|William Katt||Paul Grogan|
|Alexandra Paul||Maggie McNamara|
|Soleil Moon Frye||Laura|
|Monte Markham||J.R. Randolph|
|Darlene Carr||Dr. Leticia Baines|
|Kaz Garas||Sheriff Carl|
|Scott P. Levy||Director|
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Joe Dante's original Piranha (1979) was a small gem, a clever parody of and homage to the numerous eco-kill pictures which followed in the wake of Jaws (1975). It featured a witty script by then little-known screenwriter John Sayles (Lone Star) and a great cast including Paul Bartel, Dick Miller, and Barbara Steele. This made-for-cable remake, however, is an abomination. It was as if director Scott Levy set out to make the original, scene-by-scene, only without benefit of a good cast and script. Screenwriter Alex Simon seems to have intentionally removed any trace of the sly, knowing humor of Sayles in favor of maudlin stock dialogue mouthed by mannequin-like drones. William Katt delivers a tedious performance which makes Bradford Dillman's work in the first Piranha look like art, and the sluggish Alexandra Paul's female lead is only a shadow of Heather Menzies, which is pretty difficult to imagine. The makeup by John Carl Buechler can't hold a candle to the craftsmanship of Rob Bottin's work in the original, either. About the only thing this disaster has going for it is a fairly interesting song called "Killer Mutant Piranhas," performed over the closing credits by Uncle Dog Food. The rest of the film is like watching a dull summary of the original rather than a real movie.
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The main characters are Paul Grogan, Maggie McNamara, J.R. Randolph, Dr. Leticia Baines, and Susie Grogan. Maggie is a private investigator, tracking J.R. Randolph's runaway step daughter. Her job leads to a woodland area, and she convinces a reclusive man, Paul Grogan, to assist her. They track the runaway to an abandoned military institute deep in the woods. While searching the base, they unintentionally release a pack of genetically modified Piranha. Dr. Leticia Baines had created the Piranha, and had cared for, and guarded, them since the project had been abandoned. These mutant Piranha were created to be able to live in any type of water - warn, cold, hot, thresh or salt. They were also designed for increased intelligence and to breed rapidly. They were living weapons, meant to do nothing but Kill. The Piranha kill several people while travelling down river, including Dr. Leticia Baines. Then attack a summer camp, where Paul's daughter, Susie Grogan, was spending the summer. Finally they devour the guests at the opening of a luxury lake resort, financially ruining J.R. Randolph. For fans of B Grade Horror Movies, Piranha is quite entertaining.