Since we’ve all been there before, you know exactly what happens when you find yourself up really late at night and have nothing better to do. Yep, you end up watching some of the oddest movies. Well, my latest late night cinema venture was Piranha 3D (2010). I remember when this movie came out, but for some reason never got around to catching it. After watching it, I think I may know why I kept putting it off. Not that it was bad or anything, it was just more of a comedy that I was in the mood for at the time. Come to find out, Piranha 3D is a loose remake of the film Piranha (1978). Now, if you’ve already seen Piranha 3D and you’re looking for some more fishy horror, there’s a sequel called Piranha 3DD (2012) and it has something to do with a waterpark!
Piranha is a comedy/horror/thriller that was directed by Alexandre Aja. It’s rated R for violence, language, and nudity. For eighty-eight minutes, writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg take you on a fish-filled horror that takes place during spring break. The story goes a little something like this. Lake Victoria’s annual Spring Break is about to kick off, but this year something happens that will make this bash the one to be remembered. An underwater tremor lets loose a bunch of prehistoric man-eating fish. One by one, the bodies start piling up so it’s up to Sheriff Forester and her deputies to save the Spring Breakers from being eaten alive. Aside from the piranha terrorizing the spring breakers, the story also follows the sheriff’s son who took a job showing a film crew around so they can film at some of the local hot spots. Of course, they’ll find themselves in some trouble when the piranha come across them. A good horror movie wouldn’t have it any other way.
The storyline is pretty simple, you’ve got your monster (or piranha) looking to do a lot of killing and a bunch of people having fun, waiting to be killed. Yeah, it’s a comedy/horror, but most of the humor is pretty low brow and a few times even scraps the bottom of the barrel for the jokes. If you’re in the right mindset, most of the jokes are pretty funny. The dialogue is as simple as the story. You get enough to keep the movie moving along and to fill in the spaces between the killings. Nothing deep or thought-provoking to worry about with this one, just turn your mind off and enjoy the show.
I thought the playthrough was good and even though I wasn’t really in the mood for a comedy/horror at the time, after a few scenes I was getting into the movie. I liked that the movie had a bit of an old-school horror feel to it and I really dug some of the creative Piranha kills. Because this one revolves around Spring Breakers and killer fish, there are two things this movie has a bunch of, nudity and gory violence. One of my favorite parts, which was a bonus for me because I didn’t know he was in the movie, was watching Eli Roth get taken out. Not being a big fan of his, watching him get taken out added a bit of fun to this comedy/horror.
Some of the cast is Elisabeth Shue (Hollow Man), Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries), Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl), Adam Scott (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me), Ving Rhames (Dawn of the Dead), Kelly Brook (House of 9), Riley Steele (Piranha 3D), Brooklynn Proulx as Laura Forester (Brokeback Mountain), Sage Ryan (The Protector), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) and Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind). Sadly, Lloyd and Dreyfuss were quick cameo roles, but it was still awesome seeing them. I can’t say the acting was bad really, I think it was more the fault of the script and the cast did the best they could with what they had. Even though O’Connell’s character got on my nerves, he plays a great sleazy coked up producer.
The special effects turned out better than I was expecting. There are some really good scenes where things looked great, but a few that stand out really bad and don’t blend well. Just a heads up, this one has a ton of gore from start to finish and there’s a lot of graphic scenes floating around in it.
Side note: The budget for the movie was $24 million and, surprisingly, it brought in $83.1 million. So, I can see why they decided to jump on the sequel train and make Piranha 3DD (2012). Unfortunately, the sequel didn’t have the same bite to it as the first movie and only brought in $8.5 million on a $5 million dollar budget.
Overall, it turned out better than I was expecting and I might even throw it on again when I find myself sleepless and bored.