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Piranha [Roger Corman's Cult Classics] (1978)

Bradford Dillman , Heather Menzies , Joe Dante  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Piranha [Roger Corman's Cult Classics] + Piranha + Piranha II: The Spawning
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn
  • Directors: Joe Dante
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: August 3, 2010
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00317LM8S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,436 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Piranha [Roger Corman's Cult Classics]" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

While searching for missing teenagers, novice skip tracer Maggie McKeown (Heather Menzies) and local town boozer Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) stumble upon a top-secret Army laboratory conducting genetic research on piranha fish for the purpose of developing biological warfare. When the deadly eating machines are accidently released from the compound, they are soon headed downstream and consuming everything, and anything, in their path.

Bonus Features:

* New Anamorphic Widescreen Version (1.85:1)

* Audio Commentary With Director Joe Dante and Producer Jon Davison

* Behind-the-Scenes Footage

* The Making of Piranha Featurette With New Interviews From Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Dick Miller, Belinda Balaski and Many More

* Bloopers and Outtakes

* Piranha Trailer With Commentary by Producer Jon Davison Courtesy of Trailers From Hell

* Stills Gallery With Photos and Posters From Around the World

* Behind-the-Scenes Stills Gallery Featuring Photos From Phil Tippetts Personal Collection

* Additional Scenes From the Network Television Version

* Radio and TV Spots

* New World Trailers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get out of the water! October 8, 2005
Format:DVD
Where would we be without the venerable Roger Corman? Lovers of B-movie madness would likely have a lot more time on their hands to read books, interact with family, or take part in generally otherwise fulfilling life experiences had old Rog chosen a different career path. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, Corman sat out in Hollywood for three or four decades making low budget exploitation films. He also tried to cash in on every movie fad in modern cinema. And I do mean EVERY fad. You see, Roger had a dream to take an idea and make a profitable picture out of it that would entertain the masses. The problem was that someone else invariably had the idea first. Thus Lucas's "Star Wars" allowed Corman to unleash "Battle Beyond the Stars" on an unsuspecting public. Car chase movies saw Roger replying with "Grand Theft Auto" and "Eat My Dust." I could go on and on. There wasn't anything Corman couldn't do with someone else's idea. Perhaps the best example is "Piranha," a 1978 ripoff of Spielberg's "Jaws." This film made our man a lot of money, which allowed him to make even more spectacular ripoffs for years to come.

The flick starts with a couple of kids breaking into some sort of rundown fish hatchery for an evening swim. Something in the water kills them. End of movie. Seriously, something rather nasty does do away with the two idiots. We then see an insurance investigator by the name of Maggie McKeown (Heather Menzies on loan from Julie Andrews) heading out to discover what happened to these two dolts. She rather quickly hooks up with an embittered alcoholic with a penchant for flannel named Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman channeling Grizzly Adams) who lives in a cabin down by the river. Somehow or other Maggie convinces Paul to head over to the fish hatchery with her.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Camp Classic Deserves a Look May 30, 2000
Format:DVD
Joe Dante's Piranha is a very humorous spoof and a fine homage to Steven Spielberg's classic Jaws. Though plagued with poor acting from Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, and Keenan Wynn, this is definitely not the type of film that you would ever take seriously. The inside film jokes and cinema references add a lot of intelligent spice to the film's proceedings, but it is the cheesy yet effective special effects by Phil Tippett (Robocop) that make Piranha a must see for mosnter movie buffs. Watch out for the obviously fake piranha as they make a spectacular bloddy debacle of a children's summer camp. The DVD edition of Piranha has many elaborate features including a Joe Dante commenty, a making-of-documentary, film bloppers, and other theatrical trailers of Corman films. P.S. Joe Dante would later go on to direct such horror classics as The Howling and Gremlins.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PIRANHAS ARE EATING THE GUESTS June 15, 2005
Format:DVD
A justifiable cult classic, PIRANHA boasts an impressive pedigree. Oscar nominated screenwriter John Sayles; director Joe Dante (Gremlins); and some fine character actors: Bradford Dillman, Keenan Wynn, Dick Miller, Paul Bartel, Barbara Steele. The attacks are vicious and quickly paced so you don't pay too much attention to the cheesy special effects. There's satire about the military as well. There are some good suspense sequences, and I almost forgot: Body Snatcher's Kevin McCarthy is on board as the misguided scientist. The best of the subsequent spinoffs, PIRANHA is a great little horror classic.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Terror, horror, death. Film at eleven." June 17, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Jaws (1975) frightened a whole generation of people out of the water. Why? Because of the very real elements within the film, being that there are sharks in the oceans, and occasionally they do attack people. Do they ever get as large as the one in the film? Possibly...regardless, the fear was real enough...fast forward to 1978...prolific B movie director/producer Roger Corman, in an effort to capitalize on the immense popularity of the film Jaws, released Piranha, directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins, Innerspace, The `burbs) and written by John Sayles (The Howling, Wild Thing), which, while didn't elicit the response anywhere near that of the film it borrows from, still provides us with a great deal of entertainment (genetically altered super fish just didn't come across with the same level of realism as a giant man-eating shark).
The film stars Branford Dillman, who, along with his extensive television credits, appeared in scores of films like Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) and The Swarm (1978), to name a couple. Also starring is Heather Menzies, who appeared in films like The Sound of Music (1965), SSSSSSS (1973), along with various television shows throughout the 70's. Rounding out the cast are Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Paul Bartel, Barbara Steele (Caged Heat and Shivers), Melody Thomas Scott, and character actors Dick Miller and Keenan Wynn.
The film opens at night with two victims, er...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite cult horror films! February 7, 2004
Format:DVD
As a kid growing up on all the classic monster films on TV, this low-budget Roger Corman creature feature was always one of my favorites. As a teenage video collector in the 90's, I found this to be nearly impossible to find on VHS. Now as an adult in my early 20's, I own not only the video but have recently picked up the DVD and what a trip down memory lane, this "special edition" was for me.
"Piranha" is Corman's answer to "Jaws", a bad genre film that takes joy in being a bad genre film. When a private investigator goes looking for two missing kids at an old army test, she unwittingly releases a school of mutated killer piranha into the town's river system. With the help of a local mountain man, the two try to warn everyone from the military to a local resort. As is always the case in these films, the military has another agenda and they don't want the truth revealed.
Over the years, "Piranha" has earned a reputation as a true cult classic. With a great script from John Sayles, an amazing musical score from Pino Donaggio, and tremendous performances from underrated actors like Dick Miller, Keenan Wynn, Paul Bartel, and horror legend Barbara Steele, "Piranha" is the ultimate "nature goes wrong" B-movie.
My only real complaint about this DVD is that it is presented in a full-frame format (though the opening credits are finally presented in widescreen as the other way cuts the names pretty badly). Well, that and the fact that they didn't include any of the added footage from the original network TV version. Those complaints aside, it is good to hear director Joe Dante (who went on to direct "Gremlins") and producer Jon Davison reminisicing on the filming of this movie. Not to mention, the added value of seeing lots of never-before-seen footage from the making of the film. If you loved this movie growing up or are just a fan of the classic "creature feature" titles, this is a must-have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A silly, but surprisingly effective B-grade horror movie with ...
A silly, but surprisingly effective B-grade horror movie with just enough nudity to ensure future viewings. Read more
Published 7 days ago by K. Hatfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic still makes me giggle to this day... and dread swimming...
Something I realized last night while watching Piranha... it's just not as scary as it was when I was a child. I remember watching Piranha and thinking "Oh My God. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Martha
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
once is enough for this type of flick
Published 1 month ago by LuckyLady5
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic 70's
The movie is a classic 1970's critter flick. Decent acting. (Though 70's style... a little too heavy on drama acting. Even the biggest budget were. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul S. Andrulis
4.0 out of 5 stars a must see for those who love gore (and piranhas)
We had forgotten there was an original Piranha. A few years ago we saw the 2010 remake of this movie, which we thoroughly loved and were grossed out by. Read more
Published 2 months ago by G. Hodill
4.0 out of 5 stars luv the classics
considering its from the 70s, its has a good plot. just goes to show you how the human race is always messing with mother nature.
Published 2 months ago by Kimberly Wells
3.0 out of 5 stars nostalgia
I had seen this movie years ago and was amused. It's so hokey, it's a silly pseudo-conspiracy film that makes you shake your head.
Published 2 months ago by Richard Zeigler
3.0 out of 5 stars Review
just killing time and it just a blast from the past. It show nice and it very clear to see.
Published 3 months ago by Relic2030
3.0 out of 5 stars quite enjoyable
Pretty funny. Had a good evening laughing at it. Filling out the silly word requirement is really quite annoying amazon.
Published 3 months ago by Philip Van Arsdale
4.0 out of 5 stars Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back Into The Water
This movie came out in 1978 and for a Jaws knock off it is actually really good. Before we go on to the remakes of two years ago of this movie, forget them they are dumb and a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by K.L. CocKayne
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