Piranha - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Piranha Reviews

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½ October 24, 2017
Intentionally goofy, hilariously gory, and a wonderful creature-feature homage.
September 17, 2017
sort of a jaws wannabee. a group of meddling kids set pirahnas loose into the river. so they get on a raft, which is the worst method of transportation they could have possibly chosen. and inevitably, many people end up getting killed by the fish
September 11, 2017
What a silly movie, but then again it wouldn't have its cult status without absurd scenes that at times are so silly you can't stop laughing. It's more like a parody on the technical brilliance of 'Jaws'.
July 1, 2017
It's amazing how well this holds up nearly 4 decades later, especially considering it's a low-budget Jaws Knock-off. A childhood fave.
June 29, 2017
This was the 1st Horror movie I ever saw when i was a child. It sacred and creeped me out then in 1978, not so much now, paper mache pirahnas? but the dialoge was top notched and funny, so i give it c+ or 75%.
January 16, 2017
Definition of cult classic. Loved this as a kid.
May 5, 2016
One of Dante's weaker films, but still good.
April 9, 2016
Loved it as a kid watching a tv movie - I had a crush on the good camp counselor that colors a scraped knee on one of her girls so she didn't have to go swimming.
So disappointed when she was taken down by the piranha - why do the good ones have to go down in a movie like this - I always asked.
Its bc they make the drama more interesting, and you care when they do go down,I found out later.
Its dated, but a decent tv movie-level story, and interesting situations, especially the summer camp.
I didn't really care for the 2010 remake - but I'd love to see this one again.
Here, the cast takes the piranha seriously, and the campiness is more of a percolating gallows humor. The 2010 version was rather drunken college kids that didn't really care, and Jerry O'Connor tries to be funny is only good for a one note chuckle, if even.
Just find this one, and get your horror movie thriller going.

4 ankle bites out of 5
November 18, 2015
Hilariously bad and terribly funny, tongue in cheek. The best way to make a Jaws parody...huh, a low budget campy spoof of a 70's B movie. Ridiculous. 6.5/10
½ November 18, 2015
"Piranha" is one hell of a rip-off. I'm sure calling it such wouldn't much offend its filmmakers - it was released soon after 1975's "Jaws" and possesses a similar concept - as it holds the touch of a film in sync with its junkiness. It's in on the joke of having a film's villains be man-eating, ahem, piranhas, and it takes leap after leap of faith just in order to ensure a nasty thrill. B-movies should strive to be as awesomely schlocky as this one.
Unless you count the titular foes as the leading characters then we could say that "Piranha" is headlined by Maggie McKeown (a likable Heather Menzies), an insurance investigator shipped to Lost River Lake to track down a pair of missing teenage hikers. Unsure of where to begin her search, Maggie calls for the help of Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman), a native of the area who knows the region almost by heart. Soon, the two discover a vacant military facility, home to a seemingly concluded government project that involved the breeding of human hungry piranhas for the Vietnam War. Only Dr. Robert Hoak (Kevin McCarthy), head of the experiment, remains - but after Maggie and Paul unknowingly release the piranhas into the area's prolific bodies of water, a literal bloodbath quickly consumes the region.
With enough cheeky humor and manic gusto to fuel the sum of its parts, "Piranha" takes the most carefree elements of "Jaws" and subverts them, squeezing in a pinch of self-referentiality that turns horror into bodily based comedy. I suppose we shouldn't be laughing when the bumbling characters of "Piranha," for instance, jump into infested rivers knowing full well of its dangers in order to save a life (logic?), but lack of intelligence found in horror movies is a staple impossible not to guffaw at. And Joe Dante, later to be the director behind vintage cultural staples "The Howling" and "Gremlins," helms with a cheery attitude both ticklish and self-aware.
The low-budget is not something to take note of - because of the astuteness behind the camera, "Piranha" is as effective as any money-pumped Hollywood blockbuster. We don't have to have high tech shots of the piranhas, to have quirky special effects, to be provided with studio invincibility. The suspense is unforced, the humor natural; it's a great example of sweeping escapism overcoming its boundaries.
"Jaws" diehards might be ticked off by "Piranha"'s copycat audacity, but the unknowing shades of the audience might find themselves surprised by how adept the film is. We don't come in with high expectations, and yet we leave feeling as thrilled as we did during the greatest of schlock parties of the 1950s and '60s. Leave your eye-rolls, your inhibitions, at the door - this is a winner.
August 18, 2015
Una emocionate, divertida y aterradora copia de "Jaws", cortesía del director Joe Dante (quien más adelante demostraría su talento con la colaboración con Steven Spielberg en "Gremlins"). El guionista de esta producción de Roger Corman es nada menos que John Sayles (quien más adelante se convertiría en el dios del cine independiente). Olvídese de sus prejuicios y disfrute de los mordiscos.
½ June 27, 2015
Early Joe Dante, of Gremlins fame. I've heard it been called a "spoof" of Jaws, or a part-comedy... I honestly don't think it Was meant to be a comedy. It feels like simply a Jaws ripoff, although probably consciously so.
Supposedly they are mutant piranhas created by the military, but they seem exactly like normal piranhas so I think the military wasted a bit of cash to be honest.
½ June 4, 2015
This is how garbage should be!
May 17, 2015
Pretty Decent. A fairly suspenseful horror flick involving a carnivore-type fish that prays against flesh in no different of a way than a large shark would. This film relates fairly well to the newer Piranha film, as it would be most considered a remake of sort to relate to the 21st century more. With this one being the original, it was certainly something different especially if you werenâ??t any more satisfied with Jaws.
April 19, 2015
Like many Roger Corman movies it is a more well known film than it has any right to be. It is nothing special, but not terrible by any means. In fact, it's actually a fairly well made killer animals movie. The problem is it isn't particularly memorable outside of some fun stop-motion monsters early on in the film and a scene with several children in peril. The reputation of this movie would have you believe it is some superior nature attacks movie. Truth is, it's not.
½ March 28, 2015
I loved the idea, but this film contained actors who seemed bored and the plot just took too long to get going.
January 4, 2015
Better than expected.

Having seen the 2010 version of Piranha (and the 2012 sequel, which was even worse) I really didn't expect much from this, the 1978 original. Turns out it's not bad, and better than I expected.

Starts very well - setting the scene, developing the plot and characters. There is a genuine feeling of intrigue and engagement. You keep thinking "How are they going to stop this?".

From a point, however, it does degenerate into a B-grade creature feature, with action, body count and gore being the main drivers. It also feels like a bad ripoff of Jaws.

However, for the most part it is reasonably enjoyable and worth the watch.
½ December 19, 2014
Roger Corman knows a good thing when he sees it: he just doesn't know how to make a good thing himself. In his career, he's produced a considerable library of knockoff schlock-fests. What makes a Corman knockoff such a spectacular affair is his proclivity to farm fresh talent at the lowest possible price. Piranha is no exception. The film is directed by Joe Dante and co-written by John Sayles who were, at that time, two eager unknown filmmakers. They were given one month and $660,000 (pricey for Corman) to finish the flick. It was released in 1978 as a parasitic calculation, feeding in the wake created by Jaws. The movie is a beautiful mess, throwing around fake blood and stale dialogue like confetti. The acting isn't all that bad: it's terrible. The one saving grace of Piranha is its cheekiness, which occasionally outshines the shamefully cheap production. It's a barrel of fishy fun, and one of my picks for movies that are so bad, they're good.
December 7, 2014
First time I have watched this original version.
The film has had numerous sequels and 3D incarnations over the years.
It was made in 1978 and it has aged in parts from print quality to fashions and appalling special effects compared to CGI.
The film is a Jaws rip off in several scenes.
From the Jaws arcade game.
Water skier.
An arrogant water park owner wearing a white suit who is the spitting image of the Amity mayor in Jaws.
A watchable 90 or so minutes but far from classic! The acting is very 1970s Australian soap opera territory.
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