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.
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.
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.
Michael V. Gazzo
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 »
Scott P. Levy
A "bobbing corpse" that appears in the climactic piranha attack was modeled after Rob Bottin. See more »
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 »
Are there any other shacks around here?
Cabins! This is a cabin!
Well, are there any more of them? Any place they might be hold up in?
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.
C'mon, let's go.
You're taking me up there.
Oh NO I'm not!
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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 »
Adventuresome and fun "Jaws" homage with far superior women
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.
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