New Piranha 3D movie takes cue from original

The new Piranha 3D movie is inspired by the classic movie from the late 70s. The style is still campy and the second Piranha movie actually gave rise to the most successful movie director of all time (aka King of the World). To understand the genesis of the new Piranha 3D movie, we must go back  in time to the original.

Following the release of Jaws, legendary exploitation-movie producer Roger Corman hired fledgling director Joe Dante to direct a rip-off movie about small, killer fish. The result was 1978?s gore-drenched, but tongue-in-cheek Piranha, which cost less than $1 million to make and grossed around $14 million in the U.S. alone. The sequel, 1981?s Piranha II: The Spawning, was directed by first-time film-maker James Cameron. The future Avatar and Titanic auteur was fired midway through the film’s shoot in Jamaica, and the movie was not a commercial success. But this disappointing experience did inspire Cameron to write his breakthrough movie, Terminator.

To say James Cameron has enjoyed more success over the past three decades than has the Piranha franchise is putting matters very mildly indeed. The only “new” Piranha movie made between 1981?s Piranha II and this week’s Piranha 3D was a Mila Kunis-starring remake of Joe Dante’s original which Roger Corman produced for cable in 1995.

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