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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?


The opening credits reveal that this is "A FAWCETT-MAJORS PRODUCTION". That would be the married couple Farah Fawcett and Lee Majors. See more »


One shot includes a 1973 Plymouth Fury III painted with the NYPD livery. Brasil's Federal Police squad car was the Chevrolet Opala. See more »


Kate Neville: Have you ever broken it before?
Hans: Probably.
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 American Grindhouse (2010) See more »


Written by Barry Leng, Simon May, Guido De Angelis & Maurizio De Angelis
Performed by Amii Stewart
See more »

User Reviews

Sleeping with the Killer Fish...
30 April 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Next to Joe Dante's minor exploitation classic, this is already the second "Jaws"-rip off that revolves on piranhas, but the comparison stops right there with the mutual choice of killer fish as the sea monsters. Dante's film is of course better and more relevant, but "Killer Fish" is a typical Italian exploitation product and thus delivers too many grotesque story lines, some neat gore and an unusual cast. Heck, I'm not even sure this film fully qualifies as a "Jaws"-rip off since the main plot involves a diamond heist instead of a besieged tourist resort. Although... it has that, too! A well-organized bunch of thieves successfully complete their diamond robbery and lower the loot to the bottom of the lake for safety reasons. After 60 days – if the police give up their search – they will collect the diamonds again and split. In order to guard his precious jewels, criminal mastermind Paul Diller infested the lake with ravenous piranhas that can regularly nibble from the double-crossing team members. Meanwhile, one of the crooks falls for a model with a speech-defect and a tropical hurricane busts a large dam, allowing the piranhas to spread themselves all across the touristy waters. Antonio Margheriti's "Killer Fish" suffers from a slightly tedious and hesitant opening half hour, but it get more adventurous once the first victim is devoured under the water. The piranha effects as well as the underwater cinematography are a bit disappointing but this film has an irresistible 70's charm, complete with cool soundtrack and stereotypical characters. Lee Majors is excellent as the macho with more hair on his chest than brains in his skull and Karen Black is a great shrew. Not as good as I hoped, but a fun piece of Italian trash nonetheless.

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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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