Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Elizabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell
Reviewed by Brian M. Sammons
This was one of my favorite movies of 2010 for the simple reason that it knew exactly what it was and was not only happy with that, but embraced and rejoiced in it. More films should be so self-aware and honest with themselves instead of putting on airs; they would only be better for it.
So what kind of film is Piranha 3D, you ask? Well it’s a remake of Roger Corman’s 1978 cult classic of the same name, minus the 3D, so what do you think? That’s right; it is a glorious big budget B-movie with more blood and boobies than any three other movies released this year, or the last twenty years for that matter. It reveled in its crass exploitation and splatstick silliness and I loved it for it.
From the beginning scene where Richard Dreyfuss shows that while he might have survived one set of jaws, he won’t survive a thousand of them, to the final over the top wink-wink, nudge-nudge ending, this film is pure cheesy goodness the likes of which hasn’t graced the big screen since the glory days of the Eighties. You want incredibly hot woman showing off a lot of naked skin? You’ve got it. You want more blood than all of the Friday The 13th films combined? You get that too, and while there’s a lot of CGI gore (boo) there is a surprising amount of real world splatter effects (yay). You want over the top acting, nasty critters, cameos by the handful and tons of BOO scares to get your date to jump into arms? Well check, double check, check please and checkaroo. But wait, there’s more.
A chick gets her implants chewed out and they float away while a guy gets his schlong chewed off, spit out, eaten again, and then vomited out one last time. Lovely, huh? I chose to highlight those tasteful tidbits so you know exactly what you’re in for with this movie. If that doesn’t sound like your cup o’ tea then back away slowly, there’s only more of that waiting for you here. However if you are a sick puppy like me and the thought of a filmmaker having the balls to go there and show that in this overly PC age made you smile, then this IS the movie you’ve been waiting for.
As for the story, it’s pretty much the same from the ’70s film. There are a bunch of piranhas, a bunch of people enjoying the usually piranha-free water, and when the two forces meet bloody, munchy mayhem ensues. However this time the teethy fishies are not the result of governmental experimentation but are prehistoric survivors released from an underground lake thanks to a handy earthquake. The hungry fish make a beeline straight towards an Arizona lake during spring break to nibble on some tasty coeds and the only thing in their way is a plucky female sheriff surprisingly played by one time Oscar nominee Elizabeth Shue. She seems to be enjoying herself in this movie as do most of the cast, including Jerry O’Connell as a wonderfully skevy porn movie maker a la Girls Gone Wild. Also if you are a fan of the goretastic flicks of Eli Roth, keep an eye out for a cameo by him. Better yet, if you hate the goretastic flicks of Mr. Roth, you can see him get his just deserts.
See, this movie really does have something for everyone.
To honor such a fantastic movie, Sony and Dimension Films had put out a stellar Blu-ray. Not only does the movie look alive and vibrant, showing off the beautiful cinematography and direction Alexandre Aja is known for, but it has some great special features. Sure it has the usual director audio commentary, but it also has an extensive, two hour making of and behind the scenes documentary broken into 10 more manageable parts.
However there is one feature that sets this BD apart from the rest that I can’t comment on and that’s the 3D. I don’t have the required 3D TV to view it and quite frankly I don’t ever want one. So thankfully this disc also comes with the plain old, and much preferred by me, 2D version of the film. However if 3D does trip your trigger than rejoice, you finally have a Blu-ray to help justify purchasing that spiffy new 3D television you just had to get.
If you are a horror fan and just want to watch a fun film the likes of which hasn’t been made in a long time, then Piranha 3D is that movie for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope more films like it come out soon. Anything to help wash the taste of bloodless, teenybopper horror and sparkly, toothless vampires out of my mouth is a very good thing. This film does that and a whole lot more so it is highly recommended by me.