What's worse than mutant piranha fish? Flying mutant piranha fish!
I saw this on video tape and thought it might hold up as good cheesy R-rated fun, something like Humanoids from the Deep (1980). It falls short of that. The action scenes are solidly in the cheap effects creature feature genre, but the human interest main story pasting it all together is painfully bad, with weak attempts at comedy.
This obviously owes a lot to Jaws (1975) and the original Piranha (1978). At the time I saw every new horror film through Alien (1979) lenses and I remember thinking "A flying fish erupting from a corpse is just like the chest-burster, isn't it?"
The good aspects:
I recollect Tricia O'Neil as easy on the eyes, but also that they were trying to suggest some other actress: maybe Jacqueline Bisset or Rachel Ward? Adrienne Barbeau?
Lance Henriksen fan club!
The water does not have that crystal clarity we like for really stunning underwater shots, but there are some lovely scenes and exciting, difficult stunt work.
A generous amount of boobage and assorted T&A by lovely women. The opening scene is of ambitious underwater sex. Which doesn't turn out well, given the presence of mutant piranha. That'll teach the kids to try fancy fornicating.
Cameron cites Terminator (1984) as his first film, reluctant to take credit for this one. He certainly didn't have much control over the project and it was a rocky production; see the details in the wikipedia article. Which has many "citation needed" notes, so who knows the complete story?
I have only seen it once--I guess it was so bad I never felt interested in revisiting it.
"Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." Frankenstein
As ludicrous as the movie is I have a soft spot for it. For me it all works. It's part of my "Piranha" movie collection. (Well minus the 1995 made for TV version.) Just watched all of the movies again.
Speaking of the 1995 version... It's not too bad. Bit of a segue to the 2010 version... They were heading that way with added blood and nudity.
A few years ago a "Piranha" movie set in Japan was supposed to film produced by Corman. But I guess it's been scrapped or in development hell...
"Piranha DD" is the weak point. The first hour is okay if more goofy. But the finale is rushed and very anticlimactic... Stuck in a Wave pool?? As the Hoff said "If these idiots would just get out of the Water it's not as if the Fish will go home with them." Big difference from being stuck in a huge Lake. And the impending doom and threats. Plus where's the rest of the movie? It's barely 69 minutes. What happened behind the scenes?