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The sophomore effort for director Joe Dante, a future protégé of Steven Spielberg, this low-budget, high-camp horror spoof of Jaws (1977) features several chiller stars of yesteryear. Insurance investigator Maggie McKeown (Heather Menzies) is dispatched to find two missing teenage hikers near Lost River Lake. She hires surly backwoods drunkard Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman) to serve as her guide. Searching the area, they find an abandoned military facility. The only resident is Dr. Robert Hoak (Kevin McCarthy), former head of a top-secret project to breed piranha for use in the Vietnam War.… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Even Jaws director Steven Spielberg counts himself among the film's fans."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"Extremely gory Jaws rip-off is too much for kids."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"As the boozy mountain man trying to stop the military-grade fish, Bradford Dillman acts as if he'd swallowed Charlton Heston and is now constipated."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"If you're looking for a senseless good time that goes a long way in terms of keeping you entertained, then this Piranha package may just be everything you've been hoping to sink your teeth into."
‑ Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton, Dread Central
"Of all the late '70s-early '80s Jaws knockoffs, none balanced tongue-in-cheek humor with out-and-out gore as deftly as Joe Dante's Piranha."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Fans of the recent retreads should check this out to cover their grounds."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"[T]hat rarest of rarities: a rip-off that surpasses its inspiration."
‑ Steve Biodrowski, Cinefantastique
"Dante's tongue-in-cheek, teeth-in-thigh debut hasn't lost its bite; it spawns new meaning with each new eco-disaster. It plays very well as a cautionary tale about the dangers of invasive alien species... And don't those fish spread like an oil spill?"
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"Dante and Sayles have a great deal of fun with the fact that their story of government created killer fish is completely ridiculous."
‑ Brian Holcomb, Kinetofilm
"A great piece of B moviemaking. An absolute blast that's wickedly funny while still generating nail-biting suspense."
‑ Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily
"Essentially, Piranha is the best example of how to do a B-movie knockoff."
‑ Scott Weinberg, FEARnet
"It's played more for laughs and digs at America's war policy than for scares."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"... an energetic and inventive tongue-in-cheek thriller."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
"Effective and enjoyable on all counts, with plenty of campy laughs and in-jokes."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"Já em seu filme de estréia, Dante exibia um senso de humor atípico - que, infelizmente, năo envelheceu bem neste caso."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
More reviews for Piranha on Rotten Tomatoes

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