Search - Piranha on DVD

Actors: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Dick Miller
Director: Joe Dante
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     1999     1hr 34min

Roger Corman produced this shameless Jaws rip-off at the height of the "nature gone wild" boom of American cinema and struck B-movie gold. Scripted by John Sayles and directed by Joe Dante, this tongue-in-cheek thriller ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn, Dick Miller
Director: Joe Dante
Creators: Jamie Anderson, Chako van Leeuwen, Jeff Schechtman, Jon Davison, Roger Corman, John Sayles, Richard Robinson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: New Concorde
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 10/26/1999
Original Release Date: 08/03/1978
Theatrical Release Date: 08/03/1978
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 10/15/2021...
A must watch cult classic with a real unique plotline and special effects before the current CGI insanity.
Michael F. from BELLMAWR, NJ
Reviewed on 4/1/2010...
I love this movie mostly for nostalgic reasons. Not to say that it's bad - it's not - but it does have it's moment of cheese now and then. I personally love horror movies that go straight for the intense fear - with no cheese, no nudity - especially gratuitous nudity, no insulting my intelligence.
That said, this movie has virtually zip in nudity. Language is kept to a minimum and the gore is sprinkled in sparingly, however, considering the number of piranha attacking the people, I think the gore is TOO little for the story. Acting is descent enough. My favorite thing about this movie, though, the sound that the piranhas make.

Overall, I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

We're gonna need a bigger boat....Blu Ray Review
Jamison Ballard | 09/07/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"OK a little Roger Corman history lesson. Take an "A" movie like Alien, Creature form the Black Lagoon, Jaws.....and make a "B" grade ripoff of their success. What you get is GENIUS.

Piranha is a Jaws ripoff, but it is a blast to watch. I will save you the synopsis since our first reviewer does a fine job in that and give you the cliff note version.

Army testing area sign says "Keep Out" which means please come in. MIA after entering, but soon people come looking for them. Don't push that button!!!! Piranha now have been let into the river. Fishermen, Kids Camp and teens hanging out on the beach are all on the menu. There you go that's it, but the ride to get there is great, so many great one liners. "B" movie lover this is a 5 star must see.

Alright now sizing up the blu ray. I have owned the original DVD release and let me tell you this is a HUGE upgrade. Piranha now is widescreen and fills the entire screen. The picture has never looked so good. I was amazed at how cleaned up this '78 flick looked. The sound is both clear and loud, while never being plagued by sounding computer enhanced. Overall, a must own for fans and a must see for "B" movie lovers. Highly recommended."
"Look! Up in the Sky! It's Superman!"
Andrew Estes | Maine | 08/30/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Part parody, part homage, the Roger Corman-produced "Pirahna" pays cheesy tribute to Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" with its tongue planted firmly in cheek. The film has become the stuff legends are made of. Not only did it launch the career of a noteworthy director (as did its sequel) but it also spawned two separate remakes, with the latest being what looks like this summer's biggest guilty pleasure film. But before all that was the little film that could, an unlikely b-movie underdog that does its job surprisingly well. Because of this movie, you will believe that fish on sticks can be threatening.

Before he would go on to become a big name in the horror genre in the 1980's, director Joe Dante ("The Howling" and "Gremlins") let loose on this shoe-string budget b-flick. Although the film has little style, it gets by with a strong sense of humor and its oddball assortment of characters. Heather Menzies plays Maggie, a video game obsessed insurance investigator who is thrust into the arms of Bob Vila look-alike Paul (Bradford Dillman) -- a bitter drunk with a dry sense of humor -- when she sets to the wilderness in search of a missing couple. The two inadvertently stumble upon a military experiment, letting loose a school of blood-thirsty fish into the local lake where a delicious feast of fat tourists and innocent children awaits them.

Although sorely dated, "Piranha" is not without its charm. A young Rob Bottin provides some surprisingly decent special effects and make-up, while Dante keeps the pace of the film moving effectively, especially in its ridiculous final act, which just so happens to feature an explosion so random it probably keeps Michael Bay up at night in fits of jealous rage. Seeking a silly yet solid horror spoof? You just can't go wrong taking a midnight swim with "Piranha"."
Brian Harris | United States | 09/30/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Joe Dante's Piranha is a delightfully dated, blackly comedic endeavor spilling over with floating bits of flesh and surprisingly stacked-in-the-back seventies beauties. The stunning locations, numerous cult cinema personalities and highly effective special effects lend this Corman exploitationer an air of originality most Jaws rip-off cinema lacks and, make no mistake folks, this is indeed Jaws rip-off cinema. It's fairly obvious that Dante and crew embrace that fact and run with it when the arcade game `Shark Jaws' and Melville's Moby-Dick make appearances in the film.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Piranha is a classic horror film but it does deserve a place of admiration alongside the watery terrors of Jaws, Orca and Tentacles. Wow did I just mention Assonitis' Tentacles in the same sentence as Spielberg's Jaws? The cult cinema gods must be smiling down on me now, no?

Shout! Factory are scoring big this year with their Corman line, it shows that they were listening to fans and collectors worldwide. Releasing Piranha '78 is a damn good business move, especially with Piranha 3D makes huge waves (pun intended) in theaters right now. True to the spirit of this film, Shout! Factory are exploiting that fact with a fabulous special edition overflowing with extras including a new widescreen transfer (still a bit rough though), commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers, trailer w/ commentary, a still gallery, additional scenes from the TV version and some TV/radio spots!

Piranha is occasionally incompetent but still flat-out entertaining and there's more than enough goodies to keep you busy for multiple viewings."