Piranha (1978)

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)… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: August 3, 1978
DVD Release Date: November 19, 1999
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Critic Score: 72% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Even Jaws director Steven Spielberg counts himself among the film's fans.

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Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Extremely gory Jaws rip-off is too much for kids.

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Josh Larsen

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.

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Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed

Fans of the recent retreads should check this out to cover their grounds.

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Steve Biodrowski

[T]hat rarest of rarities: a rip-off that surpasses its inspiration.

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John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

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?

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Scott Weinberg

Essentially, Piranha is the best example of how to do a B-movie knockoff.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It's played more for laughs and digs at America's war policy than for scares.

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Sean Axmaker
Parallax View

... an energetic and inventive tongue-in-cheek thriller.

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More reviews for Piranha

Flixster Audience Score: 41% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalhăes
Despite showing early signs of Dante's peculiar sense of humor (the ululating sound made by the piranhas is a hilarious example), this spoof of Jaws (or as… More
Cory Taylor
"I didn't ax-murder your young couple" is among the many witty one-liners in John Sayles' razor-sharp screenplay. It's the mundane… More
Spencer S.
This obvious rip-off of the original "Jaws" was one of the biggest cult films to come out of the exploitative genre, and it's even memorable… More
Adam Mahler
I couldn't get my head around the seemingly gentle, walking piranha-lizard thing watching, from the shadows of the laboratory, while its creator tussled… More
KJ Proulx
Feeling like a replica of Jaws at times, Piranha takes all the fun out of suspense horrors, but having terrible actors at their disposal and a script that… More
Lewis C.
"You pulled the plug, and you're holding me responsible?" I thought the recent Piranha 3-D remake was a fun, entertaining movie. So, why not… More

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