Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DBH Review-Piranha(1978)

By Eric Polk-
The thing about having a tremendously successful movie are the inevitable knockoffs/cash-ins that follow. You can't really do much about it unless you leave your money at home. It happens in every genre, though more so in our world of horror. Jaws was the bedrock for which all summer blockbusters were to grow. Following this, there was Tentacles, Grizzly, Frogs, Squirm, the surprisingly good Orca, Day of the Animals, The Swarm, the porno version of  Jaws entitled Gums...So, three years after we were afraid to go in the water, we stumble upon a school of killer fish ready for some late-70s munching.

All the tropes of the nature-gone-nutty film are in fine display in this film directed by Gremlins and The Howling auteur Joe Dante and executive produced by legend Roger Corman. There's the dead teenagers in the beginning, reporter sent to investigate, the found experiments and discovery of military implications behind said experiment. The warning to the resort, the disbelief of the owner, the gruesome attack of the fish, the scientifically implausible solution, the hint the danger hasn't passed.

I enjoyed this movie for what it is-a knockoff. The overacting from Kevin McCarthy alone is worth the view. The gore is a delight, though I thought a line was crossed with the children. The stop-motion animation makes you laugh but it's still better than CGI. The effort is here and let's not forget the appearance of Barbara Steele....meow! If you've seen the recent remake and sequel, you may or may not like this movie since it is antiquated but don't take my word for it.

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