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piranha-roger-corman-cult-classic You’ve probably heard about the new ‘Piranha in 3D’ movie biting into theaters Aug. 20, 2010. It’s a worthy contender in the slasher-fish genre, but nothing beats the original.

I’m talking about the 1978 film, ‘Piranha,’ a shameless rip-off of ‘Jaws’ directed by Joe Dante, written by John Sayles and produced by the great Roger Corman. The story follows Bradford Dillman as an antisocial mountain man and Heather Menzies as a rookie detective who race a school of mutant piranha downriver.

Awaiting their bloody fate are a kids’ summer camp and a waterfront amusement park. The little nippers also strip Keenan Wynn’s ankles, take a bite out of camp counselor Paul Bartel’s cheek, and catch a bunch of unsuspecting bathers in a bloody feeding frenzy. Ah, it’s a piranha’s paradise!

Watch the original theatrical trailer after the jump…

This cult classic also includes Kevin McCarthy (‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’) as a hysterical scientist guarding the creatures, horror fave Barbara Steele as a devious government researcher, and longtime Corman regular Dick Miller as an unscrupulous entrepreneur (“Sir, the piranha are eating the guests”).

Special features include six minutes of outtakes and commentary by director Joe Dante and producer Jon Davison, who also narrate 10 minutes of great-quality home-movie footage shot by Davison.

Truly, this is not to be missed, and if you’re lucky enough to have it featured as a midnight movie at your local theater, go see it! These types of movies are best viewed with a crowd at midnight.

Images: Shout Factory!

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