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Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)

Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (original title)
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 (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Ovidio G. Assonitis (screenplay) (as H.A Milton), James Cameron (screenplay) (as H.A. Milton) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tricia O'Neil ... Anne Kimbrough
Steve Marachuk ... Tyler Sherman
Lance Henriksen ... Police Chief Steve Kimbrough (as Lance Henricksen)
Ricky Paull Goldin ... Chris Kimbrough (as Ricky G. Paull)
Ted Richert Ted Richert ... Raoul, Hotel Manager
Leslie Graves ... Allison Dumont
Carole Davis ... Jai
Connie Lynn Hadden Connie Lynn Hadden ... Loretta
Arnie Ross Arnie Ross ... Mal the Cook
Tracey Berg ... Beverly (as Tracy Berg)
Albert Sanders Albert Sanders ... Leo Bell, D.D.S.
Anne Pollack Anne Pollack ... Mrs. Wilson
Hildy Magnasun Hildy Magnasun ... Myrna Benotti
Phil Colby ... Ralph Benotti
Lee Krug Lee Krug ... Ron 'Ronny', the Lifeguard
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Storyline

A sunken US supply ship off a Caribbean island resort is the focus for a series of mysterious piranha attacks. Investigating the death of one of her son's companions after a scuba-diving trip, Anne Kimbrough breaks into the morgue with holidaymaker Tyler Sherman, only to discover that the fish have wings and can fly. But the hotel manager refuses to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, with inevitable consequences... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Guess who's coming to dinner! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Spawning See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$145,786 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Lance Henriksen, making this movie was the most trying time in his life production-wise. The film's European producer Ovidio G. Assonitis wanted to spend only 300,000 dollars on the film (even though he had made a deal for 500,000), which meant that they had to cut cost wherever they could. The original director of the film was Miller Drake, who had started his career in Roger Corman movies, but disagreements over the script caused him to be fired. Production was a mess, with replacement director James Cameron, who had been working as special effects supervisor for Corman, having to make a number of the flying piranha rubber models himself. Henriksen was told that they couldn't afford a uniform for his character and that he should play the role in his own plain clothes, to which Henriksen objected, insisting that a harbor patrolman couldn't do his job without a uniform as if he's some plain clothes undercover cop. The situation was resolved when Henriksen noticed a sharp dressed waiter the same size as him, and asked him to sell his uniform for 75 bucks of his own money. He also had to use whale-shaped pins as his police badge and epaulets that showed his rank. Additionally, Henriksen had to carve the wooden gun in his holster by himself.

As Cameron wanted an explosive finale, he added to the script that Henriksen's character jumps out of a helicopter to save his drowning family. The helicopter was a Jamaican police helicopter used to chase drug smugglers and was piloted by a professional pilot. However, at one point a boat snuck under the chopper, almost hitting Henriksen's legs, so the pilot had to raise the chopper quickly, and in the maneuver, Cameron accidentally dropped the shooting camera into the sea, which was never recovered. Both Cameron and Henriksen considered themselves lucky to still be alive after that. Additionally, during his scripted jump, Henriksen almost broke an arm and his boots immediately started filling up with water as soon as he landed, so he almost drowned.

To make matters worse, producer Assonitis didn't like the way that Cameron was shooting and fired him as well, taking over the directorial duties himself. However, when he presented his version of the film to Warner Bros., they didn't like it and decided not to distribute the film. The movie was only released two years later by a smaller company that normally distributed pornographic films. Years later, a different distributor allowed Cameron to create his own cut. Henriksen thought that the fact that they accepted Cameron's version of the film was a clear sign that Cameron was an outlier with big future in the movie business. They became good friends and worked on two films, The Terminator (1984) and Aliens (1986). Drake and Cameron would later work together again on movies like Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). See more »

Goofs

When Steve goes to search for his son, he starts up the helicopter twice. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Anne Kimbrough: Kimbrough! Kimbrough!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Japanese release is longer than the "R" rated U.S. release, and features the gratuitous nude scenes, extra dialogue and character development, extended sequences, and a bit of extra gore. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Other Voices: Creating 'The Terminator' (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Beaches, bikinis, babes and flying killer piranha - what more can you ask for?
6 November 2000 | by Wilbur-10See all my reviews

This really isn't too bad a film, and is certainly a worthy sequel to the original. 'Piranha' worked because it was tongue-in-cheek, making fun of the films it was parodying. 'Piranha II' tries to be more serious, but is so cheesy that it manages, by default, to be just as effective.

This time round the Piranha have moved from the river and are in the sea, able to fly as a result of scientists crossing genes to make the ultimate killing machine. After the opening scene which is similar to the one in Jaws 2, (except here the two divers are lovers trying for some underwater coupling), the film introduces a variety of characters, most of which are surprisingly endearing in a 'B' movie kind of way; particularly two topless good-time girls who get provisions from a stuttering chef with the promise of a threesome.

Lance Henriksen, who continued a lucrative association with Cameron, plays the police chief, who is a hybrid of Brody from 'Jaws' and Colonel Kilgore from 'Apocalypse Now'. He valiantly plays a straight role as all around him descends into chaotic fun. The flying piranha attack like vampire bats, going for the throats of their luckless victims; whilst they also have Alien-like trends, one bursting out of a dead body to attack a nurse.

As can be gathered, I found this film great fun - most production values are of a reasonable standard, particularly the underwater photography. The piranha themselves are a disappointment, but they play second fiddle to the characters and storyline.

People who slate the film need to watch the likes of 'Barracuda' or 'Evil in the Deep', both of which are fathoms below 'Piranha II'. Any film with dialogue like "Do you dive on your first date?" gets the thumbs up from me.


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