KILLER FISH (1979)
Article 5406 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Antonio Margheriti
Featuring Lee Majors, Karen Black, Margaux Hemingway
Country: Italy / UK / Brazil /USA
What it is: IMDB says Horror, but…
A gang of jewel thieves in Brazil hides a box of stolen jewels in a lake and plans to wait sixty days before returning to recover the treasure. However, one member of the gang tries to make sure his partners don’t cheat on him by releasing piranha in the lake.
Someday I’ll come up with a category for movies that purport to be one type of movie but are actually another. The title of this one evokes memories of both JAWS and PIRANHA, and this movie would most likely not have been made if not for the success of these other movies. However, the killer fish aspect of the story is not the main plot, which is mostly concerned about the betrayals and double-crosses of a gang of jewel thieves. Even beyond that, the movie is more noteworthy for its spectacle and scenes of destruction (I wonder if Margheriti really had a hankering to make a disaster movie) than of its horror content. I don’t think the movie is badly done; its low rating on IMDB probably has more to do with the fact that it isn’t really the horror movie it seems to promise. Despite the presence of Italian director Margheriti, there’s no dubbing issue here; the movie was mostly shot in English, and there’s a lot of well-known English-speaking actors in the cast. Go in expecting a crime movie with some horror elements, and you’ll appreciate this one more.