Directed by Joe Dante
Story by John Sayles and Richard Robinson
Screenplay by John Sayles
Well, I guess since the Great White Shark had laid claim to the ocean, it was only logical that the piranha would become the scourge of the rivers. Joe Dante proves why he is one of the best directors of B-Grade motion pictures with his 1978 film Piranha. Is it a rip-off of Jaws? Hell yeah, but that doesn’t matter. Piranha is a thrill ride all its own. When a school of piranha is accidentally set free from a government test facility, it’s up to B-Movie stars Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies to stop them before they turn the rivers and lakes into their own private smorgasbord. Accompanying Dillman and Menzies are Dante regulars Dick Miller, Kevin McCarthy and Belinda Balaski as well as the beautiful Barbara Steele. Piranha is as cheesy a horror film as you are ever likely to see, but who gives a rat’s ass, it’s a damn fun movie. My wife and I went to see the remake of Piranha and were greatly disappointed. Quite honestly the film should have been entitled “Girls Gone Wild with some Piranha’s.” I am usually not the kind of person to automatically like the original product more than the remake. But in the case of 1978′s Piranha as compared to 2010′s film, there is no comparison. Joe Dante’s love letter to JAWS wins hands down.
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.
Universal Studios attempted to sue New World for spoofing Jaws. However, Steven Spielberg saw the movie in advance and loved it. After that, Universal dropped the lawsuit.
- Sssssss (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Director Joe Dante talks Trailers From Hell! site and why you shouldn’t hold your breath for ‘Gremlins 3′ (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Piranha 3DD Trailer Debuts This Weekend Before Apollo 18; First Teaser Art! (dreadcentral.com)
Posted on 08/31/2011, in Films Released in 1978, Nature Run Amok Films and tagged Belinda Balaski, Bradford Dillman, Great White Shark, Heather Menzies, Joe Dante, John Sayles, Piranha, Universal Studios. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.