DIRECTOR– Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)
PLOT– Jewell thieves visit Brazil to steal some precious stones from a factory. Unknown to all the others, the mastermind of the gang has filled their lake hiding spot with piranha. The fish get hungry.
4 REASONS TO WATCH–
- Gary Collins’ hair
- high stakes backgammon
- shirtless NFL quarterbacks
- extra, extra, extra wide shirt collars
REVIEW– Killer Fish is a typical late 70’s monster movie trying to cash in on the Jaws craze. Boasting quite a number of big-name actors (Lee Majors, Karen Black, James Franciscus… heck, even 70’s stereotype Gary Collins has a part), this film is helped by pretty good performances and a catchy soundtrack of guitar-heavy disco anthems blaring behind braless deep-v necklines.
The fish don’t make an appearance until halfway through the movie, but the double-cross, honor among thieves storyline keeps you watching until the bloody-fish-horror shows up. By then, every character in the film is stuck on the lake and die off one by one in some completely avoidable accidents.
FUN FACT– Former NFL quarterback Dan Pastorini plays Hans in Killer Fish… the muscle-bound, dumb guy every gang needs. He exposes his large pecs quite a bit in this film.
But Dan was not a stranger to “exposing” himself.
He and Farrah Fawcett were dating in 1980, about a year after Killer Fish debuted. When Dan moved to California, he was approached by Ira Ritter, the publisher of Playgirl Magazine, and asked to pose nude for a pictorial. Dan described it this way:
He asked if I would do a spread in Playgirl. One of my receivers with the Raiders, Bobby Chandler, dared me to do it and I figured, why not? Joe Namath did a spread in Cosmopolitan and Burt Reynolds did Playgirl, so I told Ira I would do it, but I didn’t want frontal shots published. It was just one of those decisions that sounded good at the time and was a big seller on the newsstands. When it came out, I had hundreds of them sent to me by women to autograph. But I did it mostly just because of ego.