Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review:Piranha(1978)Blu-ray's no Jaws but guess what,that's a good thing.
The release of Jaws inspired summer blockbusters and the of course the influx of B movies to the mainstream.People thought Hell if a movie with such a simple premise as a killer shark devouring people can make millions why can't we do it.So it lead to many cheap rip offs,some so close to being rip-offs that theatres wouldn't even play them.But one did get released that kind of formed its own legacy and found its own fans...Roger Corman's production of Piranha,directed by Joe Dante.

Dante and company were well aware that Piranha's premise and life is indeed owed to Jaws.But despite that Dante crafted a very funny,campy and entertaining movie that has stayed popular through the years mainly because it never tries to take itself too seriously.Spielberg himself is a fan of this film which says something.Made Long before the days of cgi,the lengths they went to make the attacks seem authentic is a true testament all of them.Puppet Piranha's attached to sticks with triggers to open their mouths somehow still looks better than cgi would in todays world.It took a bunch of the crew to pull this off especially during the raft attack scene.Ive said it many times but I wish more filmmakers today would forget about cgi and do it the old fashioned way...with hard work.

The Plot-A group of Piranha are accidentally released into Lost River Lake by Maggie McKeown,who is on the search for two missing teenager, and by Paul Grogan.Soon however they find out that these are not your normal Piranha,they are genetically engineered Piranha with a taste for human flesh thanks to experiments from Dr Rober Hoak,who is now in a panic over what has been released.Thigs do from bad to worse as Grogan and company realize that these Piranha are in for a treat,since the river connects to a summer campground where Grogans own daughter is at and a newly opened riverside resort area.

Memorable Scenes:There a quite a few from the opening where 2 teenagers are attacked in a swimming pool to the raft attack scene.This is also somewhat no holds barred if you would as the Piranha even have a taste for little kiddies..awwwww.All the attacks are flat-out fun to watch as you seen flashes of the Piranha and their mouths opening,I also love the music played during the attack scenes.Kudos to Pino Dinnagio

Acting:For a movie as campy as this you would think the acting would be bad but it's actually quite good.Bradford Dillman as Grogan and Heather Menzies as Maggie lead the way.Both are likable and the two have some nice chemistry between them as well.Kevin McCarthy pulled off that mad Doctor type quite well.

Gore:You get a shot of chewed up feet, bit off cheek and a surfacing corpse with tons of red water also.

The Blu-ray
Picture-Definitely a treat,the lush greens along the riverbanks looks surprisingly clear and colorful and since most of the film is in the daytime there is also very little debis or grain present.People's faces are also quite detailed and looks fairly natural.The only bad thing I could say is some of underwater scenes are a bit less detailed but that's all right since its suppose to be somewhat murky under the water.

Audio Commentary – with Director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison....self explanatory.
Behind-the-Scenes Footage-again...self explanatory
The Making of Piranha - the crew shares memories of making the film
Bloopers and Outtakes -you know the drill
Additional Scenes-lame scenes that were added for the network release since a lot was cut
Stills Gallery-some cool pics
Behind-the-Scenes Stills Gallery-more cool pics
Radio and TV Spots-you know the drill once again
Trailers-old school trailers rock
Booklet-You get a nice little booklet with some pics and some info on the film
Closing-Piranha is definitely a self aware film that really works quite well because of this and because of how fun it is to sit down and watch and go back in time.The attack scenes are great and with the blu-ray this is the best way you'll ever have to watch this classic.

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