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September 11, 2011

Flicks: Killer Fish (1979)


The classic "heist-gone-wrong-due-to-piranhas" genre resurfaces in Italy, 1979.

Steve "The 6 Million Dollar Man" Rogers. Karen Black. Margaux Hemingway. Flesh-eating ichthyoids. Say no more pathetic manlings! Peter Benchley, author of the book the blockbuster of the same name was based upon, licensed this adaptation of his novel to a Italian production of Antonio Margheriti's Killer Fish.

The movie itself is largely forgettable but it's the career of the Italian director that is the real story here. Margheriti's stunning history as a B-Movie director rivals Roger Corman's own reputation as "King of the B's" from 1960 to 1997.

Often credited as Anthony Dawson, a play on words from the American translation, Margheriti started out in B's with the colossally awful Space Men (1960), Horror Castle (1963), then things began improving with Castle Of Blood (1964) starring Barbara Steele. After Castle Of Blood came Mondo Inferno (1964) and War Of The Planets (1966) culminating with Margheriti's most successful film Cannibal Apocalypse (1980) starring John Saxon (Enter The Dragon, Nightmare On Elm Street). During his nearly 40 year career in films, Margheriti worked with Lee Van Cleef, John Saxon, Claude Rains, Klaus Kinski, Barbara Steele, Donald Pleasence, Yul Brynner, Fred Williamson and Christopher Lee.

Mr. Margheriti passed away in 2002 with 57 internationally released films to his credit. His last film, Genghis Khan: The Story of a Lifetime, was posthumously released in 2010.

References:
Antonio Margheriti, King Of Italian Film
IMDB, Killer Fish (1979)
IMDB, Lee Majors
Cult Movie Forums, Killer Fish

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