Watch Piranha

"A hideous death lurked unseen in the river..."
  • R
  • 1978
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 5.9  (24,271)
  • 71

In the late 70s, the horror movie genre was in its heyday, spawning dozens of macabre and bloody flicks centered around monsters, aliens, and slashers. One of the most iconic and disturbing of those films was Piranha, a gory and suspenseful adventure that revolves around a shoal of deadly fish. Directed by Joe Dante and produced by the legendary Roger Corman, Piranha tells the story of a small lakeside community that's about to face a terrifying threat. One summer day, two unsuspecting hikers stumble upon a top-secret military base hidden deep in the forest. When one of them is killed by a group of piranhas that were being used in a genetic experiment, his girlfriend Tracy (Heather Menzies-Urich) sets out to find him, enlisting the help of a local wise-cracking drunkard, Paul (Bradford Dillman).

Together, they make their way to the river where the piranhas have escaped, and quickly realize the scope of the danger. With hundreds of swimmers and vacationers blissfully splashing in the water, it's only a matter of time before the frenzied fish start to attack, leaving a trail of gruesome deaths and frantic survivors.

As the situation escalates, Paul and Tracy find themselves racing against time to stop the piranhas from reaching a crowded beach downstream, where thousands of unsuspecting tourists are about to become fish food. Along the way, they face a series of obstacles and betrayals, including a sleazy resort owner who wants to keep the beach open for business, and a corrupt military officer who's willing to sacrifice innocent lives to cover up the experiment.

With its delicious blend of suspense, humor, and gore, Piranha remains a cult classic and a staple of the B-movie canon. The film is notable for its creative use of practical effects, which include convincing animatronic fish models, gruesome make-up effects, and bloody carnage scenes that pack a visceral punch.

At the same time, Piranha is also a sharp critique of corporate greed, government secrecy, and scientific hubris. Its portrayal of a military-industrial complex that's willing to unleash deadly monsters on unsuspecting citizens for the sake of profit and power was prescient and eerily relevant, even in the late 70s.

The cast of Piranha delivers solid performances, with Dillman and Menzies-Urich anchoring the movie with their witty banter and unlikely chemistry. The supporting cast includes veterans like Kevin McCarthy as a mad scientist, Barbara Steele as a government agent, and Dick Miller as a persistent fisherman.

Overall, Piranha is a thrilling and entertaining ride that combines horror, comedy, and satire in equal measure. Its legacy can be felt in countless films that followed, from Jaws to Deep Blue Sea to Sharknado. Whether you're a fan of creature features or a lover of classic cinema, Piranha is sure to delight and terrify.

Piranha is a 1978 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 71.

Where to Watch Piranha
Piranha is available to watch free on Peacock, Crackle, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Vudu Free, Kanopy, Popcornflix and YouTube. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Philo, Shudder, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Piranha for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (24,271)
  • Metascore