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.