Piranha (1978) Review

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A movie I just wish I could forget. Was I watching a clone of Jaws or a spoof movie? I couldn’t tell at times, but Piranha is just a bad movie. I am well aware of the existence of B movies and I do have my fun with some of them like Sharknado, but some B movies don’t’ live up to being guilty pleasures but rather just being bad movies. This is one movie I really wish I had never seen and could have my hour and a half back. In writing that I just realized that this movie was only an hour and a half yet for some reason it felt like I was watching this movie for two hours. I have never seen any of the Piranha movies before, but I honestly didn’t know this first one was a B movie until I started watching it and then looked it up to make sure I wasn’t just crazy.

I know that there was a remake that came out several years ago that I intend on checking out, but for now I had to begin with the movie that started it all. This movie feels very much like a Jaws clone. By the numbers it really feels like they took what Jaws was and tried to just adapt it right to a different kind of enemy with the Piranha’s. Again, I know it’s a B movie, but I couldn’t figure out whether the acting and writing was intended on being dumb or if they were all actually trying to be serious. I’m not sure which one would be worse but everything in this movie is goofy and outlandish.

The acting alone is enough for me to just turn the movie off in the first five minutes, but I had already committed myself to watching the movie so I instantly knew I was going to be along for a torturous ride. All of the victims seem to be victims of their own stupidity rather than victims of unfortunate circumstance. For example, in the beginning of the film we see two characters sneak into a government facility at night, find a pool and just jump in without any hesitation really as to whether there was something in it or even if it was actually just water and not a mixture of something else that could kill them.

I know that the point was for us to get introduced to the piranha’s early on, but there could’ve been a better way of doing it that made a bit more sense. Also I don’t understand why it’s a good idea for a missing person’s investigator who isn’t a real detective or anything to just empty a pool of who knows what into the river and knock out a government worker who was trying to stop them. I mean it sure seems like they were asking for trouble to strike.

If not for some of the stupid decisions, this movie would be saved right? No, the acting from start to finish to bring up again is horrific. Whether it be from how they struggle in the water as if they’re being eaten or how everyone acts when having a normal conversation as if they don’t even know how to have a normal conversation. This movie could have been acted better by a bunch of high schoolers, but again it’s a B movie so for all I know these actors were all doing their very best for better or worse.

Jumping off the acting leads me to the main characters themselves. Yes! The piranha’s! Outside of I think maybe three shots of the piranha’s that are used for every single scene in the movie, we really don’t get to see them at all. What I mean by that is that it appears that they had three different shots of the piranha’s and that’s it. They just recycled those shots for each attack scene. The only moment where I actually enjoyed seeing them was one particular shot where one jumps out of the water and bites a guy in the face which was both hilarious and incredibly stupid at the same time.

In writing this I was thinking back to the dumb decisions made by the missing persons lady who is one of our main characters and realized that this movie really doesn’t like women other than for them to show their boobs. All of the women in this movie seem to be here for the purpose of doing something dumb, doing nothing, or showing their boobs to a man to tease or distract them. I’m sure it was a priority when casting this movie to make sure he had actresses that would do that above all else.

I compared 47 Meters Down to a B movie in theory because of how it felt, but actually watching a B movie made me realize just how much better 47 Meters Down actually was. Not to knock B movies too much because I know what they are and what they do, but man some of them are genuinely awful including this one. It’s a bad wannabe Jaws that was done better and almost every other shark or monster movie that I have seen. This movie was too long and couldn’t end quick enough.

If you are thinking about watching this movie, just don’t. I can’t recommend this movie to anyone other than if you’re just a fan of B movies, but even then I don’t think I would recommend it. I can’t find myself ever watching this movie again and I still find myself contemplating the biggest question after seeing it. Was this a clone of Jaws or was it a spoof version of Jaws? I just don’t know whether to take it seriously for what it was or to take it as a joke.

If you’ve seen this movie and you have your own comments or questions, feel free to comment below or send an email to TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and be sure to like and follow us @TowerCityMedia

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