By Nick Manteris · 0 Comments · Leave a Comment
Piranha 3D is the second remake of the 1978 B-Movie, Piranha, which was originally a parody of Jaws. The remake of a B-Movie can’t hope to be anything more than a glorified B-Movie and director Alexandre Aja gets it. He embraces the cheesiness inherent in this film and decides to have fun with it instead. Piranha 3D is a film about college students on a lake getting eaten by prehistoric killer fish during spring break, so – as you might imagine – it’s fairly predictable, loaded with girls in bikinis (or less) and brimming with blood and gore. It’s also fun…and the fun is what saves the film.
Alexandre Aja is probably best known for directing Haute Tension, a thoroughly great little horror film that completely falls apart with the final twist… making it a perfect example of “liar cinema.” He also directed the 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes, which supassed the original in every way and remains one of the most relentlessly brutal films that I’ve ever seen. Aja is in the group of filmmakers (with Eli Roth, Neil Marshall and Rob Zombie, among others) that have been dubbed the “Splat Pack” due to the ultra-violent movies that they make. Piranha 3D is certainly violent (and they supposedly broke the record for most blood used in a film) but it doesn’t feel as violent as the aforementioned films. The water must lessen the violence somehow… or maybe I was just distracted by all the boobs.
Speaking of distractions, it’s really too bad that this movie wasn’t originally filmed in 3D. The conversion from 2D made some of the faster camera moves disorienting and the glasses dimmed several of the underwater scenes… there was just too much of this movie that was indiscernible. On the other hand, there’s an underwater sequence with the Wild Wild Girls, Kelly Brook and Riley Steele, that’s kinda like the swimming pool sequence from Whip It. Except there are two nude girls swimming …in 3D. This is the exactly what the creators of 3D must have dreamed about. I can’t believe that it took this long to happen. This scene alone is almost worth the ticket price and it comes really close to justifying the 3D conversion of the entire film. (Wait until the porn industry gets their hands on this technology, it will change the game.) Back to the quality though: it sure will be nice when they start using 3D cameras when they want films to be 3D.
Piranha is billed as a horror-comedy, but it’s not all that funny and it’s not really scary. There are a few tense moments and it remains entertaining throughout, but there was something off about the structure. They set up the premise that these fish have been let loose (after surviving by eating each other for millions of years) and then they establish some basic characters. Then these fish wreak havoc on an entire spring break party and all of a sudden (it seemed like) the story was mostly wrapped-up… leaving just enough room for a sequel. It just didn’t feel right. Additionally, Christopher Lloyd’s character was unneccessary and campy and his phone call at the end only amped up the ridiculousness instead of adding to the story. And they could have worked out the ending a little better. This film is fun and it’s worth experiencing, but keep your expectations low and just have a good time with it.