Piranha 3DD (2012) Review

The way Hollywood works can often be weirder than the films they make, even when those films include Piranha 3DD.  To think about how this film came about is a wonder in itself, and really, that’s the basis of the marketing scheme.  In 2010, Alexandre Aja, the new king of horror remakes, decided to remake Joe Dante‘s 1978 film Piranha (which was already remade for TV in 1995), in 3D, to capitalize on the gimmick, and to make a fun, gory movie about killer piranha.  When he did that, and pretty well to boot, of course the companies behind it only saw more dollar signs.  When Aja assuredly passed on the project, Project Greenlight winner (and director of the Feast trilogy) John Gulager stepped up to take the reigns on the second film.  (Or, technically, fifth film in the franchise, as James Cameron cut his teeth on Piranha 2: The Spawning)  Not bad for a film that was originally just a spoof of JAWS.

Lo and behold, Gulager takes the film back to its Roger Corman-produced roots, going with the theory that boobs + blood + short run time on a small budget = success.  And while it may only be on 70 screens across the country in 3D (compared to Piranha 3D‘s 2,470 screens) it’s live on demand and it’s the perfect type of film for it.  Anyone that saw the trailer knows the film is just plain crazy, with lots of cameos (most of them returning from the 2010 film) and the rest is tits and gore.

If you expected anything else, well, I guess you don’t know much about movie trailers, but for those who are expecting an insanely bloody, horribly campy horror film with just plain hilarious violence of fish on people attacks provide enough laughs to keep it going.  There is laughably bad acting, and lead Danielle Panabaker is neither prettier or a better actor than some of the topless models, so it’s a wonder that people continue to hire her after some repeat bad performances in numerous horror remakes (The Crazies, Friday the 13th and some horror disappointments like The Ward and Mr. Brooks, and although I love Mr. Brooks she was arguably the worst part of it.  When Dane Cook acts circles around you, something is amiss.

The story is literally the as Piranha 3D:  Some asshole is doing something he shouldn’t and  he cracks into an underground lake releasing the same fucking piranha from the last film, just a few miles down the road even, releasing them into his water park after a few random attacks turn into an outburst of gore as everyone is mauled at the water park.

Some of the cameos are gold, like Ving Rhames returning as Deputy Fallon with no legs, confronting his fears that piranha are everywhere.  When they are indeed everywhere, he tells Andrew (returning Paul Scheer) to get his shotgun fitted metal legs, which he uses to blow apart approaching piranha.  Christopher Lloyd is searched out for his advice, but it doesn’t end up mattering as the ending is as ridiculous as everything else.  In any other movie, it would be a horrible ending, in this film, it’s hilarious.

You’ll know if you want to see this film after watching the trailer, because it’s very plain about what type of film it is, a gore fest with tits and ass, David Koechner and Matt Bush being horribly under-used, with tongue firmly planted in cheek the entire time David Hasselhoff is on screen, which is a lot longer than I thought it would be.  It’s got an obviously lower budget than the last film, and while some of the CGI is sketchy, it’s all so corny that it doesn’t really matter in the long run, and it’s a fun ride in the meantime.  Not a bad way to kill a Saturday night with a few beers and friends, but not a film that should be taken seriously at all.


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