Piranha II: The Spawning (1982)

R | 95 mins | Horror | October 1982

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HISTORY


       The 21 May 1980 HR announced the formation of the Schechtman/Eglee Company by producers Jeff Schechtman and Charles H. Eglee. The company was planning a sequel to Piranha (1978, see entry), tentatively titled Piranha II—The Spawning, to be developed by writer Channing Gibson. However, the 28 May 1980 HR stated that Eglee had already completed a screenplay, based on a treatment by independent producer Martin B. Cohen. The $1.5 million production was scheduled to begin shooting in Jul 1980, pending approval of the screenplay from prospective distributor United Artists Corporation. Cohen was to share production credit with Chako Van Leuwen of the Chako Film Company, which produced the original. The 14 Nov 1980 Var reported the scheduled start of principal photography on 1 Dec 1980 in Savannah, GA. Nearly four months later, the 4 Mar 1981 Var announced plans by executive producer Ovidio G. Assonitis to begin production in Los Angeles, CA, on 18 May 1981. The film's screenplay is credited to H. A. Milton, and various sources state Milton is a pseudonym for Assonitis, Eglee and director James Cameron. The film marked Cameron's feature film debut as director.
       The review in the 21 Dec 1983 Var, stated that the film had been in release for several months prior to its Dec 1983 New York City opening. According to modern sources, it debuted in Oct 1982. Notices were mixed.
      End credits include the following statement: “The producer would like to thank the Mallard Beach Hyatt and its staff for their help in ... More Less


       The 21 May 1980 HR announced the formation of the Schechtman/Eglee Company by producers Jeff Schechtman and Charles H. Eglee. The company was planning a sequel to Piranha (1978, see entry), tentatively titled Piranha II—The Spawning, to be developed by writer Channing Gibson. However, the 28 May 1980 HR stated that Eglee had already completed a screenplay, based on a treatment by independent producer Martin B. Cohen. The $1.5 million production was scheduled to begin shooting in Jul 1980, pending approval of the screenplay from prospective distributor United Artists Corporation. Cohen was to share production credit with Chako Van Leuwen of the Chako Film Company, which produced the original. The 14 Nov 1980 Var reported the scheduled start of principal photography on 1 Dec 1980 in Savannah, GA. Nearly four months later, the 4 Mar 1981 Var announced plans by executive producer Ovidio G. Assonitis to begin production in Los Angeles, CA, on 18 May 1981. The film's screenplay is credited to H. A. Milton, and various sources state Milton is a pseudonym for Assonitis, Eglee and director James Cameron. The film marked Cameron's feature film debut as director.
       The review in the 21 Dec 1983 Var, stated that the film had been in release for several months prior to its Dec 1983 New York City opening. According to modern sources, it debuted in Oct 1982. Notices were mixed.
      End credits include the following statement: “The producer would like to thank the Mallard Beach Hyatt and its staff for their help in the realization of this motion picture.” As of 2015, the hotel is known as the Sunset Jamaica Grande, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

              Director of photography Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli's name is misspelled in opening credits as "Roberto D'Ettore Piazzoli," but is spelled correctly in end credits. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Jun 1980
p. 94.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 1980
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 1983
p. 6.
Variety
28 May 1980
p. 20, 32.
Variety
14 Nov 1980.
---
Variety
4 Mar 1981.
---
Variety
21 Dec 1983
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Prod, for Chako Film Company
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam op
Asst cam op
Asst cam op
Still man
Dir of photog, Underwater unit
Cam op, Underwater unit
Cam op, Underwater unit
Asst cam op, Underwater unit
Chief elec
Chief grip
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus publisher
SOUND
Sd man, 1st unit
Boom op, 1st unit
Sd op, 2d unit
Boom op, 2d unit
Sd re-rec
Spec sd eff
VISUAL EFFECTS
Des and supv of spec eff and prosthetics
Spec eff
Titles
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Spawning
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning
Piranha Part II
Piranha II
Release Date:
October 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 22 April 1983
New York opening: December 1983
Production Date:
began 18 May 1981
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Italy, Netherlands, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the Club Elysium resort in the Caribbean Sea, a young couple SCUBA dives by moonlight near the wreck of a sunken ship and are eaten by a school of mutant piranha. In the morning, Chris Kimbrough wakes his mother, Anne, the hotel’s SCUBA instructor. Off the coast, police chief Steve Kimbrough, Anne’s estranged husband, feigns outrage as his friend, Gabby, catches fish using dynamite. Later, Chris begins a summer job as first mate on a fishing boat owned by millionaire Mr. Dumont and his teenaged daughter, Allison. At a hotel staff meeting, Anne explains an upcoming event, the “Annual Beachfront Fish Fry Festival.” During the first full moon following the spring equinox, schools of grunion spawn on the beach, where they are caught and eaten by hotel guests. That afternoon, two young women, Jai and Loretta, dock their sailboat near the resort. Jai attempts to steal food from the hotel kitchen, but is interrupted by Mal, the cook. When she invites Mal to join them for dinner and a sexual encounter, he offers to cook and deliver the meal that evening. Nearby, Anne leads a group of diving students to the sunken ship, instructing them not to enter the vessel. One student, Robert Hayward, disobeys and is killed by piranha. Anne becomes acquainted with Tyler Sherman, the most experienced member of the group, and asks for his assistance when she notices Hayward’s absence. After discovering the partially eaten body, Anne is questioned by Chief Kimbrough about the presence of common predators. Anne, a former marine biologist, insists none are in the vicinity, and asks to ... +


At the Club Elysium resort in the Caribbean Sea, a young couple SCUBA dives by moonlight near the wreck of a sunken ship and are eaten by a school of mutant piranha. In the morning, Chris Kimbrough wakes his mother, Anne, the hotel’s SCUBA instructor. Off the coast, police chief Steve Kimbrough, Anne’s estranged husband, feigns outrage as his friend, Gabby, catches fish using dynamite. Later, Chris begins a summer job as first mate on a fishing boat owned by millionaire Mr. Dumont and his teenaged daughter, Allison. At a hotel staff meeting, Anne explains an upcoming event, the “Annual Beachfront Fish Fry Festival.” During the first full moon following the spring equinox, schools of grunion spawn on the beach, where they are caught and eaten by hotel guests. That afternoon, two young women, Jai and Loretta, dock their sailboat near the resort. Jai attempts to steal food from the hotel kitchen, but is interrupted by Mal, the cook. When she invites Mal to join them for dinner and a sexual encounter, he offers to cook and deliver the meal that evening. Nearby, Anne leads a group of diving students to the sunken ship, instructing them not to enter the vessel. One student, Robert Hayward, disobeys and is killed by piranha. Anne becomes acquainted with Tyler Sherman, the most experienced member of the group, and asks for his assistance when she notices Hayward’s absence. After discovering the partially eaten body, Anne is questioned by Chief Kimbrough about the presence of common predators. Anne, a former marine biologist, insists none are in the vicinity, and asks to examine the body. Steve refuses as Anne may be guilty of negligence. That evening, Mal delivers dinner to Jai and Loretta. They beckon him to jump onto the boat as it sails away from the dock, causing him to fall into the ocean. Tyler encounters Anne on the street and offers to buy her a drink. Instead, she invites him to join her at the morgue. After breaking in, Anne and Tyler photograph Hayward’s body, until Nurse April discovers them and demands they leave. As the nurse returns the body to the vault, a piranha springs from the abdomen of the corpse onto her throat and kills her, then flies through a window. In her hotel suite, Anne examines photographs of the body and wonders if the predator was a genetically engineered piranha developed by the military during the Vietnam War. She dismisses the idea, then asks Tyler to spend the night. Meanwhile, Jai and Loretta anchor their boat near the sunken ship, and are attacked by flying piranha. Early the next morning, Steve investigates the killings and discovers Anne’s hotel identification card near Nurse April’s body. He angrily informs Anne of the latest victims, noting that she was the last person to see Nurse April alive. When Anne argues the possibility of genetically altered piranha, Steve reminds her that the morgue is on dry land. Anne advises Raoul, the hotel manager, to cancel all water activities until a cause for the mysterious deaths is determined. Raoul refuses to listen and fires her. Tyler telephones an associate, saying he has found a woman who can alert the public about the “killer fish,” and promises to get a specimen. Afterward, Tyler admits to being a biochemist, formerly in the employ of the federal government. His team modified piranha with the genes of flying fish and grunion, enabling them to fly and survive out of water. Four canisters of the fertilized eggs were aboard the sunken ship, explaining the presence of the modified fish in the bay. That evening, Steve learns that Allison Dumont and Chris Kimbrough are exploring the coast in a rowboat and conducts a search for them by helicopter. Anne, Steve and Gabby show the hotel manager a specimen of the killer fish, but are unable to convince him of the danger. Gabby arrives at his shack to find that his son, Frank, is another victim of the piranha attack. Determined to destroy the fish, Gabby constructs several time bombs, set to detonate at 6:30 the next morning, and Tyler offers to help place them in the shipwreck. Steve resumes his search for Chris and Allison, while Anne and a police officer named Aaron return to the hotel as the grunion festival gets underway. Aaron patrols the shore, but is killed by piranha before he can warn Anne. As the crowd proceeds toward the beach, Gabby carries his dead son into the hotel lobby and tells Anne of his intention to bomb the shipwreck. Moments later, the piranha attack, forcing the survivors to take cover in the lobby. Gabby tries to repel the fish with a torch but is eaten alive. Meanwhile, Allison and Chris awake from a nap to discover they are lost at sea. Although Chris is concerned for their safety, Allison thinks the prospect is romantic. As dawn approaches, Anne and Tyler sail toward the shipwreck with Gabby’s time bombs. She radios Steve, requesting he keep the area clear until after 6:30. She and Tyler dive into the wreck and place the charges, as piranha surround the ship. Steve discovers Chris and Allison drifting toward the shipwreck and jumps from his helicopter onto Anne’s boat, which is anchored nearby. He pulls the children onboard and waits impatiently for Anne to surface. Inside the wreck, the piranha consume Tyler, allowing Anne to escape. With only seconds to spare, Steve pilots the boat away from the wreck, while below the surface, Anne hangs onto the anchor and is pulled to safety. The fish are eradicated in the ensuing explosion, and Anne is reunited with her husband and son. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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