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Piranha [Import]

Bradford Dillman , Heather Menzies-Urich , Joe Dante    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 47.41
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Product Details

Product Description


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 stars Bradford Dillman (doing his best Rip Torn impression) as an antisocial mountain man and Heather Menzies as a rookie detective who race a school of mutant piranha downriver. Dante and Sayles provide the requisite blood and gore for this drive-in meat market: a kids' summer camp and a waterfront amusement park await the little beasties. Along the way, riverside retiree Keenan Wynn gets his ankles stripped clean, camp counselor Paul Bartel is chomped on the cheek by a hungry little bugger who takes to the air, and hordes of unlucky bathers are caught in the center of a feeding frenzy. What differentiates this little gem from the legion of similar knockoffs are the satirical swipes at military arrogance and crass commercialism, Dante's energetic enthusiasm, and the bursts of black humor: "Lost River Lake: Terror, horror, death. Film at 11." The culty cast also includes Invasion of the Body Snatchers's Kevin McCarthy as the hysterical scientist guarding the creatures, horror diva Barbara Steele as a devious government researcher, and longtime Corman regular Dick Miller as an unscrupulous entrepreneur ("Sir, the piranha are eating the guests").

The DVD features good-humored commentary by director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison, who also narrate the 10 minutes of good-quality home-movie footage shot by Davison. There are also six minutes of outtakes. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description


Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars "Terror, horror, death. Film at eleven." June 17 2004
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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4.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite cult horror films! Feb. 7 2004
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Lost River is Lost No More Jan. 30 2004
First I read the book. Then I saw the video. Now I have the DVD. Why? Because this is an above average B-movie.
A military lab is the home of deadly and intelligent piranha. But when a tracker releases them into the Lost River, the waters run red.
Downstream from the river are an old man, a dam, a summer camp, a new resort and the ocean. The hungry fish are making their through each of these and if they reach the end they can terrorize the country.
One of the nice things about this film is the way people show remorse when their bad decisions/greed/arrogance lead to death by fish. This is true except for the hero who released the fish in the first place. I could really see the military spinning the ball into her court and making her take the blame for the whole fiasco (but it doesn't happen, she just goes about her way).
The other problem involves geography. The new dam has created Lost River Lake, said to be the site of the resort. But the resort is downstream from the lake (which looks no wider than the river) and there is another stream that bypasses the dam but doesn't have an increased flow from the now deeper river.
While I think the hero should have shown some acknowledgment of her part in the horror, her involvement is eclipsed by the evil Barbara Steele. With more obvious villains to hate many viewers miss the true culprit.
Fun and well done. Even the effects are pretty good. You may not look at rivers the same way again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Piranha has Bite Aug. 11 2002
By A Customer
After the smashing success of "Jaws", B-movie producer Roger Corman delivers plenty of blood and gore in the Sci-Fi thriller "Piranha". A young detective and an antisocial mountain man freed a school of genetically-enhanced piranha upon a quiet mountain community. Now, both race to stop the beasts from chomping unsuspected bathers. Roger Corman's "Jaws" clone is a surprising and effective B-movie thriller. Director Joe Dante (The Howling & Gremlins) adds clever campiness and dark humor to this blood and gore tale. This cult gem contains some good scares and rather impressive visuals. The cast includes Kevin McCarthy (The Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Barbara Steele and Dick Miller as a greedy amusement park entrepreneur. This "nature gone badly" film is presented in full screen format. The DVD contains a fine picture quality and a pleasant Dolby Digital sound. The animated menus are great. The DVD includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, commentary by director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison, theatrical trailers and outtakes. Overall, "Piranha" gets a pleasing "B".
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than JAWS!!!
There! I said it and I'm sure there are others who agree with me. As great as Jaws is, it is a very overrated film while Joe Dante's Piranha is a very underrated film. Read more
Published 24 months ago by A Fan
3.0 out of 5 stars fun times
this actually is not that bad a movie. it's a bit too melodramatic in parts for my taste.and those moments don't fit for me. Read more
Published on April 18 2011 by falcon
Somewhere in a Texas hillside in an abandoned Army testing facility long after the Vietnam War, a lone scientist named Dr. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2010 by The Critic
5.0 out of 5 stars Low-budget trash 'B' movie mayhem!
I love these kinds of movies, especially whenever they turn out to be low-budget 'B' movies from the 70s-80s genre. Read more
Published on June 14 2004 by Blade
3.0 out of 5 stars silly but enjoyable movie that brings back memories for me
I used to love this movie when I was little. One of the things that fascinated me most about it was that it was filmed in San Marcos, Texas, at a riverside resort called Aquarena... Read more
Published on March 22 2004 by Steve J
3.0 out of 5 stars piranHAHA
what is this, jurassic park? what's with those little dinosaur things??
Published on Sept. 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars bzuzzuuxuzuuuzuzuuzzuzuxuzzzzuzzzzzuzzzzzz...
the best part of this movie is the ominous buzzing sound made by the pirahnas when they attack! yummy.
Published on July 23 2003 by "theodosya"
4.0 out of 5 stars a great bloody flick
I don't know why people think this is silly while i thought it was pretty good, i bought it on dvd and i liked it very much, if you like to watch movies with a lot of blood than... Read more
Published on June 22 2002 by Nicholas F. Dandrea
Published on Jan. 31 2002
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