AKA: "Treasure of the Piranha", "Naked Sun", "L'invasion des Piranhas", "Piranhas 2".

Tag line : The Hell that was under the water.

Set in Brazil, this Italian "Piranha" knock-of stars Lee Majors (the "Six Million Dollar Man" himself) as the leader of a group of thieves, who pull off a daring robbery, by blowing up a power station and stealing a bunch of diamonds from a nearby vault (why are they storing diamonds at a power station?).

Dumping the diamonds in a nearby reservoir, they agree to wait 60 days for the heat to die down before retrieving them. But some of the gang decide they don't want to wait that long to share out the loot, so go diving for it. Only to find their boss (played by US TV actor James Francissus) has filled the reservoir with Piranha to stop them from doing so.

With 2 of the gang now dead, tensions begin to rise between the remaining members, figuring each is out to double cross the other. But the real fun begins when a storm takes out the dam containing the piranha and floods the lake next to the nearby tourist resort and the remaining thieves find themselves stuck on a sinking boat, surrounded by piranhas, as they continue to squabble over how to divide up the spoils from the robbery.

Directed by Antonio Margheriti (Cannibal Apocalypse, The Last Hunter), this isn't a particularly gory film, indeed there's only about 4 piranha related deaths in the whole film. In many ways it was almost like a TV movie, which isn't really that surprising considering it was co-financed by ITC Entertainment, who were a British TV production company.

Karen Black, the star of many a B-movie and Italian film, also has a role of one of the gang members , though it was kind of surprising to see Lee Majors and James Francissuss in an Italian knock off of this type.

The film is perhaps more of a drama thriller than a horror film, with the main focus being on the squabbling thieves, whilst the piranhas just make up part of sub plot. The film also suffers from the "Gerry Anderson" style of shaky model work typical of Margheriti's films, and I find it odd that the Brazillian police would be driving New York City police cars, or they'd store diamonds at a power station for that matter.

This being said, the effects with the Piranhas are certainly more convincing than those in Roger Corman's "Piranha", as at least they took the trouble to film some actual fish and not just use plastic puppets and despite the obvious short comings that are akin to low budget Italian films of this nature, this is actually rather enjoyable. I've liked most of Margheriti's action movies, and this is no exception.

Overall I'd say it's not bad, if you like cheesy Italian knock-offs and you liked "Piranha", then you should also enjoy this. This one may be a little difficult to get hold of, as the only currently known release is an Italian DVD, but if you get chance to see this, then I'd say give it a whirl.


Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "They search for treasure. They search for flesh", "The adventure that pulls you in, drags you under and tears you apart"

  • The original UK cinema release was cut by the BBFC to tone down most of the gore in order to get an A (PG) certificate. Later video re-issues were passed uncut with a 15 certificate.

  • Antonio Margheriti also directed noted Italian cult action films "The Last Hunter", "Tiger Joe", "Codename Wildgeese", as well as "Cannibal Apocalypse".

  • Lee Majors is probably best known for his work in US TV shows, such as 70s series "The Six Million Dollar Man" and 80s show "The Fall Guy".

  • The Italian release entitled "Agguato sul Fondo" translates as "Ambush on the Bottom"????

  • James Francissus also starred in "Beneath the Planet of the Apes".

  • Composers Guido and Murizo DeAngelis also scored "Mountain of the Cannibal God", "Alien Terror" and "2019 - After the Fall of New York".

  • Model turned actress Margot Hemmingway, who plays Gabrielle, was the Granddaughter of noted writer Ernest Hemmingway. Sadly, her acting career failed and she died of a drugs overdose in 1996.

  • Genre actress Karen Black also starred in "Trilogy of Terror", "Capricorn One" and Ruggero Deodato's "Cut and Run". She also went on to star in Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses".

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cover Gallery.


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Notes on affiliate sites.


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