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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.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: Joe Dante
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Paul Grogan
... Maggie McKeown (as Heather Menzies)
... Dr. Robert Hoak
... Jack
... Buck Gardner
... Dr. Mengers
... Betsy
... Laura Dickinson (as Melody Thomas)
... Colonel Waxman
... Trooper
... Mr. Dumont
Shannon Collins ... Suzie Grogan
Shawn Nelson ... Whitney
... Earl Lyon
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:

They're here...Hungry for flesh! Who can stop them? See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Piraña  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A "bobbing corpse" that appears in the climactic piranha attack was modeled after Rob Bottin. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Robert Hoak drives away in the Jeep, the tires make squealing sounds, as if it was driving on asphalt, when in fact it was a gravel road. See more »

Quotes

Maggie McKeown: Are there any other shacks around here?
Paul Grogan: Cabins! This is a cabin!
Maggie McKeown: Well, are there any more of them? Any place they might be hold up in?
Paul Grogan: There's an old fella named Jack who has a place downriver, but he woundn't treat any hospitality towards them. Oh, and there was some kind of Army test site way up on top of the mountain. But that closed down five, six years ago.
Maggie McKeown: C'mon, let's go.
Paul Grogan: To where?
Maggie McKeown: You're taking me up there.
Paul Grogan: Oh NO I'm not!
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 Cutting Compromise: Editing Nightbreed (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Adventuresome and fun "Jaws" homage with far superior women
12 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

RELEASED IN 1978 and directed by Joe Dante, "Piranha" chronicles events when genetically-enhanced piranha are accidently released into a river system in central Texas, which threaten kids & counselors at a Summer Camp and vacationers at a lake resort. A spirited skip tracer (Heather Menzies) and a backwoods drunkard (Bradford Dillman) team-up to save the swimmers. Kevin McCarthy and Barbara Steele play military scientists who experimented with the escaped piranha.

While "Piranha" is sort of a "Jaws" (1975) knockoff, it's different enough to not be a rip-off: The story takes place in a river system deep in the mainland and not the ocean; the 'monster' consists of teams of little vicious fish rather than a huge Great White Shark; the beach sequences involve quaint campground-like beaches rather than major ocean beaches; unlike "Jaws," there's a focus on alluring young women, although "Jaws 2" (1978) delivered the goods in this area as well; there's more of a sense of adventure and even suspense; and the tone mixes-in amusing elements with the horrific mayhem.

As inferred, the picture is highlighted by several quality females with curvy Belinda Balaski (from "The Howling") and cutie Melody Thomas Scott (from The Young and the Restless) featured in prominent roles. Moreover, voluptuous Janie Squire has some worthy screen time in the prologue. There are superb women in the periphery as well. Interestingly, the 2010 quasi-remake, "Piranha 3D," took the sleaze route with loads of nudity, but the women are ironically hotter here, not to mention the film's all-around more entertaining.

THE MOVIE IS LEAN and filler-free at 93 minutes and was shot along a river near San Marcos in the heart of Texas, Northeast of San Antonio. WRITERS: John Sayles and Richard Robinson.

GRADE: A-


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