Piranha 2: Shades of The Abyss and James Cameron Archetypes

September 12, 2018 | By

It may seem ridiculous to write about 2000 words on a killer flying fish flicker, but Piranha 2: The Spawning (1981) is more than a mere Jaws rip-off. Officially James Cameron’s first feature film, it’s also a debut he previously would’ve preferred buried – I say previously, because after the myriad Terminator & Avatar franchise entries and numerous Titanic feature and documentary productions, I’m pretty sure he’s just fine with it existing on home video.


Sadly, many sun bunnies & sun studs are doomed in Piranha 2: The Spawning (1981).


P2 was released in both nudity-friendly and more gore-centric versions, and back in 1984 Cameron supervised a recut for the NTSC laserdisc which trimmed a goofy exploitation shocker into something more action-oriented. None of the prior video releases flattered the beautiful cinematography, making Shout’s new Blu a real for fans of the Piranha franchise begun by Roger Corman in 1978.

I’ll eventually get around to reviewing the first film and its related progeny, but for now here’s an unnecessarily detailed review of P2 as it relates to Cameron’s character archetypes and watery fixations, and some comparisons between the forgettable ‘Director’s Cut’ available via YouTube (of course) and the uncut ‘international’ version preferred by producer and schlockmeister Ovidio Assonitis.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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