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Piranha 3-DD
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Does This Mean John Gulager Is The Next James Cameron?"
1 stars

A couple of years ago, the geniuses at the Weinstein Company hit upon the idea of producing a remake of "Piranha," the entertaining 1978 exploitation epic from Roger Corman that launched the careers of director Joe Dante and screenwriter John Sayles (yes. . . John Sayles) and proved to be one of the best of the throng of rubber fish films produced in the wake of the smash hit "Jaws" (including all of the official "Jaws" sequels), that would offer audiences a bonanza of fake fish, fake breasts (possibly constructed out of the same basic material as the fish), gallons and gallons of gore and a weird cast comprised of veteran performers and dewy-eyed newcomers (not that anyone was looking Kelly Brook in the eye, if you know what I mean and if you don't, you should probably bow out now while the getting is good), all of which would be metaphorically dumped into their laps through the miracle of 3-D. Surprisingly, the resulting film, "Piranha 3D," turned out to be not half-bad after all--if only because it was nowhere near as wretched as one might have expected from such a thing--and enough people sparked to its gruesome silliness to make it a decent-sized hit a couple of summers ago. Perhaps inevitably, the success of the remake was enough to inspire its own sequel, perhaps equally inevitably titled "Piranha 3DD," and so as to minimize the risk, those involved have chosen to repeat the formula that made the previous film a hit virtually down to the letter (either "T" or "A"). However, something certainly went wrong along the way and whatever modest fun there was to be had the first time around has curdled in this ugly, unpleasant and thunderously boring piece of trash that doesn't even live up to the barely-nominal standards that one might realistically invest towards a movie of this type.

Since nearly every actor of note in the original film was eaten long before the end credits--combined with the fact that the ones that survived presumably passed the chance to appear in this one (save for a couple of cameos which we may or may not discuss later), no doubt citing to their agents the immortal Voltaire quote "Once a philosopher, twice a pervert. . ."--"Piranha 3DD" is set a year after the events of the earlier film and is set 50 miles away in the small Arizona town of Merkin County, ho-ho-ho. (If this doesn't make sense, try Googling "merkin"--just make sure you aren't asking for photographs.) This seemingly bucolic paradise is the home of The Big Wet, an X-rated water park, complete with stripper lifeguards (sorry, "water-certified strippers), that is about to open under the auspices of hedonistic greedhead Chet (David Koechner). Needless to say, this renovation appalls his marine biologist step-daughter Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) and when she eventually discovers that piranha have turned up in the local waters from an underground lake that Chet is using as the source for his park's water, she tries to convince him to shut things down before anyone gets hurt. Alas, the lure of money, nudity and a special opening day appearance by David Hasselhoff (played by himself and none too well) is too much for Chet to resist and before long, the fish (who have evolved enough to chew through steel) arrive to wreak the inevitable gory havoc on the proceedings, though probably not enough to satisfy the gorehounds in the crowd. Meanwhile, most viewers will probably find themselves contemplating what would comprise an uglier and more unpleasant death--being eaten alive by piranha or succumbing to the zillions of diseases that one might presumably find in the jumbo-sized petri dish that would be an adult-themed water park. (Me, I'd take my chances with the fish in an instant.)

The intrinsic problem with all movies involving rubber fish chowing down on unsuspecting swimmers is that there can logically only be one major attack scene per film because after that, not even the most idiotic characters would dream of going bck into the water again. Of course, "Jaws" got around this by giving viewers an intelligently-crafted screenplay and well-rounded characters and the immortal "Piranha II: The Spawning," the sequel to the original "Piranha" that marked the directorial debut of one James Cameron (and which I still revere more than "Avatar"), offered up the cheerfully insane concept of flying piranha that zapped you even if you stayed on the beach (and now you understand my reverence). Lacking the ambition of those films, "Piranha 3DD" takes the easy way out by saving its big guns (you know what I mean) for its ultra-gory climax while figuring out ways to throw in enough random attacks involving supporting characters to keep viewers in their seats until the big finale. Here, these moments range from the inevitable (a dream sequence involving a piranha in a bathtub that may have been inspired by a notorious bit from Russ Meyer's "UP!") to the inane (a couple of horny dopes engaging in kinky sexplay in a van next to the lake accidentally send their own vehicle into the drink) with a couple of slumming guest stars like Gary Busey and Clu Gulager (father of the film's director and one-time Project Greenlight subject John Gulager). Of them, the most audacious of the bunch involves, to put it delicately, a three-way sex scene-gone-bad featuring a comely virgin ("30 Rock" starlet Katrina Bowden), a dopey swain and a piranha--that may not seem too unusual until I point out that the scene in question takes place on land in an apartment. Like much of the surrounding film, the scene is somehow both tedious and tasteless (it seems devised only to pay homage to one of the more notorious bits from the previous film) but the sequence does end with a bit of dialogue that is, under the circumstances, reasonably inspired.

As for the rest of "Piranha 3DD," the deployment of the words "reasonably inspired" will not be necessary. The characters are either bores or boors, the scares are non-existent and the plot is so threadbare that the film proper is only 71 minutes, not that anyone will come out of it begging for more. (The running time is then padded out by an endless end credit sequence, complete with several sets of bloopers, that appears to run for about as long as the wedding reception set-piece in "The Deer Hunter.") Even those going to see it just for the sleaze are going to come away disappointed because the nudity is nothing much--none of the known actresses come close to achieving the heights of pulchritude set by Kelly Brook and the extras who do seem to be in an entirely different movie at times--the creatures are incredibly cheesy and the Speedo-clad Grand Guignol climax is a pale shadow of the earlier film's mayhem. Frankly, the only terrifying thing about the film is the inevitable final bit that blatantly and bloodily sets up yet another sequel. At one point, we get to see David Hasselhoff consider his uber-tacky surroundings and mutter "Welcome to rock bottom. . ."--perhaps on the Blu-Ray commentary, they will reveal whether this was an actual part of the screenplay or B-roll behind-the-scenes footage that was included into the proceedings by the editors as a desperate cry for help. Either way, like the creatures at its center, "Piranha 3DD" bites. Yes, I know that is a terrible and trite way to end this review but considering that I was up watching this nonsense at 3:00 AM and have just spent the last couple of hours applying more thought to it than anyone involved with its production, you will surely find it in your hearts to forgive me such an indulgence and if not, you may the kind of soulles dope who deserves to spend your hard-earned money on a film like this.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=21893&reviewer=389
originally posted: 06/01/12 14:53:31
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User Comments

8/31/13 EDDIED terrible movie. Complete shit with no effort and excessive nudity. But it is amusing. 2 stars
9/27/12 jcar this movie was funny yet cool but to overally zealous with sex and nudity, pirhana porn 3 stars
8/01/12 This movie damages american culture, values morals. This movie contributes to a sick minded society. Disguisting! 1 stars
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  01-Jun-2012 (R)
  DVD: 04-Sep-2012


  DVD: 04-Sep-2012

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