Piranha (1978) (Scream Factory) 4K + Blu-ray Review + Packaging Shots

Joe Dante's solo feature film directorial debut finds its way to 4K blu-ray with a brand new transfer and plenty of special features.

Studio: Scream Factory
Release Date: August 3rd, 1978 (theatrical) / November 1st, 2022 (4K blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 33 mins 51 seconds
Region Code: FREE (4K blu-ray), A (locked) (2K blu-ray)
Picture: 2160p (1,85:1 aspect ratio) (4K blu-ray), 1080p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (2K blu-ray)
Sound: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Slipcover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies-Urich, Kevin McCarthy, Keenan Wynn
Written by John Sayles
Directed by Joe Dante
Rating: R (strong horror violence and gore, and nudity)




What's It About?

While searching for missing teenagers, novice skip tracer Maggie McKeown (Heather Menzies) and one of the locals, town boozer Paul Grogan (Bradford Dillman), stumble upon a top-secret Army laboratory doing genetic research on piranha for the purpose of biological warfare. When they are accidentally released from the compound, the deadly school of eating machines head downstream and eat everything and anything in their path.


PIRANHA was first released on blu-ray back in 2010 by Shout! Factory in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The picture was cropped on all four sides but looked pretty good for the time. After that, the film would stay in print with this edition for quite a while. Then in 2019, Scream Factory released the film in SteelBook packaging. This edition featured a brand new 4K scan of the original camera negative and was in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This allowed the film to be in its proper aspect ratio for the first time. I made a Screenshot Comparison to show the differences between the 2010 blu-ray and the 2019 blu-ray. This brand new 4K blu-ray claims to be from a brand new 2022 scan of the OCN, but the results are largely the same, but more so. Obviously, the level of detail and clarity has been upped quite a bit. Finer detail is very apparent in most scenes and this is very welcome. There is also some really nice shadow detail going on here as well. The HDR takes care of the colors very nicely, bringing them more to their truer selves. Black levels are also very nice with them being inky and deep. While the picture quality isn't as drastically different as many would have liked, This is a very healthy transfer that fans will love.


Disc 1: 4K Blu-ray

Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Roger Corman
Audio Commentary with Director Joe Dante and Producer Jon Davison

Disc 2: Blu-ray

Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Roger Corman
Audio Commentary with Director Joe Dante and Producer Jon Davison
Interview with Joe Dante (8m 24s, HD, 1.78:1)
The Making of Piranha (19m 47s, HD, 1.78:1)
Trailers from Hell - Piranha (2m 30s, SD, 1.33:1)
Behind-the-Scenes Footage (m 36s, HD, 1.33:1)
Additional Scenes from the TV Version of Piranha (12m 24s, SD, 1.33:1)
Bloopers and Outtakes (6m 49s, SD, 1.33:1)
Trailer (2m 17s, HD, 1.33:1)
Teaser Trailer (38s, HD, 1.78:1)
TV Spot (33s, HD, 1.33:1)
Radio Spots (1m 8s, SD, 1.78:1)
Poster and Still Gallery (5m 49s, HD, 1.33:1) Auto plays with no music
Phil Tippett's Behind-the-Scenes Photographs (3m 39s, HD, 1.33:1)

This is a great assortment of special features. Both commentaries are worth listening to with each one being a bit different. The Corman one is very dry but nonetheless fascinating. He gets into the nuts and bolts of the behind-the-scenes stuff including financing and producing. The Joe Dante/Jon Davison commentary is two friends sitting down and talking about making the film. Really great stuff from both tracks. The making of covers some of the same ground as the commentary tracks but is still a lot of fun. I loved the TV version scenes and the behind-the-scenes footage. I also really loved the radio spots as those are an art that we don't have anymore and I love listening to them whenever they are included on a Blu-ray.

The packaging for PIRANHA is pretty standard in terms of what Scream Factory puts out. The slipcover features the film's original theatrical poster along with a really ugly gray bar at the top telling us that this is a combo pack. I thought that Scream Factory had learned that us collectors hate that bar at the top as they have stopped using it on their blu-rays but I guess they did not. The two-disc 4K blu-ray case features reversible artwork with the same artwork used on the slipcover along with alternate poster art on the other side. The two discs feature the same artwork as the 4K blu-ray case with the 4K disc getting the slipcover artwork while the blu-ray gets the alternate poster artwork.

The 4K blu-ray is REGION FREE and the Blu-ray is REGION A (locked)



PIRANHA is a really fun film. I love the mixture of humor and comedy as well as the look and feel of the film. They don't make films like this anymore. In fact, if they were to make a film like this today, it would be made on the cheap and it would be mostly CGI. I am happy that this film exists.
This is a wonderful edition of the Joe Dante classic. The picture quality is the best the film has ever looked and the special features are a lot of fun. I would recommend this release to fans and non-fans alike.


Post a Comment