Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981) Tricia O'Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen, Ricky Paull Goldin Movie Review

Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981)   1/51/51/51/51/5

Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981)

Attack of the Flying Killer Piranhas

A sunken US ship off the coast of a Caribbean island resort is one of the locations which Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) takes tourists to dive. But after the sudden and gruesome death of one of her clients they discover it is home to piranhas. But things get worse for Anne and her estranged husband, Police Chief Steve Kimbrough (Lance Henriksen), as these are not just any piranhas but genetically engineered piranhas that have the ability to fly as well. With the manager of the resort refusing to listen to their fears over an impending disaster it is up to Anne and Steve to not only save everyone, including their son Chris (Ricky Paull Goldin), but destroy the breeding ground of these flying killer fish.

Of course "Piranha Part Two: The Spawning" is only famous now because of its association with director James Cameron. But when you dig around it becomes apparent, depending on which version you read, that Cameron only worked on the movie a week as director before being replaced by producer Ovidio G. Assonitis but had to give James Cameron directing credit due to some legal clause it had to have an American director. To be honest it doesn't take long before realising that Cameron's input into the movie was limited if you decide to watch "Piranha Part Two: The Spawning", which frankly I can't recommend doing.

Part of the reason for that is simply "Piranha Part Two: The Spawning" is a text book creature feature which of course when you compare it to say "Jaws" is a poor copy. I say that because we have an island, we have not just the danger of piranhas but these are mutant piranhas which can also fly, on top of that we have the local boss who won't ruin the tourist trade, the estranged wife as well as a son in a boat. Take out the mutant piranha part and "Piranha Part Two: The Spawning" could be just about any other creature feature. Even during the first half the use of nudity adds little to the movie although I am sure as a teenager back in the 80s I would have thought differently.

One of the curious things, in fact about the only thing in "Piranha Part Two: The Spawning" worth mentioning is the array of characters. On one hand you have Anne, Steve, Chris and a tourist called Tyler Sherman, who has a secret, and these characters are all played pretty straight. But then surrounding them you have characters who feel like they belong in a spoof movie with many played not only over the top but done so poorly.

What this all boils down to is that "Piranha Part Two: The Spawning" is simply bad and truth be told not even worth watching for the curious factor of it having James Cameron as the named director.