Piranha II: The Spawning

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1981


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Movie Summary

James Cameron
Piranha II: The Spawning is an American horror film best known as the directorial debut of James Cameron (Terminator II: Judgement Day, Titanic, Avatar). Vacationers head to the beach for some rest and relaxation. What they get is mutant Piranhas flying right up into their business. That's right, THESE FISH CAN FLY! Initially, Cameron was hired as the special effects director for the film. When the original director left, Cameron we-wrote the script under a pseudonym, and took over directing duties. The film was shot in Italy and had a crew made up of non-English speakers, which was a challenge. While Cameron made all the decisions on the set, he was not allowed into the editing room. Later, when the producers were at the Cannes film festival, he broke into the editing room and made his own cut of the film. Unfortunately, the producers caught him, and had it re-edited.

Metacritic Score

  • 25

    Miami Herald Cary Darling

    Sound and image are consistently bad, and Piranha II is the first film in my experience to give screen credit (in opening and closing titles) to a man in charge of "special effects...

  • 20

    Empire Kim Newman

    It plays a lot like a Porky's holiday comedy for the first half, and then the seagoing killer fish learn to fly and big rubber toothy things terrorise the survivors.

  • 20

    Time Out London

    A copy rather than a sequel, this has none of the intelligence, wit or tempo that graced the first swarm of hungry fish.

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More Info About This Movie


ocean predator, mutants, mad scientists, killer animal, dangers of toxic waste