Pirahha 3DDPiranha 3DD
Director: John Gulager

Cast: Danielle Panabaker, David Hasselhoff, Matt Bush
Review by Brian M. Sammons

I really liked 2010s Piranha 3D which was an over the top silly, gory, sexy remake of what already was, at best, a drive-in classic. It knew exactly what kind of movie it was and was not only fine with that, but wallowed in its schlockiness. And you know what? It paid off. Piranha 3D was a surprise hit, embraced by a bunch of horrorheads for the slice of stupid fun that it was. So naturally there was going to be a sequel. And naturally they would feel the need to top what came before, and with a title like Piranha 3DD, how could it not?

Well sadly, as it turned out, the best thing about his movie was its title.

It’s pretty much a paint by numbers sequel that tries to warrant its existence by ramping up the goofy. And that it pretty much does. This time around the flesh chewing action centers on a water park that was just inherited by a young girl with the perquisite amount of cute and her oafish stepdad. Much against the girl’s will, greedy daddy gets the wild idea to turn into an adult waterpark with lifeguard certified strippers on call.

Oh boy, whacky!

Unbeknownst to all, the prehistoric piranhas from the first movie are still alive and well and somehow got into the water pipes leading to the water park. Can you guess what happens next? That’s right; it’s Clichés From Dangerous Waters Movies 101. Let’s run through the checklist, shall we? Do a few people get munched before the big massacre? Yep. Do the attractive heroes find out about the menace ahead of time and try to warn everyone only to be dismissed or not believed? Oh yeah. Is there an expert on the critter close at hand to tell the audience just how badass the man eater is? Check. Does the greedy guy in charge sort of know something is wrong but refuses to close the beach/water park so he can make a buck? You betcha.

You know, if there was an award for most derivative, clichéd, skeleton of a plot, P3DD could be a winner. So hey, that’s something, right?

Perhaps my biggest gripe with this movie is that it promised so much, but delivered so little. If you saw the trailer, or just looked at the title, then you probably thought this flick would deliver the bloody, sexy, and silly goods. Yet it doesn’t. It is less gory, with no creative kills, just lots of Kool-Aid looking blood spraying out like a high-pressured fire hose. As far as the glorious nudity that they titillating title tantalizes us with, even that is far less here than what we got in the first movie. Man talk about false advertising.

Now it does have more silly bits than the first movie, so that’s one point to the sequel, I guess. Perhaps the best bit in the entire movie is the stunt casting of David Hasselhoff playing David Hasselhoff as a down on his luck B-list celebrity forced to whore his name out to any fly by night company willing to give him a few bucks. Wow, and the award to the most meta thing EVER goes to Piranha 3DD! But seriously, David at least looks like he’s having fun hamming it up here, which is more than I can say for me having to watch this.

Oh wait, it does have the bit where a baby piranha swims up a woman’s who-ha, somehow lives inside there for over a day without dying or killing/eating the girl, just so there can be the ‘gag’ where it bites the girl’s boyfriend’s dangler off the next time they have sex. Hey, that’s worth the price of admission right there, am I right?

Now as blah as the movie was, the new Blu-ray from Anchor Bay is pretty good. It comes as a cool quadruple pack with the 3D Blu-ray, the regular Blu-ray, the DVD, and of course a digital copy. Furthermore, while the movie might not be all that enjoyable to watch, it is pretty to look at, as the standard Blu-ray version (which is how I watched this movie) looked excellent. I cannot speak to how the 3D looked, as I hate 3D. Sorry to you 3% of the population that actually purchased 3D televisions.

As far as extras, they’re a mixed bag. While I’m not a huge fan of this movie, I did like the commentary track with director John Gulager, the producer, and the writer. It was both funny and informative and more fun to listen to than the movie was to watch. There are three very short deleted scenes. There are also three short promo videos called “Wet and Wild with David Koechner,” “The Hofftastic World of David Hasselhoff,” and “Busey’s Bloopers.” Each just has the actor in question talking to the camera about the movie and pretty much can be skipped as they offer nothing new, interesting, or fun. There’s also a very short (about eight minutes) behind the scenes piece that seems to be another PR package and a short video called “A Lesson with John McEnroe” that has the famous tennis hothead playing, well tennis. Yeah, why this is here, I have no idea. So basically you get a pretty good commentary track, and a whole bunch of tiny, insignificant, and completely unentertaining featurettes. Oh boy.

Piranha 3DD could not live up to its title or to even what came before it. It is a lukewarm retread of the silly, sexy, gory good fun that made the previous flick so enjoyable. It also has an overall feeling of being a lesser film in every way. None of the actors are as good or enjoyable as the last cast, director John Gulager cannot hold a candle to Alexandre Aja in terms of style, and special effects look bargain basement at best with no memorable gore gags other than the silly piranha in a p**** thing. I can only guess that the production company behind both movies did the usual, “let’s not spend as much on the sequel as we did on the original” because there is a cheapness to everything here. Oh, and the movie is only 86 minutes, but that is with an incredibly long end credit sequence used to pad out the runtime. So, with all that said, I’ve got to say give Piranha 3DD a pass. It is a sad day when the promise of big boobies can’t even save your silly drive-in movie.

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