Definitely a spoof on Jaws. Actually makes a stronger case of “don’t go in the water” than Jaws. Piranha came three years later. Writer John Sayles’ first movie! Exec-produced by Roger Corman. Remade twice, for some reason, once starring William Katt from House. Sequel was of course Piranha II: The Spawning, James Cameron’s first movie.

I’m on a Joe Dante kick. Obviously influenced by the film critics’ strange love of his work, a nostalgic desire to see Gremlins again, and the just-learned fact that Dante was born in Morristown and grew up in Parsippany.

Kevin McCarthy was great as the crazy scientist who secretly continues an army experiment to breed ravenous fresh-and-salt-water piranha. Wish I’d gotten a screen shot of him before returning the DVD.

Ambitious is the movie with a drunken, antisocial, bearded mountain man as protagonist (Bradford Dillman: Briggs in Dirty Harry 4). He and missing persons detective Heather Menzies (of the 1979 Captain America) must warn the world of the killer piranha that they themselves accidentally unleashed… and quickly, before the fish eat Bradford’s daughter at a camp downstream. Italian horror star Barbara Steele is the crazy scientist’s ex, who tries to thwart our heroes, along with Joe Dante fave Dick Miller (of the 1960 Little Shop of Horrors), Death Race 2000 director Paul Bartel, and some army guys. I didn’t notice, but Keenan Wynn of Clonus and Laserblast also appeared. The two fail to stop the fish, but at least the daughter is saved.

Movie amazingly did not suck, was more funny than anything else. Gore/action/creature effects could’ve been edited more tightly, but I guess they wanted to show off what little they had.

Reporter is stalked by serial killer who turns out to be a werewolf. Then to recover from all that, she’s sent to a retreat which turns out to be a werewolf cult. Bad news!

Her doctor is a werewolf. The stalker’s family are werewolves. Her friend is killed by a werewolf. Her husband falls for a werewolf. Her husband becomes a werewolf. Your sister is a werewolf.

Your werewolf:
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Your sister:
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Another friend buys silver bullets from an antique bookstore owner (Dante regular Dick Miller), goes to the country and whups some werewolf ass, locks everyone in the barn, sets fire to it, and has a close escape… TOO close, cuz the reporter gets bitten! They expose their story by having her wolf-out live on her next newscast (to the horror of her boss, Dante fave Kevin McCarthy), then her friend shoots her and we end.

You should’ve seen him in “Piranha”:
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Keeps silver bullets in stock:
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Fun werewolf effects, movie manages to be a little scary, is less funny than the others… mostly just a good time. Star Dee Wallace-Stone (later star of Critters and Cujo, mom in E.T., Jake Busey’s co-killer in The Frighteners) has got a good scream on her. Her buddy Dennis Dugan is currently gathering bit parts in Adam Sandler movies. Her hairy husband Chris Stone was also in Cujo (he must be the Stone in Wallace-Stone). Another Dante fave, Robert Picardo (Mark Dark in 976-EVIL), is the serial killer Eddie Quist. Elisabeth Brooks is the goth hottie. John Carradine (of The Return of Frank James, Man Hunt, and Red Zone Cuba) must’ve been the old man wandering the werewolf camp, and Slim Pickens was the sheriff.

Cujo:
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Carradine?
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