Restoration of Piranha Movie Prop

Restoration and custom display for an original latex Piranha movie prop puppet.

This original Piranha movie prop, was brought to us in fair condition for a latex puppet of this age, but in need of a little TLC. Some of the areas had become fragile and cracked or creased. The puppet is such a fun and unique (and creepy!) piece, even if looking a little distressed,  but lucky for our clients, we are able to fix many of the issues and make these pieces look great again.

In the case of this “slip latex” rubber puppet, we began by carefully cleaning of the nearly 40 year old horror movie prop.  We then slowly began reshaping many of the areas on the fins and the mouth where the material had been folded over or become misshapen. Once we had the pieces back into place, we rebuilt any of the areas of missing material with archival compounds. These areas were carefully retextured to match the surrounding areas so that once they were painted the patches would become virtually invisible. This is a two fold process because if both the texture of the patches or the paint are not correct the repairs can stand out and distract from the prop.

The repair process is very important but the display can be equally as important. If not supported properly, many of the same problems can come back to bite you (pun intended). To display this uniquely shaped prop, we created a wooden stand especially for the piranha, with padded supports. The two posts have cradles built into them which carefully support it under the head and tail. We finished off the display with a customized printed metal plaque, featuring the movie’s logo.  The before and after images in our gallery showcase the subtle conservation and restoration work on this classic bit of 1970’s horror film history.  You may not want to get in the water with this life sized fish puppet, but any movie prop collector would be proud to have him on their shelf!

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Have an original movie or television prop in need of restoration or repair? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!

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