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PIRANHA - 3 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 1978 New World Video
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Paul Grogen - Grumpy alcoholic.
  • Maggie - She specializes in missing persons and floods it seems, who taught her how to wear jeans?
  • Jack - Old backwoods guy (Yes, he's a drunk...) who enjoys telling stories to his dog. Dies after his legs are chewed off.
  • Susie Grogen - Paul's daughter, she's afraid of the water for some reason.
  • Dr. Robert Hoak - Kevin McCarthy! Government scientist who continued the "Razorteeth" project after higher authority pulled the plug. Fish food.
  • Col Flaxman and Dr. Mengers - Two people associated with the "Razorteeth" project who want it covered up. The Col ends up as chum.
  • Mr. Gardner - Dick Miller! Greedy resort owner, he didn't believe in the Piranha until they started eating his guests.
  • Betsy - Camp Counselor and all around nice girl. Fish food.
  • A horde of kids swimming and resort guests - Fish food.
  • The Piranha - Genetically engineered to win the war in Vietnam. (Hehehe!) The toothy little buggers can adapt to salt water, colder temperatures, and are always hungry.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

It all begins with two young lovers breaking into an old army test site to go skinny dipping, when will these kids ever learn? Roger Corman pays you a few hundred dollars to act in his movie and what do you think is going to happen?

A. You're going to get naked.
B. You're going to rewrite Romeo and Juliet with a happy ending, launching your budding film careers.
C. You're going to get chomped.
D. Both A and C.

During the Vietnam war our government funded the "Razorteeth" project, intending to create a species of super Piranha. Armed with the mean little bastards we could have infected North Vietnam's waterways and won the war! Fortunately for commies everywhere the project was scrapped, Dr. Hoak watched as the experiment breeding pool was poisoned and his funding cut off. Some of the Razorteeth survived though and for years Hoak has continued dabbling in evolution, we even see a minuscule fish-man hiding behind equipment in the lab. The only problem is that Maggie and Paul come along, after finding evidence two missing teenagers were at the facility they drain the tank and it's contents into the local waterway. Then our heroes must race to stop the Piranha from reaching the ocean, trying to convince police and resort owners along the way. Don't you worry though, plenty of extras still get munched, including a summer camp full of kids. My personal complaint about "Piranha" is fairly shallow, we never get a good look at any of the Razorteeth. There are blurry outlines swimming past the camera, which I suspect were filmed in a backlit aquarium, and glimpses of something vaguely fish shaped gnawing off kid's toes and fingers. (Hehe!) No clear view of the fish though... ...pity. Our saving grace here is dialog, the movie has some darn amusing lines in it.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Hardware stores don't carry, "Beware: Piranha!" signs.
  • Video games really have come a long way.
  • "The clothes make the man." does not apply to plaid.
  • Women find antisocial, alcoholic, divorced men irresistible.
  • Chubby guys shouldn't wear tight shirts.
  • Government scientists wear dog tags.
  • Dashboard lights are exceptionally bright.
  • Inner tubes are not recommended for piranha infested waters.
  • Piranha can eat ten times their own body weight.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 10 mins - Who in the heck dressed you this morning pal?
  • 17 mins - What in the HELL is that stop motion thing, some sort of midget man-fish?
  • 34 mins - Guy with his arm in the water, oh no!
  • 49 mins - She is about the worst... ...oh hey, breasts.
  • 53 mins - Hehe! That guy is watching The Monster that Challenged the World.
  • 56 mins - Finally, the flood that Maggie has been waiting for.
  • 65 mins - Dude, serious kid chomping scene!
  • 76 mins - What the heck is going on? Why did that boat explode?


  • Paul: "You cool your jets, lady. I didn't ax murder your young couple. I can't help ya, I haven't seen 'em."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note piranha1.wav Camp Guy: "People eat fish, Grogen. Fish don't eat people."
Green Music Note piranha2.wav Maggie: "What's wrong with the water?"
Dr. Hoak: "The water is filled with carnivorous fish...piranha."
Green Music Note piranha3.wav The sound of fish feeding.
Green Music Note piranha4.wav Reporter: "Terror, horror, at eleven."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clippiranha1.mpg - 2.0m
The killer piranha even the score for all those fish sticks served at summer camp.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3
Reply #1. Posted on June 29, 1999, 11:05:50 PM by Joe 19
I think this is one of THE best horror movies ever.  An excellent direction, good script, above average acting for a low budget flick.  And very eerie and terrifying.  One of the better horror movies to come out of the 70's  
Reply #2. Posted on July 05, 1999, 04:46:37 PM by Matt Tritico
This one is excellent! From all the in-jokes layered through John Sayles witty script to the creepy locations, eerie music, and top notch effects, Pirahna is a cult classic. Heather Menzies who plays Maggie is so funny and tough, she is the ultimate heroine. Dante also makes good use of comedy, drama, and terror throughout the film to make it a fun ride. This one needs to be re-released on video or DVD, it's a must see.
Reply #3. Posted on September 01, 1999, 01:38:21 PM by Warren H.
My favorite line from this movie that you didn't put in the dialgue sound bites, is "A pretty girl like you ought to be better than that at takin' a man's pants off."  Heh heh.
Reply #4. Posted on September 04, 1999, 09:45:11 PM by SaMhAin
I watched this movie on pay tv one night because I had heard all these reviews saying stuff like "A very enjoyable horror-comedy" .I already had a clear vision of what it was going to be like,and I wouldn't have even watched it if the consumer warning didn't say it had nudity. There turned out to be very little,and the movie was almost dead-set how I thought it would be- predictably set up attacks from the Piranha,lame 'gags' thrown in,and the predictable end where the hero disposes of the killer fish.Watch 'Jaws' or 'Tintorera' instead.
Reply #5. Posted on February 03, 2000, 10:00:28 AM by Paul H.
Corman is the best.  Such variety (in story and quality) between his films

For its time Piranha is a pretty good film and is worth watchng on a sunday afternoon (every sunday afternoon).  Despite being a Corman film I actually don't considure this a b-movie.  It was made with to much care and it really didn't have a tongue in cheek feel.  Nevertheless, still a good movie.  Actually better than Jaws in some ways.  Jaws won't be at my child's summercamp.

Watch back to back with any killer bee movie.

3 green globs or 6.5 out of 10
Reply #6. Posted on April 05, 2000, 07:36:33 AM by Chris K.
Better than Steven Speilbergs slow film JAWS. PIRAHNA is considered to be a parody of the 1950's monster films, but it is not. The specila effects are gross, the performances are top noch, the photography is colorful, and the script is witty. Available on DVD with thetarical trailer, bloopers, commentary by the director, and other stuff to look forward to. Like I always said, Roger Corman is the master of films and not George Lucas or Steven Speilberg.
Reply #7. Posted on July 28, 2000, 07:54:32 AM by T-Bone
I love this movie!  It has to be one of the best horror movies ever.  The script is hilarious and the special effects are pretty good for the budget.  The best part of the movie has to be the feeding noises, though.  I'd have to give Piranha 5 out of 5.
Reply #8. Posted on August 16, 2000, 08:56:20 PM by dustin(horror fan)
this movie has its scenes like near the end oh my god!that guys face is ripped up and his eyeball is turned over!then the kids bleeding and all its a pretty good movie and ill add my review to my site but the begining i mean come on!that was painful!!!except for breasts!
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