Piranha (1978)


Two back packers go for a swim in a deserted ex-army site’s pool, they will certainly regret it as the pool is full of genetically altered piranha.  Maggie McKeown, a private investigator starts a search for them and in her investigation she goes to the cabin of local drunk Paul Grogan.  Reluctantly Paul agrees to help and when they accidentally let the piranha into the local river they have to fight against time before the locals become fish food.

Piranha has a witty script by John Sayles and assured direction from Joe Dante who would go on to make Gremlins and Inner Space amongst others.  The film is packed with genre veterans including Kevin McCarthy, Barbara Steele and the legendary Dick Miller.  The two central performances from Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies are excellent and although the film is over 30 years old, it is still an entertaining romp and well worth being in everyone’s film collection.  The film is bloody but not at all gory which  works to his advantage as the piranha attacks are well edited and pretty suspenseful.

Who would have thought that it would spawn a sequel ‘Flying Killers’ directed by none other than James Cameron and remade by producer Roger Corman for cable TV which featured a very young Mila Kunis.  On yes, let’s not forget the recent 3D ones as well. 

The package released by Second Sight is first rate with a commentary, interesting extras and a good price, so go get yourself bitten.

  • Starring Bradford Dillman  Heather Menzies  Paul Bartel  Dick Miller
  • Director Joe Dante
  • Distributor Second Sight