5.9/10
17,060
130 user 131 critic

Piranha (1978)

Trailer
0:16 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $0.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writers:

Richard Robinson (story), John Sayles (story) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

A scuba diving instructor, her biochemist boyfriend, and her police chief ex-husband try to link a series of bizarre deaths to a mutant strain of piranha fish whose lair is a sunken freighter ship off a Caribbean island resort.

Directors: James Cameron, Ovidio G. Assonitis, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Tricia O'Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen
Piranha 3D (2010)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Richard Dreyfuss
Piranha (TV Movie 1995)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

The private investigator Maggie McNamara from Lyon Investigation is hired by the wealthy J.R. Randolph to find his niece that has disappeared with her boyfriend. Maggie seeks out the lonely... See full summary »

Director: Scott P. Levy
Stars: William Katt, Alexandra Paul, Monte Markham
Alligator (1980)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A baby alligator is flushed down a Chicago toilet and survives by eating discarded laboratory rats injected with growth hormones. The small reptile grows gigantic, escapes the city sewers, and goes on a rampage.

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Michael V. Gazzo
Piranha 3DD (2012)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

After the events at Lake Victoria, the pre-historic school of blood-thirsty piranhas make their way into a newly opened waterpark.

Director: John Gulager
Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Ving Rhames, David Hasselhoff
The Howling (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director: Joe Dante
Stars: Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: half man, half fish, which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the men and raping the women.

Directors: Barbara Peeters, Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Doug McClure, Ann Turkel, Vic Morrow
Orca (1977)
Adventure | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A hunter squares off against a killer whale seeking vengeance for the death of its mate.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Shannon Collins ... Suzie Grogan
Shawn Nelson Shawn Nelson ... Whitney
Richard Deacon ... Earl Lyon
Janie Squire Janie Squire ... Barbara Randolph
Edit

Storyline

When flesh-eating piranhas are accidentally released into a summer resort's rivers, the guests become their next meal. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lost River Lake was a thriving resort - until they discovered... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piraña See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The novelization fills in some of the background about Paul's character. His wife left him which is why he's such a hard drinker. The only explanation given is that she couldn't stand the sight of him. He doesn't write or try to contact his daughter, something Laura the camp councilor resented him for. She later changed her mind about Paul after saving (some of) the kids from piranha. Including his daughter. And the main reason Dumont thinks he's drunk over the phone is because during one visit to the camp, Paul drunkenly threw Dumont in the river when he told him to leave. See more »

Goofs

The water skier is doing his runs on the river. He is wearing a orange life jacket, but when he falls into the water the jacket is yellow. 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 »

Soundtracks

Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts
(uncredited)
Traditional camp song
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I always enjoy a river horror.
2 February 2004 | by Aaron1375See all my reviews

I like horror movies that happen along or in rivers. Not that there are many "Shock Waves" and "Empire of the Ants" are the only two that come to mind right now. I do not know why, something about the scenery maybe? All I know, out of all the films that ripped off Jaws, this is one of the better ones and one of the better Roger Corman films. Though I say his best movies did come in the 70's and 80's. They started going downhill in the 90's where he would inexplicably do another Piranha movie that is essentially the same as this and he would make Dead Space which was pretty much a remake of Forbidden World. This one though was trying to capitalize of the success of Jaws and did a good job considering the paltry 600,000 budget.

The story has a couple of kids going into a closed off facility and taking a swim where something in the water takes them out. A woman charged with tracking these two makes her way to the area and gets help from a local as they find the facility and proceed to drain the pool into the river when they find the two teen's backpacks. Well, they inadvertently release a deadly new type of piranha into the river where they proceed to go on a killing spree as the local and woman do their best to warn everyone of the oncoming danger!

The cast do a good job and the effects are fairly good considering the low budget. It has some good gore in it as well. Joe Dante directed this and he would go on to direct Gremlins while James Cameron would direct its sequel and also go on to bigger things so you have to give it to Corman, he does tend to help people break into the business.

So we get a rather fun Jaws ripoff, so while you are not getting the performances or tension of the superior film, you are getting more kills and more boobies too! I watched this film again for the first time in a long time and was surprised by all the nudity in it. I always thought it was like PG, but it was an R rated film. There is also some good comedy in it as well. Just a fun picture where we get to watch piranha eat people and do their thing! Nothing to take too seriously.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 130 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed