Piranha II: The Spawning  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Piranha II: The Spawning, also known as Piranha II: Flying Killers, is a 1981 horror low-budget film, the sequel to the 1978 low-budget cult film Piranha, and the feature film directorial debut of James Cameron.


Off the coast of a Caribbean island, a young couple flee the hotel to have sex in the sea. But they swim into a sunken wreck which is also a piranha lair and they are both killed and eaten by the unseen piranha.

The next day, a group of tourists, including Tyler Sherman, are taking the diving courses provided by Anne Kimbrough, an employee of the Hotel Elysium. One of her divers swims into the wreck, which she has strictly forbidden to her divers. Leaving Tyler to take over and lead the others to the surface, she discovers almost immediately that her 'missing' student has swum into the wreck and been killed there when his badly chewed up body is found.

Annie's estranged husband, Steve, a police officer, refuses to listen to Anne about her wanting to have a look at the body, because she needs to know what happened. The death does not seem to match the attack pattern by any of the marine life in this area, which she knows better than anyone. For her not to know what killed a diver is a dangerous sign. Steve intercepts Gabby, a dynamite fisherman, and his son, and threatens to confiscate their boat, but as Gabby explains, Steve, Anne, and he, are old friends.

Meanwhile, as the guests begin to flirt with each other, Jai and Loretta, a pair of women, arrive on a large boat. By their own admission, they are sea bandits. Jai sneaks into the kitchen to steal food, but is intercepted by Mel, a cook. She flirts with him, and he offers instead to make her a wonderful dinner. But as he goes to their boat with the meal, they take the meal and then undock, letting the boat drift. Jai and Loretta try to convince Mel to jump, and he tries, and fails, so they mock him and sail off. They sail too far out, and are attacked and killed by the piranha, who have developed the power to fly.

Worried about what is going on, Anne finds that she is being frequently bothered by Tyler Sherman, so she takes him with her to the morgue to get a look at the body. It is revealed there that she became a marine biologist before she married Steve, and so she begins taking pictures. There, she finds that the bodies have been eaten in many parts. A nurse comes in, kicks them out, and ends up quickly dead, for a piranha was hiding in the body and escaped it. Armed with the power to fly, it kills the nurse and escapes out a window.

In her hurry, Anne left her credit card behind at the scene. Anne and Tyler have a one night stand, but in the morning, while he sleeps, she begins to study the pictures, and is horrified by what she discovers. Steve arrives, throwing the card at her, angry first that she went to the morgue in defiance of him, and secondly that she has man in her bed. She tries to warn him of what she has discovered, but he ignores her and thinks she is a murderess.

Anne tries to tell the managers that she is cancelling the dives because it is not safe. He at first pretends to be concerned, but swiftly fires her, thinking she is crazy. Attempting to capture one for further study, or at the very least take some pictures so she can prove what she is trying to tell Steve and the manager, she is intercepted by Tyler, who swiftly informs her that he is a biochemist and member of a team which has developed the ultimate weapon: a specimen of genetically modified piranha, with some other fish's genes intermixed, capable of flying. Earlier, and unfortunately, the team mistakenly deposited (or lost) a cylinder full of these fish in the water where the dead couple were found.

Gabby provides the proof Anne needs to Steve, calling him and showing him, not merely some flying piranha he has recently caught, and never seen before, but also that they are a serious danger, because they are turning on each other. This is a sign that they are running out of food and will soon attack whatever they come near, including humans. At a meeting, Anne tries her best to reason with the manager, to no avail. Steve surprises her, standing up for her and proving her case for her by throwing the body of a dead piranha onto the table. Steve tells her that she cannot trust Tyler, because the army says he is crazy. She argued that Tyler has just been using her to get the message of the piranha out for him, to protect both himself and the residents of the hotel.

Later on, a piranha attacks Gabby's son and kills him, leaving a bereft Gabby to vow revenge by killing the fish in the wreck in which they hide. Anne tries to dissuade him, but it is too late. Having ignored Anne's advice, the manager, Raoul, hosts a nighttime fish party to capture grunion, who come up to the beach to spawn at this time, making them easy prey for humans to capture and kill. Unfortunately for the residents, the piranha are also partially grunion and share the same instinct. Ann gets a man named Aaron to patrol the beach but he is lured to the sea where the piranha mutilate and kill him. During the fishing party promoted by the resort, the piranhas fly out of the water and attack the guests on the beach and at the hotel's courtyard pool. Anne leads those who survive into hotel, where they shut the doors and windows. Gabby tries to attack the flying piranha, but they overwhelm and kill him.

In the morning, the flying piranha withdraw back into the ocean, for Anne had discovered that they are not fond of daylight. Tyler and Anne decide to undertake Gabby's plan, and blow up the ship to destroy the predators. Meanwhile, the situation gets even tenser, for not only can the piranha fly, but Anne and Steve's son Chris has been hired, against their wishes, by a local ship 'Captain' Dumont and his lovely daughter Allison. They sail away and strand themselves on an island, leaving them vulnerable to piranha attacks that never actually happen. Getting lost at sea, they try to set sail again, heading straight toward the wreck.

When Chris and Allison are stranded in a raft above the shipwreck, Annie and Tyler arrive in a motorboat and don scuba gear to dive down to the wreck to plant the timer charges that Gabby left behind. With only 10 minutes to get out of the wreck before the bomb explodes, Annie and Tyler are trapped in one of the sunken ships rooms by the murderous piranha who all return to the wreck. On the surface, Steve, piloting a police helicopter, ditches the chopper and swims to Annie and Tyler's motorboat where Chris and Allison are. With minutes left to spare before the bomb explodes, Steve powers up the boat and takes off. Down in the wreck, Tyler sacrifices himself to allow Annie to escape out of a porthole and to tie a survival rope around her waist, allowing herself to be pulled away by the motorboat on the surface. At the last second, Annie gets clear and the bomb detonates, destroying the sunken ship and all the piranha with it. With all the murderous fish destroyed, Annie swims to the surface and is picked up by Steve, Chris and Allison in their boat.


  • Tricia O'Neil - Anne Kimbrough
  • Steve Marachuk - Tyler Sherman
  • Lance Henriksen - Steve Kimbrough
  • Ricky Paull Goldin - Chris Kimbrough
  • Ted Richert - Raoul, Hotel Manager
  • Leslie Graves - Allison Dumont
  • Ancil Gloudon - Gabby
  • Carole Davis - Jai
  • Connie Lynn Hadden - Loretta
  • Captain Kidd Brewer Jr. - Lou
  • Jan Eisner Mannon - Lisa
  • Arnie Ross - Mal the Cook
  • Tracy Berg - Beverly
  • Albert Sanders - Leo Bell, D.D.S.
  • Anne Pollack - Mrs. Wilson
  • Lee Krug - Ron 'Ronny', the Lifeguard
  • Sally Ricca - Cindy
  • Dorothy Cunningham - Nurse April

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Piranha II: The Spawning" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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