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Piranha (1978)
Horror Movies & Sci-Fi Movies Database

Piranha (1978) A young couple stumble across an abandoned US Army test site on a mountain, in which is a huge pool. Thinking it's an ordinary swimming pool, they jump in. But this pool is home to the piranha, and the couple are eaten alive. A young woman P.I. is hired by the father of one of the missing kids to find them, and she meets up with an alcoholic outdoorsman who lives on the mountain. The two of them find the test site and drain the pool to see what's in it. As they do they are accosted by Dr. Hoak - the sole resident of the test site - who informs them that the inhabitants of the pool were the products of a gene-splicing experiment called 'Operation Razorteeth', designed to produce a mutant strain of piranha fish for deployment in the Vietnam War against the NVA. The fish could live in cold water and breed at a high rate. Realizing that a children's summer camp and the Lost River Lake Resort downriver are in the piranhas' path, they set out to try to stop it. The piranha are well ahead of them, and they kill several people on their way downstream. When they try to warn the camp director and resort owner of the danger, they are arrested. Thanks to the woman's ingenuity they escape custody and race down to the camp in a state police car to warn them. But the piranha have already struck - and there are others who want to keep the danger of the piranha a secret...

Movie Tagline:
Lost River Lake was a thriving resort

Title: Piranha
Release Date: August 03, 1978
Runtime: 94 mins
Genre: Comedy
All Genres: Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Languages: English
Country: USA
Colors: Color
Sound: Mono
IMDB Rating: 5.6
Buried.com Rating: 6.6 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With P

MPAA Rating: R

Joe Dante

Bradford Dillman ...Paul Grogan
Heather Menzies ...Maggie McKeown
Kevin McCarthy ...Dr. Robert Hoak
Keenan Wynn ...Jack
Dick Miller ...Buck Gardner
Barbara Steele ...Dr. Mengers
Belinda Balaski ...Betsy
Melody Thomas Scott ...Laura Dickinson (as Melody Thomas)
Bruce Gordon ...Colonel Waxman
Barry Brown ...Trooper
Paul Bartel ...Mr. Dumont
Shannon Collins ...Suzie Grogan
Shawn Nelson ...Whitney
Richard Deacon ...Earl Lyon
Janie Squire ...Barbara Randolph
Roger Richman ...David
Bill Smillie ...Jailer
Guich Koock ...TV Pitchman
Jack Pauleson ...Boy in Canoe
Eric Henshaw ...Father in Canoe
Robert Vinson ...Soldier
Virginia Dunnam ...Girl
Hill Farnsworth ...Water-skier
Bruce Paul Barbour ...Man in Boat (as Bruce Barbour)
Robyn Ray ...Screaming Woman
Mike Sullivan ...Dam Guard
Jack Cardwell ...Brandy
Sally Bondi ...Swimming Deb
Eric Braeden ...Dr. Robert Hoak (swimming double)
Joe Dante ...Scuba Diver #2

» [more cast members]

Roger Corman
Jon Davison
Chako van Leeuwen
Jeff Schechtman

Richard Robinson
John Sayles
John Sayles

Pino Donaggio

More Movie Taglines:
  • Lost River Lake was a thriving resort
  • until they discovered...
  • They're here...Hungry for flesh! Who can stop them?
  • There's something in the water at Lost River Lake. Something you can't see...something you can't feel...until it's too late!
  • Then... you were shocked by the great white shark
  • Now... you are at the mercy of 1000 jaws!
Movie Quote(s):
  • Whitney: The piranhas... Buck Gardner: What about the goddamn piranhas? Whitney: They're eating the guests, sir.
  • Dumont: People eat fish, Grogan. Fish don't eat people.
  • Reporter: Terror, horror, death. Film at eleven.
  • Maggie McKeown: Are there any other shacks around here? Paul Grogan: Cabins! This is a cabin! Maggie McKeown: Well, are there any more of them? Any place they might be hold up in? Paul Grogan: There's an old fella named Jack who lives downriver, but he woundn't treat any hospitality towards them. Oh, and there was some kind of Army test site way up on top of the mountain. But that closed down five, six years ago. Maggie McKeown: C'mon, let's go. Paul Grogan: What? Maggie McKeown: You're taking me up there. Paul Grogan: Oh NO I'm not!
  • Maggie McKeown: I'm looking for two teenagers that disappeared a few weeks ago. So, I was wondering if there are any places around here they might be or if they may have gone for a swim. Paul Grogan: Well, if they drowned, they'd be swept down to the dam. So, you're starting off at the wrong end. Maggie McKeown: Boy, you're the wrong end around here!
Movie Trivia:
  • Eric Braeden was originally cast as Paul Grogan, but he pulled out to pursue another project. He had already shot some underwater swimming footage which is used in the film.
  • A waitress from the Holiday Inn where the director and crew were staying stood in for Heather Menzies during the topless shots because Menzies was concerned that her husband might not approve of the nude scene.
  • This film was reported to have been shot in 30 days for $660,000.
  • Bradford Dillman was originally unhappy with his character's 2D nature, and asked writer John Sayles why his character was so thin. Sayles responded that Roger Corman regularly did not use good actors in his film, so he deliberately didn't elaborate on characters. But since Dillman was a "real" actor, he was more than happy to enhance his character's depth.
  • This movie was one of the firsts efforts for effects and makeup artists Rob Bottin and Phil Tippett.
IMDB Links:
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Piranha, Fish, River, Experiment, Police Car  ...[more]

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Rating: 6.6 out of 10.0 - 54 votes cast total
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