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Piranha (1995)

R | | Horror | 1 October 1995 (USA)
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

Writers:

Richard Robinson (story), John Sayles (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Katt ... Paul Grogan
Alexandra Paul ... Maggie McNamara
Monte Markham ... J.R. Randolph
Darleen Carr ... Dr. Leticia Baines
Mila Kunis ... Susie Grogan
Soleil Moon Frye ... Laura
Kehli O'Byrne ... Gina Green
James Karen ... Governor
Drancy Jackson Drancy Jackson ... Jimmy
Billie Worley Billie Worley ... Whitney
Shannon Farrara ... Darlene
Kaz Garas ... Sheriff Carl
Richard Israel Richard Israel ... Dave
Lorissa McComas Lorissa McComas ... Barbara
Leland Orser ... Terry Wechsler
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Storyline

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 environmentalist Paul Grogan to help her to look for the teenager. They head to an abandoned army facility and Maggie decides to drain the pools to see whether the body of the girl is there. They are assaulted by a woman with a crowbar but they subdue her. However she escapes and soon they learn that the woman is Dr. Leticia Baines, who is researching a hybrid species of piranha that is capable to survive in fresh and sea waters for military purpose. Further, Maggie has release the piranhas on the river and they are heading to the Lost River Lake Resort. Maggie and Paul inform the corrupt local Sheriff but Randolph tells him to lock them up since he does not want to jeopardize the party he has promoted to his resort. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lost River Lake was a thriving resort... Until they discovered...

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/gore and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Roger Corman Presents Piranha See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the scenes were shot in the same locations as the original. See more »

Goofs

Despite being described as 'freezing', the pool that the piranhas were originally in had steam rising from it, indication that it was, in fact, heated. See more »

Quotes

Paul Grogan: The fish were bred for intelligence and endurance and God knows what else.
See more »

Connections

References Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Killer Mutant Piranha
Written by David Teague
Performed by Uncle Dog Food
Published by Roger's Little Shop of Music (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More serious, but all-around inferior, imitation of the 1978 original
12 July 2018 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

RELEASED IN 1995 and directed by Scott P. Levy, "Piranha" chronicles events when genetically-enhanced piranha are accidently released into a river system in the wilderness north of Los Angeles, which threaten kids & counselors at a Summer Camp and vacationers at a lake resort. A private investigator (Alexandra Paul) and a lonely environmentalist (William Katt) team-up to save the swimmers.

This is virtually a scene-by-scene recreation of the 1978 film, taking place in Southern Cal rather than the heart of Texas. While "Piranha" (both versions) 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; and there's more of a sense of adventure and arguably suspense. The tone of the original version of "Piranha" mixed-in amusing elements with the horrific mayhem, but this version shoots for a more austere air.

As my title blurb points out, this 1995 version is all-around inferior to the 1978 rendition, even though it's basically the same exact story and both were produced by Roger Corman. Some of the changes, aside from cast and locations, include: A woman (Darleen Carr) is substituted for the scientist (Kevin McCarthy) at the research facility; the stop-motion mini-dinosaur featured in the first act is omitted; there's a new wannabe director character; one of the two babes at the camp dies prematurely; and the filmmakers were more conscious of including racial diversity in the background.

The new locations with sparser foliage are also inferior, as are the women. Although voluptuous Lorissa McComas as Barbara in the prologue is just as good as (or better than) Janie Squire in the original, Soleil Moon Frye and Kehli O'Byrne are rather second rate compared to cutie Melody Thomas Scott and curvy Belinda Balaski, although Kehli is certainly a striking woman.

I suggest skipping this one and viewing the original instead, unless you're a fan of some of the cast members or want to compare the two versions. The 1978 film is superior on practically every level.

THE MOVIE RUNS 89 minutes and was shot, in part, at Castaic Lake just north of Valencia/Santa Clarita, California.

GRADE: C-


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