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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 #9. Posted on December 22, 2000, 07:18:04 PM by chadzilla
This movie, along with Alligator, is one of my two absolute favorite mutant monster movies from the seventies.  And, what do you know, both were written by John Sayles, mmmm I wonder...
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by lostmissy
I didn't enjoy this movie very much. There wasn't anything offbeat or even very interesting to it. just the regular hohum 'who gets eaten next' movie that Mr Corman can (and sometimes does) put out in a day. Not really trying to trash the film too much..just hard to get excited about it  one way or the other. Maybe if you were sick in bed it would be tolerable to watch.
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Christopher Schneider
Interesting fact: piranha's are actually not that vicious! They only feed on dead or dying animals, which they sense their blood. The natives aren't that afraid of them (respectful, but not afraid) The real prick in the Amazon to watch for is this tiny, spiny minnow-sized fish that has the nasty habit of being attracted to peoples urine and swimming up a mans urethra (tinkle tube) getting lodged in the process. Ouch.
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by pete
Fun, campy low-budget JAWS rip-off, one of the better ones made. (Though, admittedly, that ain't saying much.) One thing, though, we see the heroine at the beginning playing a JAWS arcade game. A very primitive game, of course. (Remember, this from the late-seventies.) Still, I wonder if such a game was ever actually made, and if so just what it would be like to play it.  
Reply #13. Posted on April 30, 2005, 12:12:40 PM by fortheloveofGore
seen this movie,back in 1981,liked it then,still like it now.dick miller is nuts = funny as usual.
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by crystal
I'm still afraid to go in water I can't see to the bottom of. I just listened to the feeding noise and KNOW I'm going to have nightmares.
Reply #15. Posted on June 02, 2005, 06:03:09 AM by erri_wan
WHO wouldnt love to swim naked in a military researches pool with muddy water?
Reply #16. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by kjw
As much as this was good,I still like the second one of Piranha 2 better.After all they do something that they don't do in the first one and that is fly right at you.Believe it or not,seeing a piranha fly is funny in itself.I also think that is what made Piranha 2 even more scarier than the first one,because seeing it for the first time,you would never expect to see a piranha fly.Besides it's bite is much worse than it's bark in the second one.
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