Piranha: Roger Corman's Cult Classics [Blu-ray]
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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.
* 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
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Top customer reviews
And yes, even Barbara Steele is in it!
As far as creature features go, any fan of the critter exploitation 'venue MUST own this one.
The sequels, or as some say, the "re-imaginings" are fun too but as part of a different genre I suggest, more sleezy-comedic.
Piranha is Jaws, with beer and pizza and your buddies, and the landlady banging on your door screaming "TURN IT DOWN!"
Have fun, you've earned it.
Director Joe Dante pulls no punches by stating it was no secret ..."we were making a "ripoff" of Jaws..." and it shows in very first scene of movie when star Belinda Belaski is playing a "Jaws" video game.
John Sayles (just a year away from penning very good The Lady In Red for Roger Corman too..) wrote PIRANHA with tongue nicely in cheek, sometimes asked to add a scene while on set in Texas himself. He also has small acting role as soldier.
Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) took the part as Doctor Roark replacing Eric Braeden who refused to take role after seeing what film crew did to USC's Olympic swimming pool (made to look like underwater lake...). "I can't go in that water..." He told Director Joe Dante. USC had to drain and "blast" the pool before it could be used again...! Something actually grew in there, Dante added.
Dick Miller is a blatant ripoff of Murray Hamilton's "mayor" character in JAWs. All that was missing from Dick Miller's wardrobe was the cheesy anchors on his suit coat.
Pino Donaggio as composer for a movie of this NON-magnitude was a major coup.
I found it interesting PIRANHA was actually released same time as JAWS 2.
This is B-movie entertainment that was well made (only $660,000...): What you cannot necessarily see from the speedy Piranha attacks is certainly made-up for with those "swarming, ravaging, sound effects." Vicious. And don't worry bloody too, as was the demand of Corman.
Easy, gory 4 star rating with subtle, in-movie-joke humor.
There are several things to strongly commend this movie for, like the fact that the lead characters are likable so that you care what happens to them (unlike in some horror films), the way it is very self-aware and has small tributes to Jaws, the campy sound effect of the school of fish, the excessive amounts of blood that is shown in a comic manner, and how it is genuinely comedic and yet not a pure spoof in the way that films like Scary Movie are. Basically, the film comes just close enough to Jaws to be an obvious attempt to cash in on its success, and yet also stays just far away enough from Jaws that one isn't bored by a repetition of the same story all over again.
I also feel that this film did something well that I don't typically see in creature feature films. And that is that it maintained a good balance between the screen time that the piranha attacks had, and that the background story about the people and the origin of the problem had. I say "piranha attacks" because admittedly, the fish themselves are hardly shown close-up at all, but it didn't really feel as if I was missing anything by not seeing very much of their fins. Usually, the scenes involving the creature itself are short as well as far and few in between, while I am bored with all the meaningless dialog (a good example of this is "Demon of Paradise" where I was thinking "When do I get to see the monster?"). But in this movie I did not have that disappointment.
As a matter of fact, the scenes where the human characters are talking actually interested me and had me curious what would happen next. It is very rare for me to enjoy these types of scenes.
See this movie if you like B movies, by all means. However, if you aren't a fan of that type of cinema, Piranha probably won't convert you. We all have different tastes. I know people who simply don't enjoy a schlocky low budget B movie, even if it's great at being what it is. As for me though, I'll take this little exploitation film over Jaws, because it's just more fun.
P.S. The DVD extras include a feature commentary, some extra footage from when they were filming, and a small documentary on the making of the film. You get your money's worth.
Most recent customer reviews
As an early Roger Corman film, it didn't have a real sizeable budget, but it is entertaining.
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