Piranha II: The Spawning

Piranha II: The Spawning (1981)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Tricia O’Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen
Extras: Bonus Trailers

A young James Cameron directed ’Piranha II: The Spawning’ in 1981, just before beginning work on ’The Terminator’ which would ultimately put him on Hollywood’s A-list. Everyone will tell you that ’Piranha II’ is a mixed bag. It is clearly a product of its time. Horror movies at the time oftentimes relied more on bare breasts and nudity than storylines, and ’Piranha II’ is no exception. One would entirely dismiss the film if it weren’t for its campy qualities, which make you laugh and giggle throughout, and the great-looking underwater photography.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment is giving ’Piranha II’ a home on DVD in a fullscreen presentation only, which may or may not be the movie’s original aspect ratio. I was unable to find reliable information on the subject. The image is clear and mostly free of defects. Occasional grain is visible but it’s never distracting. Although the transfer appears soft and washed out at times, especially the underwater sequences boast rich and vibrant colors. Black levels are solid, creating deep shadows.

The DVD contains a Dolby Stereo audio track that also sounds a bit dated with a limited frequency response and dialogues that do come across a tad harsh. Only a selection of trailers for other ’creature’ movies is supplied as an extra on this release.

’Piranha II: The Spawning’ is a laughable film, really, but in retrospect it is so bad, that it’s actually funny. I had a blast revisiting this movie after so many years and enjoyed myself immensely observing the inept acting, the storyline that makes no sense and, the film’s constant attempt to take itself seriously.