I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Piranha 3D

tn_piranha3dYou know, people always complain that there’s too much crap out there and not enough smart movies, not enough movies that have something to say or make you think or really move your soul. But then when a truly important and powerful film like that does manage to slip through the cracks – and I’m talking specifically about PIRANHA 3-D, which is a new 3-D movie about piranhas – those same complainers always stay home, the movie doesn’t make as much money as hoped and Hollywood is forced to go back to making the types of movies that do make lots of money, like INCEPTION. So shame on you, moviegoers. Shame shame and shame again. You have blood on your hands. You are murderers and liars. Fuck you.

I really mean this seriously. Well, not that seriously. Well, not at all seriously. But kind of. You don’t have to see PIRANHA 3-D if you don’t want to. But if that’s your stance I really gotta ask: what do you not understand about the title PIRANHA 3-D? It’s right there. It speaks for itself. Piranhas are a type of deadly carnivorous fish, by the way, did you not know that? Okay, obviously you’re gonna go now. I’m glad we straightened that out.

mp_piranha3dSo we’re in the middle of this new wave of 3-D movies and a backlash against them, at least in these internet movie discussions. Nobody really admits to liking 3-D, though some people tolerate it. I’ve noticed alot of reviews of 3-D movies praising them for not having alot of gimmicky things-flying-out-of-the-screen shots, or for having “subtle 3-D.” I have to respectfully declare that stupid. I can think of one or two good subtle uses of 3-D, but otherwise subtlety is a waste of this technology. I believe until you figure out a really innovative way to use it subtly that’s going to be self-explanatory then 3-D should be a novelty, should be a gimmick, should be literally in your face. My favorite 3-D movie is FRIDAY THE 13TH 3-D, which introduced the world to the magic of 3-D antenna adjustment, 3-D joint passing, 3-D spear gunning, and of course 3-D eye-popping-out-of-skull-that-Jason-squeezed-real-hard. To me that’s a better use of the technology than, say, the Pixar movies, where it’s dimensional for a little bit and then you forget about it. I want to see CAPTAIN EO, people. I want to see little fuzzy guys flying out of the screen and looking me in the eye. If you’re using this great new 3-D and then making it almost imperceptible then you might as well go back to shitty Freddyvision where I keep taking my glasses off to figure out if it’s still in 3-D or not.

That’s part of why PIRANHA 3-D, where HILLS HAVE EYES remake director Alexandre Aja serves a nice meal of Lake Havasu Spring Break to thousands of prehistoric carnivorous fish, has been one of my most anticipated movies of the last couple years. That’s kinda bad, because there’s not enough strength in its chewed-up skeleton legs to hold those type of expectations, but I did enjoy it and you normal people who haven’t given it as much thought should have a great time. It’s some funny shit.

Steve McQueen’s grandson (no shit) plays a teen whose mom (Academy Award nominee Elizabeth Shue) is the sheriff of an Arizona tourist town (called Lake Victoria but shot at Lake Havasu). So when Spring Break comes around mom is always busy with work and McQueen has to stay home babysitting his little brother and sister, missing all the boobs, booze and butts that a young man, especially a McQueen, desires. But this year he gets a chance to be location scout for a Girls Gone Wild video (called Wild Wild Girls) and he’s not gonna miss that, so he pays his siblings to stay home and gets on a boat with Jerry O’Connell, two porn stars and his long time crush (played by a young actress who I’m pretty sure is not 42 year old Dinah Meyer from STARSHIP TROOPERS, despite what some of the publicity photos I found online say).

You may have seen that Harry’s review talked about jerking off in the headline. I still don’t understand why people go crazy for that in the modern world, because I have found that the convenient acquisition of hardcore pornography is at an all time high. I don’t know, maybe Harry doesn’t have internet access. But it’s true, this movie has more boobs and butts than any modern horror and some vintage (although not one single strand of pubic hair. I guess they don’t make that anymore). O’Connell (who seemed to me like he was playing Jason Bateman playing his role) presides over a girl-on-girl naked underwater makeout session and some bellybutton tequila shots. Eli Roth has a cameo as basically the same character, “Wet T-shirt Contest Host.” So if you want to see 3-D closeups of suspiciouly perfect bouncing boobs and flawlessly round butts there are some of those here.

The script isn’t Shakespeare or Sayles (actually it’s the guys who wrote SORORITY ROW) but it at least finds a good way to make fun of these dumb kids without having that judgmental anti-sex tone of some of the post-HALLOWEEN horror pictures. The heroes are the good kids, but they have a healthy curiosity. When the good girl indulges in tequila and softcore porn she’s punished by throwing up (in 3-D), not by being slaughtered by Jason. I appreciate that.

In the tradition of JAWS 2 this is more about the kids than the sheriff, and there’s a subplot about the younger kids going in a boat and getting stranded. I also spotted nods to JAWS and JAWS 3-D, but unfortunately not JAWS: THE REVENGE. Shue is good though and when she gets a chance she jumps into action immediately. She’s pretty tough, I liked her. Adam Scott gets a rare chance to play a non-asshole, and the rest of the name actors you heard about have small parts or cameos. Ving Rhames’s part is almost the same as in the worthless DAY OF THE DEAD DTV remake that I am already beginning to regret that I just mentioned because it would be best to ignore it until it becomes unfilmed. But in this one Rhames gets one really funny and badass scene. I don’t really agree with the logic of shooting at a swarm of piranhas, but I give him credit for trying. I’d like to have seen more of some of these characters, but at 82 minutes the movie keeps it minimalistic.

You can’t really accuse them of skimping on the gore and mayhem, though. A whole lot of Spring Break kids get chewed up, skeletonized and torn in half. There’s a good mix of digital and real makeup – in fact I’m not sure I really knew which was which behind the 3-D effects. One thing I thought was pretty funny is how many people are killed not by the fish but by other people being stupid. One panicking dipshit in particular must take out more than ten people in a minute or two, including my pick for the #1 cringe-inducing kill of the movie.

Like Joe Dante in the original Aja makes it funny but acts like it’s serious. I laughed at goofy shit like Rhames still having to yell “Everybody out of the water!” a good 10 minutes into the beach party holocaust. It seems like at that point if there was anybody who didn’t understand that it was important to get out of the water then there really was no point in trying to explain it to them.

Despite some intentional stupidity like that it’s not at all lazy. It’s good about going everywhere you want it to go. It doesn’t pull any of that SNAKES ON A PLANE shit of saying a guy’s a kickboxer and then not having him kick any snakes. Some people are climbing a rope to safety, one has long hair hanging down, don’t worry – a piranha will jump up and bite her hair. The character who you most want to see get killed – don’t worry, his death will be so horrible that you’ll start to feel bad for rooting for it, and then that in itself becomes funny. There’s no reason why a piranha movie needs a big explosion, is there? Well, that’s okay, we get one anyway.

One thing some people might not pick up on but that I’m convinced is intentional is the movie’s similarities to TITANIC. You really notice it when there’s an overhead-tipping-and-people-falling shot, but instead of the Titanic tipping over it’s some radio station’s stage they put up for a wet t-shirt contest. It’s got a similar type of love story where a guy wins over a nice girl from a different social group who already has an asshole boyfriend, and at the end one risks themself to stay with their trapped lover. In TITANIC you can take the boat as an example of man’s hubris and decadence. This is the same kind of thing except instead of rich people spending their money on extravagances it’s rich kids blowing it on travel, boats, boners and alcohol. So it’s this generation’s TITANIC. Same thing except less than half as long, nobody’s fully clothed and at the end nobody throws any jewelry away. So technologically and thematically this movie would not have been possible without PIRANHA 2 director James Cameron paving the way.

The 3-D is pretty good to my eyeballs, but not perfect. It was planned for non-subtle 3-D from the beginning so it’s got plenty of things flying out and fish looking out at you, mugging for the camera. But it wasn’t shot with 3-D cameras because Aja wanted to shoot it on film, and I guess getting both sides perfectly focused with the reflections on the water is too hard (although that didn’t stop them from having scenes on the lake in FRIDAY THE 13TH 3-D). So they intentionally used the dreaded “post conversion process” that got such a bad name from CLASH OF THE TITANS. I didn’t see that one to compare it to. This has plenty of depth but looks slightly blurry or weird at times, definitely not as sharp as AVATAR or the computer animated ones, or I think MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D.

One new dimensional issue I’ve never heard of before is with the opening credits. You’re looking into this landscape, so your eyes are focused off in the distance, but every time a name comes up it’s floating really close to your eyes. I don’t know about anybody else but my eyes couldn’t take it. I was getting whiplash. Man, imagine all the new ways shitty directors will use this technology to torture our eyes.

I’ve really had alot of hope for this director, and he hasn’t really let me down since I’ve been into him, but he hasn’t exactly hit the lotto numbers either. I enjoyed all his movies on some level: his debut FURIA is pretty cool from what I remember, HIGH TENSION doesn’t knock itself out of all time slasher classic contention until its legendarily bone-headed twist ending, MIRRORS is enjoyable and twisted in a small kind of way, but it’s mainly THE HILLS HAVE EYES that sticks with me. I see it as a stylish and enjoyably over-the-top elaboration on the original, staying true to all of Craven’s themes, improving on some of his characters, with bonuses like even having a technological breakthrough in the way they digitally widened the space between Ruby’s eyes. I think it’s a fun movie but it has this reputation as some kind of horribly grim torture porn type of deal. I remember Drew being absolutely livid about a part that didn’t even register with me at all, and to this day people interview Aja and talk about PIRANHA being a huge departure from him because it has a sense of humor.

Okay, I know the tone is different, but I really thought HILLS HAVE EYES was darkly funny. Am I alone here? How come nobody else thinks that?

Well, I was thinking about it the other day and it hit me why I seem to react differently to that movie than everybody else: I think it’s funny when normal people get attacked by savage mutants. It just tickles my funny bone, y’know? And it never occurred to me before that that’s just my thing, it’s not something regular joes agree with me on.

I’m not joking about this. A 7 foot tall guy with a face that looks melted covered in armor made out of junk jumps out of nowhere and starts stabbing a spear at a family on vacation from the suburbs – that type of shit just gets me for some reason, like the way Ghost Rider loves monkey movies. So maybe that’s why I elevate that one higher than most people and why I continue to enjoy his other movies but not on the same level as that one.

I’ll continue to watch Aja’s movies, but I should accept that not all of them are gonna have that extra kick from mutant attacks. Maybe some day he’ll take on my idea of THE BEVERLY HILLS HAVE EYS or something, but until then fish attacks will have to be enough.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 1:05 pm and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

99 Responses to “Piranha 3D”

  1. I’m thinking of making this my first theatrical 3D movie. (Now that I learned that this new 3D technology is seriously working for me, although I’m almost blind on one eye.)

  2. I really liked this one. The carnage at the end is just really thorough and extensive. Other than having a POV from a drunk girl’s uterus as a swarm of piranhas swim into her cooter in 3-D, I really don’t know what else they could have done with this concept. I think it has been well and truly exhausted by this point, unless somebody wants to remake PIRANHA 2 and make them fly again. Is Cameron busy? You’d think he’d want another crack at that one since the producers kicked him out of the editing room.

    I was glad to learn from the credits that Richard Dreyfuss was playing “Matt Boyd,” not “Matt Hooper,” his character from JAWS. I don’t like to think of Hooper

    SPOILER

    living in Arizona.

  3. I can’t wait to see this.

  4. By the way, “I love you the way Ghost Rider loves monkey movies” is going to be how I propose to my future wife. Anyone who’ll consent to marrying me is going to think that’s romantic as balls.

  5. this movie was a blast. a lot more fun than i expected.
    i have nothing more to say.

  6. I have to say that PIRANHA 3D was not everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. I think there’s enough fun stuff to recommend it to those already inclined to like this kind of crap, but you’re not going to feel like you got your $12 worth. I think a big part of the problem is the screenplay; the trailers and the cast have made the film sound like a clever parody of silly horror films that delivers the goods while tweaking the formula a little bit. Instead, I’d say it has a screenplay comparably as bad a cheap slasher movie, only partially redeemed by a technically gifted director who tries to milk it for all its worth.

    Worse, though, is that the 3D looked awful. If it wasn’t dim and murky, a lot of the times it didn’t even look 3D at all, and there weren’t nearly enough funny gimmick shots for my liking. I thought a lot of the underwater scenes were borderline incomprehensible.

    Vern and Majestyk are right that the Spring Break bloodbath makes the whole thing worthwhile, and that it’s extra hilarious because its played straight instead of for comedy. It’s almost Verhoeven-ian the way it pushes the violence so far over the top into cruelty that it becomes funny again, and goes a long way to save the film from mediocrity.

  7. Jareth Cutestory

    August 23rd, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    The promotional material for this one reminded me of EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS, a film I didn’t really enjoy. Anyone care to compare/contrast the two?

  8. Oh, this is way better. EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS is alright for the weak-sauce era it came out in, but this is a pretty damn solid comedic bloodbath by any standard.

  9. Well , right now I hate the current 3d generation , I’m sorry to jump on this particular bandwagon of the Internet movie critics ( but I also want to say that over here everybody loves it , tv , magazines and Internet movie critics ). Maybe it’s the fact that the technology it’s not quite perfect , but every single 3D projection I’ve seen had some kind of problems , and the worst of all was Avatar , with a half-the-movie-fucking-blurry projection. Then there’s the “flickering” , particularly annoying. To be fair , I had problems with the old red-blue freddyvision too , but at least that kind of 3D seems to be working when you’re not looking directly at the screen , when you catch a glimpse of it.
    Maybe it’s our cinemas over here , but I prefer to spend my money on regular projections , where I can see what’s going on for all of the movie , until they fix the damn thing.

  10. Oh , and by the way , I strongly support the idea of moronic entertainment in 3D. I think that a movie like this must be seen in 3D and in a cinema , if possible . Hell , I want to see CockPuncher in 3D. It’s just that I always have some kind of technological differences.

  11. “So if you want to see 3-D closeups of suspiciouly perfect bouncing boobs and flawlessly round butts there are some of those here.”

    Ok, I’m sold.

  12. Vern – You must review CAPTAIN EO

  13. This movie was fun as hell. I was almost turned off on it by the trailer, especially the one shot of the dude getting snapped off the boat by the big piranha. It just stank of the SCIFI movie clips that I see on The Soup. However, I gave it a chance and am glad I forked over all my cash for it. 3-D titties and mayhem make for a damn good time.

  14. I have a piranha phobia so I think I’ll be missing this one. I was kind of hoping (selfishly) that this movie would suck so I wouldn’t feel bad about missing it. Maybe I’ll just have to take off my vagina, strap my balls back on, and deal with it but I’m afraid I might literally have a heart attack if there’s a scene with a gaggle of piranhas coming right for the screen trying to eat the audience.

    Fuck it. Not worth it. I’ll probably just wait for DVD. There’s no way I can handle this movie in 3D.

  15. Dang Majestyk, you spoiled the vagina cam. For shame!

    Btw anyone seen EX Drummer? There’s an inside-vagina cam there too. With people standing inside! But not in 3D :(

  16. So what would the BEVERLY HILLS HAVE EYES be about? A family of mutant cannibals strike gold and move into a mansion in the Beverly Hills? Or maybe a family on a road trip break down on Rodeo Drive and get menaced by celebrities and corporate executives?

  17. Damn , I know some people who also suffers from Piranha Phobia. What is it with this website and fish related-phobia ? Me , and ( if I remember right ) Majestyk up there , are recovering sharkophobes , and I remember people hating unable to watch Orca related footage. Anyone with Frankenfish-phobia ?

  18. I have a shark phobia but that is mostly exclusive to if I’m in the water with one. Piranhas though, with their dark dead eyes matched with their gruesome underbites are too much for me. Those God-forsaken fish are some evil looking abominations. If you’re keeping track, add angler fish to my list of phobias.

  19. Doesn’t BAD BIOLOGY have an inside-vagina cam too?

  20. hamslime : Almost the exact same words of H.P. Lovecraft .He hated deep-water fishes , well all fishes , really ,
    but deep-sea ones especially, like some angler fishes . He called them abominations just like you ! I still find sharks way more disturbing than both piranhas and orcas . And maybe I don’t understand right , but you where in the water with a shark , once ? I piss in my pants only thinking about it !

  21. Doesn’t Naked Gun 3 have an inside-vagina cam too?

  22. Angler fish really are fucking monsters! God damn those things are scary looking.

  23. I was NOT in the water with a shark that I’m aware of. (I’ve only been to the ocean twice) Just looking at a piranha or angler fish creep me out. I can watch sharks at a distance all day long but I’ll kill myself before I go in a shark cage. It’s less of a phobia and more of me not wanting to put myself in unnecessary danger.

    I appreciate the H.P. Lovecraft comparison though. Maybe when I finish my next script I’ll have to use that to help me sell it. “hamslime (is) almost…H.P. Lovecraft – CallMeKermiT”

  24. If you look at his body of work is clear that Lovecraft hated fishes . Look at all the Dagon-related stories , the Cthulhu stories , to some degree. Maybe your next script should be a new adaptation of a Lovecraft Dagon story ! The last one , “Dagon” by Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon wasn’t that bad , but we still have to see the definitive Lovecraft movie. Keeping my fingers crossed for “At the Mountain of Madness” by Del Toro!

  25. I don’t think there’s a vagina-cam shot in this… I think Majestyk was saying that was the only thing they didn’t do. So don’t set yourself up for disappointment. All cameras remain external.

  26. Oh, man, Beverly Hills Have Eyes sounds awesome! And it totally gives me an excuse to bail on the Beverly Hills-themed horror movie I was struggling with and still not getting anything written on, since it scratches the same “vapid rich people being terrorized” audience satisfaction itch.

    And I never really thought of it like that before but, now that you mention it, mutant attacks ARE hilarious. And always will be now.

  27. I think THE BEVERLY HILLS HAVE EYES would start out with about 10 or 15 minutes of a teen movie where a sort of Carrie-White-esque misfit girl is taken under the wing of some popular rich girls who give her a makeover and try to teach her to be cool. Then we would learn that the reason she’s socially awkward is that she was kidnapped as a baby and raised by desert mutants, with mostly TV to teach her about how other people act. When her family find out where she’s been sneaking off to they come in to reclaim her using their special underground tunnels and rocket launchers stolen from the army base. The last act would be all-out guerilla warfare between rick folk, cops, and cannibalistic mutants.

  28. Vern, sometimes I wonder how it’s possible that you’re not already a successful screenwriter.

  29. I’m still waiting for the novel and/or screenplay about Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Lee teaming up to fight the serial killer. PURPLE DRAGON, was that the name?

  30. Jareth Cutestory

    August 23rd, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    To you Shark-o-phobics: if your illness extends to James Woods, you have my sympathy. Show me a link and I’ll make a donation to your cause.

  31. So here is another movie that I thought was more fun than The Expendables. Piranha was a movie I ended up having high hopes for and it delivered. And thank God Aja directed this and not Stallone. We never would have seen anything during the massacre.

  32. Oh, lord. Freddyvision. One of the things I’ll always be grateful for from my father is the fact that he took me to see FREDDY’S DEAD in Freddyvision when I was 13, and he never complained about it until I admitted the movie sucked ass, except for the Johnny Depp cameo. I had this fascination with 3-D as a kid, ever since one of the local stations showed the Three Stooges in 3-D one night as a promotional deal for Burger King or something. My mom tried to snag a pair of the Captain EO glasses for me when we went to Disneyland, but they caught her on the way out of the movie.

    Anyway, I doubt I’ll be seeing this any time soon or even in the theatre, but I love this movie for the fact that it gives Elizabeth Shue work. That woman is a treasure, people.

  33. My eyes stopped seeing 3-D about 10 years ago. Now when stuff comes out of the screen it just goes double. Or if I make my eyes bring them together, it’s still a 2-D image. I have totally perfect vision otherwise. Cameron’s going to have to invent some tech to make me see again.

  34. man, that BEVERLY HILLS HAVE EYES idea is just great.
    what about an old gold digger family traped in their tunnels back in the times of the gold rush and surviving by mutating into some DECENT-like creeps. And now by some earthquake they rise back to the surface and come out at night to crash celebrity parties. awesome :)

    Kind of reminds me of that april fools production diary from peter jackson about the King Kong sequel. Son of King Kong with maschine gun turrets on his shoulders fighting against the Nazis and their giant mutant Bats. i totally would have watched that :)

    for those who missed it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeucP9q0BqY

  35. I think the reason why the THE HILLS HAVE EYES Remake worked so good for me, was the structure of it. Its not the usual people get slowly taken one by one by the monsters until the hero manages to kill them or escape. Instead there is the initial assault that is so gruesome and brutal that most of the family has no chance. And from there its just payback. I’m not really into that Gore stuff so the assault was really upsetting for me and i don’t think there is any comedie Relief in those minutes.
    But, man, i cant think of another Movie in which i routed more for the Hero to slay those fuckers.

  36. “Man, imagine all the new ways shitty directors will use this technology to torture our eyes.”

    oh jeez, you’ve just terrified me with the thought of what will happen when tony scott decides to make a 3D movie…

    i, too, i am really looking forward to PIRANHA 3D. sounds right up my alley. i tend to love well-done horror-comedies, or more generally b or genre movies that are subversively satirical. or maybe this one is more obvious, but it still looks fun. and lots of boobs doesn’t hurt. that’s a rarity these days. and in 3D to boot.

    unfortunately, there are no specific plans thus far to release it theatrically where i am, so i must keep my fingers crossed.

    THE BEVERLY HILLS HAVE EYES does indeed sound great, as do most of vern’s movie ideas that he just tosses off nonchalantly. i know he mentioned a couple times a while ago about an action movie screenplay he was working on. either he must have given up on it, or he doesn’t want people to know about it to protect his anonymity. in any case, i think the world would be a better place with movies based on original vern screenplays.

  37. man, now I totally want to see this movie, but I lack the time and money to see it currently, I think I’ll just wait for blu ray so I cause pause during “certain scenes”

    also I think the THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake is pretty underrated too, I watched it expecting crap and was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked it, I wish it was on blu ray

    that sequel though with the national guard soldiers was crap though

  38. I’m seriously scared of whales, if anyone cares. I just HATE these huge fuckers and the scary sounds they make. Before Cloverfield came out, there were all kinds of fake conceptional artwork for the monster floating all over the web, including one where it looked like a mutated whale. That one scared me to death!

    I’m also horrible arachnophobic*, but seriously enjoyed Eight Legged Freaks.

    *And I’m talking about the REAL arachnophobia, not the “eew, a spider” that many people confuse it with it. Show a little, normal house spider on the other side of the room and I will start shaking, leave the room and refuse to get back into it.

  39. hey CJ, I have a similar phobia but it’s for cockroaches instead of spiders, I hate, hate, HATE those fuckers

  40. *fingers crossed for a Waxwork/Waxwork II review

  41. According to IMDB it was DIna Meyer, was wondering that myself.
    And I will be all over the DVD of this when it comes out, partly cause of Kelly Brook, but mainly because I am dying to find out how the heck they pulled off some of the gore tricks. They must have hried every amputee within 200 miles of hollywood. There was one gag with a girl who splits in half when being pulled out of the ocean and I am CONVINCED she is a half woman in real life. With the budget on this flick no way it was all done CGI. The effects people did an unbelievable job on this.

  42. JG, you can thank the brilliant men behind KNB Effects Studio.

  43. You’re not alone Vern, the Hills Have Eyes remake was an unexpected pleasure, after the endless slaughtering of the 80’ties Horror Classics.
    Will see Piranha 3D, but i don’t think a “monster movie” plays to Aja’s particular strengths, he works best with desolate, deserted characters.

  44. It was my first 3D experience and I didn’t care for it at all. Totally distracting. Is all 3D like this? Fuuuuuck.

    Enjoyed the hell outta the film though. Bring on the sequel.

  45. I gotta say, it was absolutely heartwarming to see Gianna Micheals on the big screen instead of how I usually see her either on my laptop screen or in printed materials.

    GO GIANNA!

  46. For the people who liked the film: did the print you see not have large chunks of the film devoted to the boring main character pining for his boring almost-girlfriend? Or children in danger played for suspense as if it was even conceivable that they would ever get hurt? And did Elizabeth Shue and Ving Rhames actually get to do anything other than occasionally show up onscreen? I wish I had seen the version you guys saw. ‘Cause the print I saw only had one real good sequence at the end and a funny underwater nude scene earlier. I’m wondering if it was some kind of projectionist problem at the theater I went to. Like maybe he accidentally cut an hour of boringness in from another film when assembling the reels or something. I guess I’ll just wait for the DVD to see the proper version that has all the entertainment put back in.

  47. Jareth Cutestory

    August 24th, 2010 at 9:36 am

    CJ Holden: Did you see that Jeff Daniels movie ARACHNOPHOBIA from years ago? It’s thin as piss on a plate, but it’s a well-shot film, and John Goodman steals the show as an enthusiastic exterminator.

  48. Oh, I love Arachnophobia (but hate it for making the term “Arachnophobia” so popular, that every little girl yells “I got arachnophobia!” when they are just disgusted like everybody else by spiders.). It’s a beautiful mix between animal horror and PG13 compatible dark humor. Can’t believe it’s already 20 years old.

  49. I don’t really have a problem with spiders. I will fuck up any bug that comes in my circumference, but I’ll usually set a spider free. The way I see it, I hate bugs; spiders eat bugs. We have a common goal: less bugs.

    Also, somehow having eight legs is less creepy than having six. Don’t know why, but I’ll let a spider crawl on me but the only reason I’d touch an insect is to kill it. And even then I’ll use a sneaker or something.

    Tarantulas are going too far, though. It’s the hair, I think. And the fact that they’re the size of guinea pigs.

  50. Jake,
    I liked it but also agree with you that it could have been a lot better/lots of missed opportunities. A few more interesting attack scenes before the ending feeding frenzy orgy would have been nice (I liked the parasail scene and the cave scene was actually one of the few flat out scary scenes in the movie). It did miss on a lot of fronts but I found myself smiling through so much of it that I can’t complain too much.

  51. Oh and one other complaint, I have a hard time remembering a movie commercial campaign that ruined more moments in the movie than this one, particularly the “socker” ending which was completely destroyed in the ads.

  52. Majestyk: The crazy thing is that while I fucking hate spiders, I don’t wanna kill them either. Usually when I ask someone (normally my sister) to get rid of it, I ask that person to just remove and throw it out of the window.

  53. CJ, I gotta give you props for being comfortable enough in your manhood that you can admit to needing your sister to get rid of spiders for you. That should be The Rock’s badass juxtaposition in that new revenge movie he’s got coming out.

  54. Personally, I’d place this one below The Expendables; I just couldn’t get into the vibe of it, which struck me as needlessly and inappropriately smirky. On my comedic horror movie scale, I’d say it’s better than Planet Terror, not as good as Slither.

  55. I found Slither pretty boring. I wish I could have gotten into that movie more.

    My final take on The Expendables. Lame as fuck so don’t expect me to put it on any best of list ever. Pirahna, “boring” subplot and all, was the most fun I’ve had at a movie in years.

  56. CJ, I’m pretty sure throwing a spider out the window kills it.

  57. I love Arachnophobia too, very fun flick, I absolutely love the “man vs spider” show down at the end

  58. Does anyone think there’s still an audience for a well-made, scary, (relatively) serious shark movie, despite all the SHARKTOPUS and PSYCHO SHARK and GIANT ROBOT SHARK VS MUTANT WRESTLER TV movies? I do, but I’m having a hard time convincing anyone.

  59. Lawrence: Maybe a fucking big Tarantula or something like that, but the normal German house spider is not heavy enough to get killed by that. (I think. That’s what I read somewhere.)

  60. Frank booth – well I’ve seen more than my fair share of excellent killer croc movies recently, and I didn’t expect that. So yeah, I think there could be.

    You may have noticed, though, that “Jaws” was on the list of films that I neither love nor loathe. The one over-riding problem I can see with a killer shark movie is that sharks spend most of their time underwater (although, as “Deep Blue Sea” awesomely proved, not ALL of their time) while human beings spend most of their time on land. So you have to come up with some reason to get them in the water after the first death or two. Say, for example, a corrupt mayor that’s being paid off by the tourism moguls to keep the shark attacks quiet (like in “Jaws”). Although to the best of my recollection that wasn’t a problem when the movie turned into a story of three men on a boat.

  61. I choose a theater that wasn’t showing it in 3-D (first show of the day $6.00) and thought I got my money’s worth. Were the characters under written? Yes. Could it have been paced better? Yes. But it did have some great scenes that hit all my gore film needs. And although nudity is not required nor a reason for me to watch this kind of movie, the under water ballet was much better filmed then the kind of cheap porn that’s all over the internet.

    I liked this, not as much as Aja’s HILLS HAVE EYES remake, but well enough that I look forward to what he does next. Considering that I’m sure a third of his budget probably went for the 3-D I wish he had been able to use that money for the rest of the film.

    For the record, I didn’t think ARACHNOPHOBIA was scary enough and EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS got the balance of humor to scares wrong in my opinion.

  62. Saw it. Liked it. PIRANHA 3D got me thinking about gratuitous boobs in genre pictures. I think gratuitous boobs were prevalent in the 80s because adolescent boys had limited outlets to see them. Now that the internet provides all the boobs a growing boy can handle, the gratuity is a lot more pronounced in non-adult feature films. I almost used the word unnecessary, but we all know boobs are never unnecessary.

  63. nabroleon dynamite

    August 25th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Gianna Michaels is in this?

    Going this weekend!!

  64. I like Arachnophobia, Eight-Legged Freaks, and Boobs.

  65. Did anyone else think while watching this that the Jerry O’Connell character was a fucking idiot? I mean besides the obvious ways in which a stock character in a horror movie is idiotic. As a businessman behind a Girls Gone Wild type of venture, I mean. Here he has hundreds (thousands?) of nubile young girls prancing around in various states of undress while imbibing alcohol and participating in wet t-shirt contests and whatnot, and he takes a boat to a secluded spot with two paid porn stars and a prudish minor? That seems like it would be a decent backup plan if you didn’t happen to get enough footage from the fleshfest going on at spring break central. I was under the impression that these types of videos mainly involved walking around asking girls to show their tits, not filming artful underwater nude ballet.

  66. I wonder why there wasn’t a scene where the two douchebags from the beginning – the one’s who pelt the main character with an Icee slush (it’s kind of funny that there are so many douchebags in this movie that I have to specify which ones I’m talking about) – get killed in some weird, horrible manner…unless I missed it.

  67. I don’t recall seeing the slushee guy get killed but the other douchebag (the curly haired girl’s boyfriend) is the one that rips around in the boat killing people, also responsible for that propeller induced scalping. If memory serves I think he just falls in the water and gets eaten though, he should have suffered a much more horrible death.

  68. Paul,

    Sounds like something a friend of mine (who has never seen JAWS) says: “I don’t go in the water. Why would I be afraid of sharks?”

    Well, jeez, I don’t go spelunking or white water rafting, but I found THE DESCENT and DELIVERANCE frightening. And I’m not Catholic, but THE EXORCIST remains one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen. And I’ve never been the winter caretaker of…well, you know.

    It’s all about the execution.

  69. I can´t wait to see this, but i MUST.

  70. Frankbooth – yeah, I put that badly, like it was a problem I have specifically with “Jaws”. It’s not, but I can see it being one for future Killer Shark movies. Killer Croc, Killer – cave troglodytes? – and killer hillbillies work because once you realise you’re in trouble, it’s WAY too late.

    And yeah, I agree with you on all three of those films (although it’s been a fair few years since I saw “The Exorcist”).

  71. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=16355

    Apparently Cameron himself doesn’t get why audiences are interested in 3D in the first place:

    “(…)that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D.”

    I know, he is trying to establish 3D as something exclusive, but doesn’t matter how you use it, in the end it will always be a gimmick to entertain audiences!

  72. CJ – Audiences are interested in 3D then? ‘Cause I’m not. This cynical old codger regards it as a useless gimmick to get audiences to waste their money in the cinema. I appreciate that I’m not exactly the “average” cinema audience, but I still don’t think it’s a huge draw. I’ve never yet had a real-life conversation about cinema and 3D come up as a topic.

  73. Yeah, but WHEN they are interested in 3D, they wanna see things flying right at them and have fun. I just think it’s amusing that Cameron thinks it can be used as a useful storytelling device or something like that, when it was even in his own movie Avatar nothing more than a gimmick to make it look better!

  74. I for one was so engrossed in Avatar BECAUSE of the 3D that I have since dyed my skin blue and considered suicide every morning I don’t awake on Pandora.

    James Cameron is right. Things flying out at you are the last thing people want when they see a 3D movie. Obviously.

  75. “Bitch stuck me like a pig!!” …the sheer indignation of it …..classic.

  76. aaaaand here’s the lengthy, bitchy, yet still pretty awesome response to cameron’s comments from one of the producers of PIRANHA 3-D (courtesy of CHUD):

    http://chud.com/articles/articles/25095/1/ARTICLE-THAT-RE-POSTS-MARK-CANTON–JAMES-CAMERON-WAR-OF-WORDS-OVER-PIRANHA/Page1.html

    note that in cameron’s comments he specifically calls out FRIDAY THE 13TH 3-D, which vern has often cited as one of his favorite kinds of uses of the technology.

    i more or less agree with vern on the subject. i thought AVATAR had the most subtle, sophisticated, and artistic use of 3-D i had ever seen… and i pretty much stopped noticing it after about 15 or so minutes.

    i am much more excited by the prospect of seeing the 3-D in PIRANHA 3-D (hasn’t come out here yet, sigh). boobs and gore in 3 dimensions is like a gift to humanity.

    on an unrelated note, does anyone in this movie pretentiously (or jokingly) pronounce the word “piranha” with the portuguese pronunciation (pi-RAN-ya)? cuz that would be funny…

  77. OK this is COMPLETELY off-topic here, but I’ve just been reading AICN (don’t kill me). Specifically one guy’s review of “Machete”. And here’s what he has to say about the sleazeball villain, as played by A Certain Actor we all know pretty well:

    “And Seagal? He plays himself: A fat, despicable, pretentious bag of shit appropriating other people’s cultures with a greasy, covetous zeal he apparently reserves for only one other thing: Donuts.”

    Is that really how Seagal is viewed in the ‘States nowadays? I know he’s taken a lot of crap recently, some of which may be entirely deserved… but this is the guy who did a five-minute monologue at the end of “On Deadly Ground” about how we have to stop ruining the environment. (Right after he’s blown up an oil refinery in that same movie.) Is the populist view of him that negative nowadays?

  78. Paul – I must admit, that paragraph lifted from that Talkback review made me laugh, especially the punchline.

    Even Vern will agree, hell he said it as much in some particular book which I can’t remember the name* right now, but….Seagal isn’t the star like he once was. All those jabs about the ponytail, the weight, the egomania, the crazy politics, were always there. Hell dig up the Siskel & Ebert review of ON DEADLY GROUND sometime.

    Now that he’s a DTV star which means he probably isn’t even necessarily a major action star in the states anymore, the jokes are what define him now.

    Because lets admit it, LAWMAN didn’t help him disspell those beliefs.

    Well the weight at least the first time I was aware of that pisser was around UNDER SIEGE 2, when the slim mean pony-tail fucker from ABOVE THE LAW gave way to a guy and movie doing their best to hide that he ate too many cheeseburgers.

    *=Seagalpedia?

  79. THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake is in my top 5 theatre experiences of the last 5 years. The structure (as previously mentioned) is jerry-rigged to catch fans of horror off guard. The build-up works to develop excellent characters (4/6 of the family characters have worked quite extensively since in quality stuff), the initial family attack is a harrowing, grueling and prolonged bit of work (a compliment) and after it ends, but before daybreak… the family gets its first kill. In the form of BEAUTY THE DOG RIPPING A MUTANT’S NECK OUT. I can still remember it–my New York City theatre audience went wild. Just a total bit of relief after the attack sequence–and definitely a little comedic wink from Aja.

    The best part for me though is the the last half. The cell phone salesman, star-of-David-wearing-brother-in-law eschews the offer of a gun from the young son, taking the dog and a baseball bat into the nuclear test mutant city. Everyone in the theatre: “this guy is TOAST. Our first kill before the son or the younger daughter take matters into their own hands.” But something happens to the brother-in-law along the way (besides him hilariously locking the dog, his best weapon, in a broke down car–another cute wink to the omniscient audience)–the brother-in-law slowly becomes our hero. He takes some absolutely obscene knocks, losing a few fingers, being locked up with a few other dead bodies and just generally getting pummeled to SHIT by huge megamutants, he somehow returns with the baby, dog and spectacles unharmed, glistening with blood in the desert sun, the whole sequence beginning WAY too early for “the final sequence” but ratcheting tension up with each encounter.

    I fucking love THE HILLS HAVE EYES. Yegh, ok time to sleep.

  80. Is it possible to say Piranha 3D was overrated? I mean with all the internet love AND the fresh Rotten Tomato rating and everything, I was just really hoping for it to be a lot better than it was. It didn’t help that all the good gags were talked about already and the VERY LAST SHOT was given away in the commercials (not even the trailer!), but even without that, it was just kind of underwhelming and anticlimactic. Sure, there’s tons of gore and boobage, but it still managed to be kind of boring, believe it or not. Can’t agree more with Jake above that way too much time was wasted on the annoying children that we knew were never going to get killed, and the teen love story was terrible mainly because the girl had no redeeming qualities. An awesome horror movie would have killed her off and kept Kelly Brook alive (especially because she was way nicer to the hero and more sympathetic), but they went the predictable route. The only surprise is that (as stated above) – the evil jock boyfriend doesn’t appear to die. (and by the way, what happened to the dude from Best Week Ever with the gap in his teeth? I think he just disappeared) And what kind of ending was that anyway? They blew up maybe 1/10th of the piranhas and they’re acting like the threat is over? WTF?

  81. “Wet t-shirt! Wet t-shirt.” {death gurgle}

  82. Apparently they’re doing a sequel for this, titled Piranha 3DD, due out theatrically in November(nothing screams holiday movie like Piranha 3DD), with both Christopher Lloyd(seriously) and Ving Rhames(your guess is as good as mine) reprising their roles. Also cast are Gary Busey, David Hasselhoff, and Clu Gulager(his son is directing it, same dude that did Feast I think), along with a lot of other names I didn’t immediately recognize.

  83. grimgrinningchris

    August 18th, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I just finally saw this. Dina Meyer’s name is even listed in the opening credits. Though I don’t recall her in the movie. Was she one of the scuba divers that we barely saw in the dark without their scuba masks?

    And speaking of vagina-cam. Apparently in the Gulager helmed sequel, a Pirahna DOES actually swim up a girl’s twat. No word if its a POV shot though. Anyone see it?

  84. I don’t believe its a POV. She doesn’t even notice until much later in the movie when her boyfriend…well, you know. It doesn’t turn out well for him.

  85. It’s not a POV. Also the whole movie is awful and more something for the SHARKNADO crowd.

  86. Yeah, I don’t recommend it. When the best part is David Hasselhoff (as himself) playing a song on a Casio keyboard, you know you’re in trouble.

  87. Heard nothing but awful things about 3DD, so I’ll continue avoiding it, thanks. Maybe if the Hoff had been afforded a grand piano, it could be a different story.

    I might seek out the clip[s] of that vagina-piranha action, though. For personal reasons.

    2010 was such a marvelous year for cinema, and PIRANHA 3D is part of the reason why. Much like Vern and his THE HILLS HAVE EYES love, I’m always baffled when I hear someone say PIRANHA 3D isn’t a great, enjoyable film. It’s no STEP UP 3D
    (since that one was filmed in real 3D and leaves you feeling uplifted & happy about life, colors, awesome high-flying high-kicking, New York City, athletically bouncing guys & gals maximizing the best days of their lives, etc.
    while PIRANHA 3D leaves you feeling icky about life, blood-drenchedness, pathetic waterborne doggy-paddling, Lake Havasu & spring break, impaired hotties wasting the best days of their lives, etc.),
    but PIRANHA 3D is only a short few spots below it on my Favorites of 2010 list.

    Very excited for Aja’s HORNS, despite it starring Daniel Radcliffe.

  88. Y’know, there is no modern day joke that I hate more than “Celebrity plays outragous carticature of himself”. It’s just overdone, from the million sitcom appereances of William Shatner and Adam West during the 90s, to every single episode of shows like EXTRAS or 30 ROCK. But they get a surprising milage out of Hasselhoff’s appereance in PIRANHA 3DD. This is no recommandation. Please avoid this movie anyway.

  89. I met Adam West once & have to say he isn’t too far removed from his “outrageous caricature”. I was a checker at a grocery store in Sun Valley Idaho one summer & always use, “I once sold Batman ice cream,” when I have do one of those lame get to know you exercises they do at team builders at jobs.

  90. Celebrities playing obnoxious caricatures of themselves is a pretty cheap and lazy joke these days, but Hasselhoff’s appearance in P3DD is pretty well done. He has a character arc and everything. The rest of it is complete dogshit though. It’s so committed to taking nothing seriously that it seems like a bunch of pointless fucking around. I had the same problem with the FEAST movies.

  91. “Jake,they got my penis” is going into my personal dictionary for future reference. Also the line “Who the hell yells shark in a lake?” is not only a great reference but also a brilliant idea of making fun of these stupid people. How did we come to this, that through pop-culture we have lost the most basic knowledge of fauna.

  92. Well, I missed the proverbial boat not seeing this in 3D in the theatre, because it was super underwhelming on plain-old 2D home video just now. There was definitely lots of practical gore during the extended beach holocaust, but dare I say it was almost too much in the context of an otherwise utterly zany goof, and there was also a lot of bad CGI in the film, most egregiously the opening scene with Richard Dreyfuss and pretty much any scene involving the piranhas. Elisabeth Shue is a treat, Adam Scott is solid if under-utilized, and there are some fun stunt cameos and grisly deaths, but there is no strong central character to really rally behind or care about, and Steve McQueen’s grandson has all the charisma and screen presence of a bag of raisins. Moreover, the story is lacking, the pacing feels off, and the tone is a bit too all over the place. The incredibly broad, almost NAKED GUN-esque comedy undermines the impact of the intense gore, the intense gore undermines the comedy, and the horribly shitty CGI piranhas and CGI carnage undercut the force of the truly horrific practical gore during the beach holocaust. One minute I’m seeing Tom Savini-style people missing chunks of their person, the next I’m looking a piranha bore through a woman’s head that looks like shitty photoshop. What I’m saying is that it’s not visually, narratively, or tonally cohesive enough to keep me locked in. It’s almost never truly frightening or suspenseful, and it’s only inconsistently funny or horrific. It’s just a careening mess of all-over-the-place set pieces, gags, cameos, and wildly uneven special effects without any clear objective, compelling lead character, or climax. Just a bunch of random zany shit being thrown at a wall for 88 minutes, with little of it sticking. I think I probably would have been totally satisfied if I’d seen this in the theatre in good 3D on opening night, but this baby turns into a pumpkin on 2D home video.

  93. Saw it in 3D and it was cooler that way. I like it just fine and I’m curious how you would like the super jokey second movie. I think the ending is one of the best endings ever and they completely ignore it for part two.

  94. Was this the last wide release movie to really go all out with the gore and nudity?

  95. Not sure about the nudity, but I think some SAWs were still released after this, so at least the gore front was covered for a few more years.

  96. Think Griff is right about the bewbs.

    I pretty much agree with Skani. I didn’t catch it until video (weird since I was kinda looking forward to this one and I like 3D when done inventively) and wasn’t impressed. So not much to add other than yeah, it’s weird how their was this legit intense and gory massacre on the beach with some solid cringe-worthy moments (the lady’s hair stuck in the boat engine propeller) but it feels like it’s from a completely different movie since the rest of it is trying to be more of a silly comedy. Never bothered with the sequel due to that and also I really disliked all of John Gulager’s other movies.

  97. Yeah, Stern, I’m not sure I can muster the will to watch the sequel, but maybe. I am truly kicking myself for missing this in 3D. I have never been a “you have to see it on the big screen” person. The small screen has always worked just fine for me. However, I think this is an exception in the strong sense that it would work well as a communal rollercoaster ride experience but really has little to offer as a private 2D experience. It’s more akin to a ride or event than it is a story. I worry that this would be the same but even worse for the sequel, especially given that it managed to get drastically shittier reviews than this.

  98. I saw the sequel a few years ago and believe me, unless you are into shit like SHARKNADO or KUNG FURY, you won’t find any enjoyment in it. On the plus side, it might make you appreciate its predecessor’s “Let’s try to make the best self-ironic 3D killerfish movie ever” approach more, since part 2 is more of the “Lololol, if we make this shitty on purpose, its crappiness will count as a joke and we don’t have to think of anything else! *high five* Now get me David Hasselhoff on the phone!” kind. It even runs just a little bit more than 1 hour, followed by 12 minutes of bloopers and end credits!!!

  99. Wow. Yeah. In that case, I’ll commit to watching it on fast-forward if and only if I wake up to find that the Easter Bunny has left it under my pillow.

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