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LEO CALLAN
Piranha


click to enlarge

New English Library, London, 1978
(price: 80p; 144 pages)


The blurb on the back:

They came downriver in their thousands.
Their teeth could strip a living man to the bone in seconds.
Their hunger for flesh was insatiable and their vicious attacks had already left a trail of carnage and mutilation in their wake.
As the waters flowed, so the deadly fish went with them, ever nearer, nearer to the unsuspecting Lost River Holiday Camp. Children bathed, couples lingered in the shallows, water-skiers sped unknowingly towards the horror that was surging towards them.
And for the piranha, it was feeding time.


opening lines:
A quiet, peaceful moon shone down on the woodland, lending a peaceful glow to the trees in the warm summer night.


It's one of the great cult movies of the 1970s, of course: an early script by John Sayles, later to write and direct The Brother From Another Planet, directed by Joe 'Gremlins' Dante, brought to us by Roger Corman's New World company and featuring the divine Barbara Steele. A superb parody of the Jaws genre, it's about a swarm of piranha that have escaped from a government research centre and proceed to terrorise holiday-makers, 'cos these aren't just any piranha, they're specially bred to make them more fierce. And why have they been specially bred? So they can fight in Vietnam, of course.

Great film - so great that, even though the novelization is nothing to write home about - you still want to own it as a symbol of your love and affection.

Just while I'm on the subject, here's a great trivia question: The sequel to the movie was Piranha II: The Spawning which came out in 1983 - who made his directorial debut with that film? Answer beneath the fish.

king of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcoteque
king of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcoteque
king of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcoteque
king of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcotequeking of the fishcoteque

The director of Piranha II: The Spawning
was James Cameron.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
4/5


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