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Piranha (1978)

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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 »
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Popularity
4,149 ( 755)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA | Netherlands

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piraña See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The special effects budget was $50,000. See more »

Goofs

In several of the "summer" camp scenes it is clearly early spring. Many of the trees still have no leaves. 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

Referenced in Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not just a cult film, but a cult film with all the right moves!
10 July 2005 | by Banshee57See all my reviews

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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