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Piranha (DVD)

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Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 1978 / Director: Joe Dante / Actors: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies ... / DVD released 21 October, 2002 at MGM Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Dubbed, PAL, Widescreen

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

    7 Reviews
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      30.11.2012 20:58
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      breasts, butts and not much else.

      I watched this movie soon after I saw it on demand last year thinking the trailer looked a little fun so lets see what this has to offer. I wasn't really expecting much because any movie that contains teens, spring break and bikinis can't be that great. Despite me not expecting much I decided to watch it anyway. --------------Cast-------------- Elisabeth Shue as Sheriff Julie Forester Adam Scott as Novak Radzinsky Jerry O'Connell as Derrick Jones Ving Rhames as Deputy Fallon Jessica Szohr as Kelly Driscoll Steven R. McQueen as Jake Forester Dina Meyer as Paula Montellano Christopher Lloyd as Carl Goodman Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Boyd The acting was decent but nothing special. Ones to watch in this movie are Jake's little brother and sister because they are cute and quite funny eventhough they have small roles. ----------Plot------------- Spring Break is here and Jake is stuck at home babysitting because his mother is a police officer that has to go out and watch the spring break party at the beach. Derrick is filming a porno and asks Jake to show him around all the best places near the lake that would be good to shoot. Jake then bribes his little brother and sister to stay home alone so he can go out. They end up going out fishing unsupervised whilst Jake goes out. Later whilst on a boat he spots his younger siblings near the lake when they are suppose to be inside the house. Elsewhere on the beach spring break turns into a blood bath of hot bodies. Once a marine biologist realizes what is going on in the water it turns into a battle of survival for all the spring breakers on the beach or near the lake. One thing I must first of all say about the plot of this movie is that it was very weak and they clearly focused more of finding the hottest people ever than actually thinking about having substance to the plot. The only thing that kept me watching this movie was that I was bored and had nothing interesting else to really do. Other than that it was utter rubbish. When I watched this I had no idea that this was a remake and as soon as I found out I quickly watched the old version. After watching the old version I wandered to myself could the version I am her reviewing even be considered a remake because the old one had much more depth and a story behind these piranha's getting into the water. Despite the plot being very weak I can't fault the casting because being a late teen/young adult sort of film they got all the essential characters needed to keep that audience laughing and able to relate to certain scenarios that happened. There was one point in the film where a mean sort of character was eaten up by a Piranha and demanding for help like he was gods gift or something. My instant reaction was you deserve it. Not to be mean but I know people that are the same and could just imagine them acting the same way. That was one thing that was good about the movie that I could relate to certain situations which was one of the few things I liked. ---------Special Effects------------- In my opinion I thought that the Piranha looked rather unreal and they looked quite over thought out to a point where I was starting to think I was in a computer game rather than a movie. Although the Piranhas looked rather fake one thing I did like was that all the blood and gore in the film is very graphic and almost realistic so it made me squirm a few times which is what you want when watching this sort of movie. ---------Overall----------- There were a few jokes in the movie and a few moments were I thought ewww because of the graphic parts but still nothing to make me suggest you to be in a hurry to watch the film. I think the plot never really takes of and seems flat throughout. Nevertheless the movie is available to buy on Amazon new and used from £2.49 wouldn't get in a hurry to get in though

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        30.03.2011 10:52
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        an average film at best - awful 3d, quite good 2d

        Title: Piranha 3D Director: Alexandre Aja Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss Released: 2010 Running: 90 minutes Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break; a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there's something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; a new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. A sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of prehistoric man-eating fish, a million ravenous flesh eating monsters, unchanged since the dawn of time. Unstoppable killing machines acting blindly under one primeval impulse: to hunt down anything that moves and strip it to the raw, bleeding bone. An unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents. Produced for the relatively small budget of $24M the film went on to gross almost $80M at the box office which is extremely profitable for an albeit slightly pointless remake. Piranha 3D is actually the second time that the original 1978 film Piranha has been remade. What's more is the lack of a big name star and the resultant, slightly underwhelming cast, headed by the relatively unknown Adam Scott, the under-used Kelly Brook (more 3D boobs please!). Elizabeth Shue and Ving Rhames don't get much screen time either, which is a shame as they could have brought more to the film than the other actors. In the plus column however there are a couple of nice tongue-in-cheek cameos by Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd. The direction by Alexandre Aja is certainly capable and the production values are decent. But it's Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger's script that really fails to conjure up any real excitement. Of course the biggest selling point of the film is that it is in 3D, but for me at least this is also its biggest problem. I don't know what it looked like in the cinema with the proper 3D glasses - I imagine it was OK - but at home with the cardboard blue and red glasses it looked bloody awful - and bloody good in a horror way either - just terrible. Even in Blu-ray the 3D version lacks colour or clarity, sharpness and definition. Thankfully then the 2D version is a massive improvement with a sharp image and lots of bright colours, this is certainly my recommended version of the film. Overall then Piranha 3D is a mixed bag of good and bad elements. But if you enjoy a horror monster movie you could certainly do a lot worse than to give this one a go.

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          18.03.2008 12:49
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          While it starts out well, Piranha suffers from becoming too Jaws like at the end, still

          Possibly Roger Corman's most famous, or at least most loved movie, Piranha was an early directorial job of a man named Joe Dante, who would later earn fame with excellent movies such as Gremlins and Matinee, often infusing horror and comedy seamlessly, creating very entertaining films that could be watched under any mood. When Jaws hit cinemas in 1975, a huge impact was made on cinema, and naturally numerous remakes about nature run amok followed, hoping to cash in on the success of Steven Spielberg's tale of a giant shark. Surprisingly, it took Corman, king of the rip-offs, until 1978 before his company, New World, would release their 'Jaws homage'. Joe Dante cut his teeth editing trailers for Corman's movies, and ol' Rog decided to let him take the reins of this film, which was written by John Sayles, who also penned Dante's The Howling, as well as the excellent nature-gone-wild flick Alligator. The film opens as two teens backpacking in an American mountain area, where they stumble accross an 'andonned' military test sight, where they decide to sneak around for a bit. The pair are keen swimmers, so decide to take a dip in what appears to be a swimming pool in the facility. Shortly after the boy complains about something biting him, there is very little left of the pair of them. Not long afterwards, we meet Paul Grogan(Bradford Dillman), an alcoholic who lives with his daughter Suzy(Shannon Collins) along the same river. Suzie is away at summer camp at the local lake, and Paul is spending the summer basically drinking his life away. His only buddy is the next man down the river, an old fisherman named Jack(Keenan Wynn), who spends his life fishing with his dog Brandy. Pauls' drinking is disturbed when a skip-tracer from the city shows up to find the two missing teens. Maggie(Heather Menzies) initially has trouble convincing Paul to help, but he agrees to take her to the Military base, because he figures it's the only place the pair of them could be. When they reach the site, they find a murky pool, with the girl's locket lying next to the water. Entering the lab area to try and drain the pool, the pair discover that some form of experiments have been performed upon marine life, and various mutant creatures are contained in the lab. When they try to drain the pool, a crazy man attacks them, but they manage to knock him out, before draining the pool and finding a skeleton. They take the man back to Grogan's house, and decide to take him into town to the cops. Grogan doesn't have a car, so they have to take a raft downstream, and it's on this journey that the loon, who introduces himself as Dr.Hoke(Kevin McCarthy), and reveals that he was a Government backed scientist, called to create a form of biological weapon to unleash into the river systems of Vietnam. When the war ended, so did his funding, but he carried on his work in private, and his most successful experiment, a mutant strain of Piranha capable of living in cold water, were in the pool which the pair of them drained into the river. It isn't long before the gang are finding corpses along the river, and it isn't long before Dr.Hoke is one of them, after dying saving a young boy stranded on an upturned kayak with the Piranha gnawing away at it. When safely on land, Grogan and Maggie call in the army in time to stop the local dam letting water, containing piranha, into the lake where not only the summer camp is held, but also where a new resort, ran by crooked businessman Buck Gardner(Dick Miller) is due for it's grand opening. The army forces, lead by Colonel Waxman(Bruce Gordon) and Dr.Hoke's former partner Dr.Mengers(Barbara Steele), arrive and decide to flood the area of the dam the piranha are contained in with a deadly chemical. They order Grogan and Maggie not to speak a word of it to anyone, and have them arrested in case they cause further problems. You see, Grogan points out that it would be possible for the Piranha to take a small stream to the lake, a stream which bypasses the dam, and would grant them access to all of America's waterways, and even the sea. Mengers claims this is impossible, due to the fact Piranha aren't that smart, even genetically engineered ones. Naturally, it turns out that they are, and it isn't long before Grogan and Maggie have to bust out of jail, because there are hordes of mutant piranha heading for a summer camp, a lake resort, and possibly out into the open sea... Yeah, it's basically the plot of Jaws only with the added bonus of 'evil experiments' going on. To be honest, Piranha's problem is that it starts out looking like an interesting and cool Jaws clone, but ends up being nothing more than a pretty standard Jaws clone. In the lab, we see all kinds of cool mutant creatures, and a really nifty little stop motion lizard-shark creature that's briefly seen. The whole looming Government conspiracy angle is one that could have elevated the movie to really cool status, but sadly it only ever teeters on the brink of realising this promise, and instead, by the end of the movie it's no more than your standard Jaws wannabe, only with less visible monsters doing the munching, no-name characters getting munched and nothing creative at all going on. The film does contain some typically nice Dante/Sayles touches, nodding at the film's roots, where they have taken inspiration. Not long into the picture, a character references The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and shortly afterwards. Menzies' character is seen playing a Jaws arcade game, but its the cool stuff like this that happens early on in the movie. By the finale, the film is less 'inspired by' and more 'trying to be' Jaws. In fairness to the picture, the budget was pretty tight, so a lot of corners were probably cut, and it does feature a rare scene where children actually get killed by the beasts. Much is made of the film being a 'horror-comedy', but to be honest, it's almost universally played serious, with only a few hints of humour, something that I think is consistant with all of Corman's movies, basically to prove he knows he isn't making high art here. It does have it's share of comedic lines (the "their eating the guests" and "fish don't eat people, people eat fish" lines spring to mind), but it isn't exactly laugh-a-minute stuff. It also suffers from some really silly decisions, like shooting in what is blatantly not summer, and the constant changes in the water, which is somethimes clear, and at others a murky mess. While the latter is more imposing, especially when filled with killer fish, it's hard to believe people would swim and bathe in it, and one scene where a girl is lying on a lilo in brown water with weeds all around her is unintentionally(?) hilarious. With all this said, while it ends up as really no more than a Jaws clone with a good start, Piranha does at least have the good sense to be a pretty decent clone, and still manages to maintain entertainment, because while it's telegraphed pretty early doors as to how the creatures will be killed, it's an easily forgotten detail, that when the character declares their intention to use it, makes you go "oh yeah, that" rather than groaning. One of the things that does elevate the film above Corman's usual fare, is that the acting is decent. While nobody here, save for 2, are exeptionally talented, they certainly aren't the usual "just pay me and make me famous" cast employed for B-Movies, and all go about their roles with a bit of spirit, which makes it a whole lot easier to like them and enjoy the film. Thankfully the 2 standouts are positives, and are quite naturally Dick Miller and Kevin McCarthy. Miller will always be, for me, remembered as the nice guy neighbour from Gremlins, here he plays a completely different role, and is still great, and McCarthy is a genre legend, who never disappoints in these mad scientist roles. If there is one aspect the movie is a downright disappointment in, it's the score, which is a standard and fairly generic Jaws wannabe. Possibly the most frustrating thing about the film is it's effects, handled by the then teenage Rob Bottin. His Piranha are rarely actually seen, which is a shame, because they actually look pretty good for a 70s low budget flick in what little we do see of them. Well, that's individually, in the scenes of schools of them swimming, the effect, which looks more like cardboard fish-shapes made to look like shadows, is dreadful. Also odd is the bizarre noise the Piranha make. I wasn't aware fish made noises, but it's really quite creepy when they are gnawing away on someone's arm. At the end of the day, while it's easily the best Jaws rip-off out there, Piranha could have been so much more, and while it manages to always entertain the viewer, I just felt it was missing that extra something to make it really memorable. While I will still recommend the movie, I do feel it's cult classic status is fairly over-exaggerated, and while it's an entertaining low budget nature-strikes-back flick, it does have enough going for it to warrant 3/5 from me. Its a movie much slicker than Corman's usual output, and while not on par with some of Dante's later movies, it's still a pretty fun ride that his fans should check out, to see where he started out. Ironically, the movie's hilariously bad sequel, Piranha II: The Spawning would be the directorial debut of a man you might have heard of. James Cameron I think, he made a couple of decent films, something about a robot from the future with an Austrian accent, but made mega bucks with some flick about a boat that sank.

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            27.08.2001 07:48
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            Director Joe Dante showed some of the potential he would have in later movies with this, his first offering. He of course went on to direct some classics like The Howling, and in Piranha shows some of the tongue-in-cheek humour that would be displayed to better effect in these later more accomplished efforts. That is not to say that Piranha can not stand up on its own merits, because it most certainly can. No, its not the mst brilliant movie in the world and does strangely have few really suspenseful moments, which seems somewhat impossible when you are basically talking about a movie which ought to have rested upon the same ideas as Jaws which was around at the same time. Of course, yes it does end up borrowing a few of Jaw's ideas but never to the same effect. The plot behind Piranha is simple, but effective. Two people go hiking up in the woods and come across a fenced off complex pretty much in the midle of nowhere. It seems deserted and in the courtyard there is a large open air swimming pool. Its a hot day and they go swimming ever to be seen again. Of course, their disappearance sparks alarm, none more from their father who hires a private investigator to find them. She travels up and hooks up with a local man and they both come across the complex, accidentally draining the pool into the adjoining river. Well at least this reveals the bones of the missing pair and ends the mystery of where they went, but it also revelas a far greater threat. They are attacked by a scientist horrified by what they have done and quickly learn that the complex is teh home of a military experiment. They have bred a new type of aprticularly vicious and voracious piranha which they intended to use in the Vietnam war and the pair have unwittingly released them into the natural envirnoment. Worse still is that they are close to a children's summer camp and this is where the piranhas are heading. The chase is on to get to them before it is too late and to somehow re move the menace from the waters... Piranha is a fun movie, rather than being a brilliant one. There are plenty of the usual exploitation elements - gore, nudity and the rest, but also a fair amount of tongue in cheek humour and the movie sets its stall out early to show us that it does not intend to take itself too seriously. This is a major plus point in its favour, because undoubtably Dante would not have been able to match the other underwater menace movie of the time - Jaws - if he had tried to make a totally serious movie. That is not to say that it doesn't offer a fair number of shocks, or that there are not some suspenseful moments because there most certainly are, but most of the time someone screams, waves their arms around and the water gets tainted red - you know the kind of thing. It does borrow a few ideas from Jaws, including the music which strikes up before an attack, but is let down by the actual piranha attacks being accompanied by a shrill screeching sound which really has no place and doesn't work at all here. The acting is pretty much what you expect from this kind of thing. The lead roles are filled by merely adequate actors and the rest are simple fish food, nothing more nothing less. Scripting is actually quite good for a change, and like I said, there are some funny lines in here as well as the horror content. Oh and for gore fans, there is a fair amount of this too particularly in the closing sequences, so something to look forward to if this is your thing. Overall then, Piranha is a good movie and a fun movie at times whilst not being the most earth-shattering movie experience. Well worth checking out if you like the horror genre and are looking for a new fix, or if it wanders onto the television screens for the umpteeth time.

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              21.09.2000 17:04
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              Piranha was Joe Dantes first attempt at directing a movie and it shows that he had some potential to go on and become a good director. Made in 1978 the year horror was changed by Halloween and Dawn of the Dead it is stil quite a fun film to watch now and again. The film opens with two people who are hiking, they come across a copmex with a fence around it, they see a swimming pool and decide to climb over the fence and go for a swim. Soon after getting in the pool they disappear, people start to notcie that the two are missing and the father of one hires a private investiagor Maggie McKeown (in the shape of Heather Menzies) to try and find them. When looking around the area she finds a local man Paul Grogan (Bradfors Dillman) who decides to help her. They find the complex with the swimming pool and by accident release all the water from it into the local water stream, they find the bones at the bottom of the pool. They go inside the complex and its here they discover that it was a military resting facility where they breeded mutant piranhas for use in the Vietnam War. Soon they enter the complex they are attacked by nutty sceientist Dr. Hoak (Kevin McCarty), he explains what they have done and so they must try and stop the piranhas from attacking the local community and especially the summer camp where Grogans young daughter is staying at. The script is very good and very tongue-in-cheek, written by John Sayles (who helped Dante on 'The Howling') its very simple and easy to follow. There are some suspenceful moments in the film but not that many, usually the piranhas just make a stupid noise and someone dies but its fun. The film is made at a good pace and never gets boring, and its just the right length too, the producer Roger Corman wanted a piranha attack in every reel of the film and so thats what we get. Like with Jaws and the music that signalled the shark was coming, the piranhas have there own noise to let us know they are coming. I nfact Piranha owes a lot to Jaws, but works by not being a seroius as Jaws, From the beginning, Piranha lets you know that it’s not taking itself too seriously and there are some funny moments in the film. The film is quite gorey at parts and the attack on the summer camp near the end is very gory for its time, the nature of the attacks are very cold hearted. One look at the failed attempts at humor/horror that have come along in the past few years will tell you how hard it is to maintain this balance between laughing and screaming, but "Piranha" manages to pull it off.

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              30.08.2000 01:09
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              This is one of my favourite horror films. Basically a mad scientist has these highly dangerous piranhas in a pool in a secluded research centre. One night two teenagers break in and decide to go for a swim, well it pretty obvious what happens to them. The parents of the dead teenagers employ a private investigator to find them, she follows a trail until she comes across the research facility she knows there are some where in there because she finds there clothes. She suspects they may be in the pool, so she drains it, but by doing so she releases the piranhas into the river network. The piranhas make there way upstream, in their wake they leave a trail of bloodshed and destruction. The piranhas make their way towards a gala event that's taking place, hundreds of people are in water swimming, on boats etc. This is the best bit in the film, it's total chaos, people are clambering to reach shore, but most don't make it. Arms and legs are torn off, faces are devoured, and the peaceful lake has turned red from the bloodshed. If you want to know the rest you will have to watch the film, but there is a part 2, so you can probably guess, that the piranhas are not totally killed off.

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              06.08.2000 23:59

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              This is NOT a great movie by any means,but of its kind it is most enjoyable.Anybody who likes humor in their horror movies should definately see the original version as well as the remake of this classic "creature feature" sci-fi/horror movie.The special effects, while rather primitive by contemporary standards, DO work. The plot is well crafted.Some of the scenes are good but not good enough but do NOT expect to see art but do expect a good bit of entertainment.

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            As a producer, Roger Corman has always loved to make low-budget rip-offs of hit movies, and Piranha is his typically cheeky take on Jaws--and, as so often with Corman, in many ways it's funnier and more entertaining than the original. Directed with gusto by schlock-horror specialist Joe Dante and sharply scripted by John Sayles, it replaces one huge underwater toothy monster with dozens of little ones and ups the body count by a factor of 10 or so. Two hapless teenagers, hiking in a remote mountain region, stumble on a secret US military research lab. They don't last long, but their intrusion leads to the release into the local river system of a huge shoal of super-intelligent piranha, originally specially bred for use in Vietnam. Downstream from the virulent little munchers lie a kiddies' holiday camp and a tacky new waterfront theme park. Lunch time, fellas! Sayles, with his staunch left-wing credentials, slips in some mordant political satire at the expense of the military-industrial complex, and authority figures of any kind come off pretty badly, but the satire never gets in the way of the gleeful black humour. The two leads, Bradford Dillman and Heather Menzies, are fairly pallid, but there are ripe cameos from such cult horror-movie icons as Kevin McCarthy, Dick Miller and Barbara Steele. Pino Donaggio's score impudently borrows aspects of John Williams' famous Jaws theme while never quite infringing copyright. The movie was successful enough to spawn a much-inferior sequel, Piranha II: The Spawning (1982), which marked the inauspicious directing debut of one James Cameron. On the DVD: Piranha on disc comes with just the theatrical trailer as an extra. The transfer is a respectable job, reproducing the original's full-screen ratio. --Philip Kemp