointingly modest shower scene and James Franciscus gets to take his shirt off for a weight-lifting shot but most of the movie's "beefcake" is provided by 27-year-old football-quarterback Dan Pastorini of the Houston Oilers. There's a scene on his hotel-room bed in which Karen Black examines his bare chest for injuries following a car crash. This scene serves as kind of a warm-up for his appearance, two years later, in a Playgirl Magazine photospread set inside a shower room. While most of these photos showed Pastorini in a wet, filled-to-capacity jockstrap, others featured him in poses which suggest that his position on a football team should not have been "quarterback" but rather "tight end."

The Brazilian backgrounds provide a bit of scenic interest, though not as much as one might wish, and there are some passably-good special effects when a dam breaks, creating a tidal wave of havoc.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Italy | France | UK


English | Portuguese | Italian

Release Date:

7 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Killer Fish See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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