my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Piranha
Director:   Joe Dante
Year:   1978
Genre:   Horror
Times Seen:   2
Last Seen:   03.24.07

Other Movies Seen By This Director (5)
- The Burbs
- Gremlins
- The Howling
- Innerspace
- Small Soldiers

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
03.24.07Rolling Roadshow After Innerspace we trekked out to San Marcos and Aquarena Springs where they shot the Dick Miller resort scenes for Piranha! We got there just in time for me to share a glass-bottom boat tour around the springs with Joe Dante (and about 20 other people but they don't matter), and gaze down at the fish and turtles and bubbling low-pressure springs and strong-ass high pressure springs where Johnny Weissmuller once dove and Steve McQueen hung out while shooting The Getaway and seducing Ali MacGraw.

Unsurprisingly, I liked this movie more in this setting. And Dante explained that the completely random little stop-animated monster guy appears in one scene (along with the Jaws video game, it was to tell the audience that the filmmakers knew it was a knock-off so expect to have fun with it instead of take it completely seriously) so my one question about the movie was answered without me even having to ask it. I think it holds up as a really solid exploitation romp. And it was cool to watch it right where they shot it and have Dante talk on the boat tour about how little its changed.

So... That was Joe Dante day. Two great movies at two great locations. I'm really glad they could get him to come down (oh yeah, they also played his "Homecoming" Masters of Horror episode). Of course, a weeklong retrospective with a Gremlins double feature, Amazon Women on the Moon/Twilight Zone Movie double feature, Explorers/Looney Tunes: Back in Action kiddie night with a Howling midnight screening, a Matinee matinee with buzzing seats and Zack dressed up like the Mant running through the crowd and, of course, doubling Innerspace with a screening of The Burbs all leading up to the Piranha roadshow event would've been amazingly perfect, but oh well... I'll take what I can get.
11.10.05DVRThis Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2005
PIRANHA!!! What guy didn't have some morbid fascination with these little critters as a boy? I mean, they're fish that eat and kill and a school of them can turn a cow into a skeleton in 8 seconds or whatever! Plus it's early Joe Dante, has a script from John Sayles, and features a few real heavyweights in bit roles: Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Keenan Wynn (tons of stuff, including the voice of the Sergeant in that sex ed cartoon Disney made where syphilis and gonorrhea were army troops undergoing a briefing... anyone that's seen it knows what I mean)... unfortunately, a lot of scenes are straight Jaws knock-offs and the piranha deaths are always quick-cut snippets of fish shaking around next to skin and blood... I guess there's not really any better way to do it, especially on a budget, but there's one head-on shot of a piranha opening up for dinner that's cool... and come on, it's PIRANHA! The woman who plays the maid in Will and Grace got it via piranhas in a bathtub in this other awesome movie called Devil Times Five. Well worth checking out.

So there you have it! Two nights of five movies each, 8 of which I'd never seen before. Looking back, all of them were good! OK maybe not all of them were good (Maniac, I'm looking at you), but I liked all of them, which is really cool! Overall this experience has been very fun... something I may well make a habit out of... but right now it's time for sleep.
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