Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981)
AKA Piranha II: Flying Killers, The Spawning
Starring Tricia O’Neil, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen, Ricky Paull Goldin, Ted Richert, Leslie Graves, Carole Davis, Connie Lynn Hadden, Arnie Ross, Tracey Berg, Albert Sanders
Directed by James Cameron
Expectations: Very low.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
Piranha Part Two: The Spawning was the feature directorial debut of James Cameron, so if nothing else it’s worth a look for that alone. But fans of the famous director of sci-fi action classics will find little that resembles anything of the Cameron style in Piranha Part Two: The Spawning. According to that grand Internet resource Wikipedia, Cameron was only in charge of the production for a few weeks before the producer fired him and took over, editing whatever footage Cameron had shot into the final release of the film. Makes sense, but for discussion let’s just assume that Cameron is the director largely responsible for the shooting.
While Piranha Part Two: The Spawning is a sequel to the original Piranha film, it’s pretty much a sequel in name alone. There is some mention of the previous film’s events, and in a way the sequel does go down the path alluded to in the stinger that ends Piranha, but these are thin connections at best. At the same time, the surface of the story is somewhat similar in overall structure, so you could almost argue that this sequel is also something of a complete rehash. But that’s probably being too reductive, as it makes this film sound like it shares a kindred spirit to the original film, which is totally untrue.