Piranhas title

AKA "Piranha"

Tag line : Lost River Lake was a thriving resort - until they discovered...

PiranhasBack in the mid-90s, producer Roger Corman decided to remake a number of his old films for the US TV networks, one of which being his 1978 production "Piranha" as we see here. In this, private investigator Maggie McNamera (played by Alexandra Paul, AKA that brunette girl from Baywatch) is hired to help find a young couple who've gone missing up in the mountains.

Enlisting the help of a local man named Paul Grogan (played here by William Katt), they go off in search of them and come across an apparently deserted Army research facility, where they inadvertently end up dumping a load of genetically engineered Piranha into the local river.

Upon realising their error, after being confronted by an irate Dr Baines (Darleen Carr) who subsequently tries to steal their car, they head off down river hoping to raise the alarm before the carnivorous fish can do any real damage. Unfortunately, the local sheriff doesn't believe them and with the piranha on the loose, it looks like the newly opened "Lost River Resort" is going to have a memorable inaugural weekend.

Now, if you've seen the original film by Joe Dante, you'll know what to expect, as the plot essentially echo's that one. There's a few minor changes here and there, as it seems that the missing couple are related to the resorts owner in this, the rogue scientist breeding the Piranha is female here, there's no military presence, the Paul Grogan character is an environmental activist, as opposed to a former foundry worker, and we have the introduction of a corrupt state governor. But apart from that its essentially the same film, right down to the dialogue.

Being a TV movie, there isn't much gore to speak of, and being a remake has nothing really original about it and seems to lack the dark humour of the original. Though that's not to say this is a total loss, it's not a bad movie by any means, with both Alexandra Paul and William Katt putting in decent enough performances and is certainly watchable. But given the choice I'd say stick with the original.

Overall marks 5/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • William Katt also starred in "House" and "House 4 : The Repossession".

  • The majority of the underwater effects shots were re-used from the original 1978 film.

  • Alexandra Paul is probably best known for her role as Stephanie Holden in the popular US 90s series "Baywatch".

  • James Karen who plays the Governor, also played Frank in "Return of the Living Dead", and Ed in "Return of the Living Dead Part 2". He also appeared in Tobe Hooper's classic "Poltergeist".

  • Mila Kunnis who played Paul's young daughter Susie, went on to do the voice of Meg Griffin in the US cartoon show "Family Guy". Her biggest film role to date has been 2010's "The Book of Eli" starring Denzel Washington.

  • Barbara, the girl who Maggie is hired to find, was played by Playboy model Lorissa McComas. Sadly she died in 2009 following a long illness.

  • The resort owner JR Randolph, was played by US TV actor Monte Markham who used to star in "Baywatch" alongside Alexandra Paul, playing Captain Don Thorpe.

  • Soleil Moon Frye, who plays Laura, also played Marcie in "Pumpkinhead 2 : Bloodwings".

  • When Paul (William Katt) is swimming down to the submerged control room at the end, the tiles on the side of the swimming pool they were filming can clearly be seen behind him as he enters the water.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.


Video Clips.
(MP4 format).

Theatrical trailer (4.60MB).

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Notes on affiliate sites.


Other films in the series.


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