Review: Piranha (1978) Blu-ray


There’s something in the water – in fact lots of somethings with very sharp teeth!

Forget the recent remakes: this is the proper version of the Jaws… homage, shall we say to be polite. It’s got Roger Corman and a young Joe Dante clearly wrestling over control of the project – Dante staples of his future films compete for screen time with some of Corman’s regular ideas – resulting in a movie that stands up considerably better than a lot of the knock-offs from that period.

Logan’s Run star Heather Menzies is on the hunt for two missing teenagers, but inadvertently releases a whole heap of piranhas into the local stream. That’s the cue for the various Jaws motifs to appear, and some of these work better than others.

The effects are okay – Blu-ray of course doesn’t do them massive favours – but Piranha works because of the sharp script by Jonathan Sayles and the way Joe Dante shoots it. You know certain people are going to get what’s coming to them, but not how – and some of those you might expect to survive don’t make it. There’s a lot of gore but also a load of humour, as you might expect from Dante, and you can never accuse it of being boring!

Verdict: If you’ve not caught this before, then it’s well worth a look – and streets ahead of the 3DD timewaster.  6/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Piranha [Blu-ray] [1978] from


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