Blu-ray Review: PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING

PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING (aka Piranha II: Flying Killers) is the directorial debut for James Cameron and stars Tricia O’Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen, Ricky Paull Goldin, Ted Richert andLeslie Graves. Co-writer Ovidio G. Assonitis ended up directing some of the movie after Cameron’s departure but his services went uncredited. 

Who’s for dinner? It may seem like paradise, but just off shore a new brand of terror has been unleashed. While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O’Neil) makes a horrific discovery: Piranha-like fish, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death. As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the Club Elysium resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he’s determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy.

Piranha II: The Spawning is the sequel to Joe Dante‘s 1978 horror classic and follows the next batch of killer fish that have been genetically modified. The experimenting conducted secretly by a sinister corporation has mutated the piranha and allows them to take flight and attack their victims from the air as well as in the water. The carnage takes place in and around a small Caribbean island where the fish begin their attack on anyone who crosses paths with them. Nobody expects what’s coming for them and none of them are safe.

When Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O’Neil) finds out what’s going on, she teams up with Tyler Sherman (Steve Marachuk) to help her come up with a plan to stop the horrifying feeding frenzy. Unfortunately, she also finds out that the corporation he works for is behind the genetic modification that has turned the small island community into a nightmarish bloodbath but Tyler wants to right the wrongs that were orchestrated by his company. They do end up coming up with a plan to counter the attacks and enlist the help of Anne’s ex-husband, Police Chief Steve Kimbrough (Lance Henriksen), to make sure their son is out of harms way when they take on the piranha in an explosive finale.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork for the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Scream Factory has given Piranha II: The Spawning a 2K scan from the original camera negative. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any major issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Piranha II: The Spawning spreads its wings and takes to the air in this 1981 sequel that isn’t quite as good as the first movie – but that’s not saying much. Even though this sequel isn’t that good, it’s still a cheesy fun B-movie that features lots of hungry flying fish and some blood and gore to go along with it all. What makes this movie standout to me is that it was James Cameron’s directing debut that obviously had some kind of production issues because he was replaced by co-writer Ovidio G. Assonitis. Anyway, Piranha II is one of those so bad it’s good horror movies that takes the killer fish feeding frenzy way over-the-top and gives them wings. Some of the acting is good and some of it’s kind of bad but there’s some nudity to help make up for those acting shortcomings that it has. The special effects are all practical as you’d expect and look good in high-def. All you have to do with this Blu-ray is pop some popcorn and turn those thinking caps off and you should have a good time with it just like I did. Piranha II: The Spawning will fly onto Blu-ray for the first time ever on July 31st.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: The extras include two new interviews with some of the cast and crew along with the theatrical trailer.

  • NEW 2K scan from the original camera negative
  • NEW interview with actor Ricky Paull Goldin (15:55)
  • NEW interview with special effects artist Brian Wade (14:09)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:50)

 

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