Piranha 3DD Review: Jawful
Piranha 3D is one of my favorite films. I love it with the same shitheaded reckless fun as fuck abandon as I adore From Dusk Til Dawn and Poultrygeist. Slop buckets of gore and rubbery appendages around and gratuitous nudity around, and I’m usually a happy camper. But it doesn’t always work. There needs to be more beyond just boobs and blood. Piranha 3DD is a sloppy attempt to cash in on the first film without making anything near the effort. It’s the difference between when Howard Stern was being censored to his free reign on Sirius. Before, he had to be creative, but now, he’s just a sad old man shouting swear words. Without boundaries, there’s no envelope to push, so you’re simply flailing your arms and pretending. Piranha 3DD is awful, soulless and sleazy. It fishes with dynamite. Sure, you’ll catch some fish, but they’re all ripped apart and everything stinks like smoke and blood and dead flat fish. None of the charm remains from the first film. It’s the difference between ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue and “Girls Gone Wild.” For most people, both things are just “WOOO! BOOOBIES!” and that’ll be enough. But for people who have all their chromosomes, it’s the difference between artistry and pulling off their tops.
The plot of Piranha 3DD is that there’s a waterpark called The Big Wet co-owned by shady entrepreneur Chet (David Koechner), and his stepdaughter, Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), who’s a marine biologist because someone says this out loud twice. Anyway, he hires a bunch of strippers to be lifeguards and portions off an “adult pool” where people can frolic naked. Then David Hasslehoff AAAAH! FISH! FISH! FISH! AAAAH! The end. Any attempt at putting together a cohesive narrative is foregone for simply shooting large bouncing breasts and fake blood running through the water. It’s 83 minutes of ripping off better films — Nightmare on Elm Street, Teeth, Piranha 3D — before simply clearing the board with an explosion and setting up a sequel. If you want the same experience as watching this piece of garbage, place a picture of a piranha on the table in front of you. Set a Penthouse magazine spread next to it and spill red Kool-Aid on it. Now chug a 2-liter of Mello Yello and shake your head back and forth until you vomit or your head explodes. Congratulations, I just saved you $16.75.
Piranha 3D was resplendent with gore, some of the most horrific gore effects I’ve ever seen. A girl gets bisected with a tow rope, and her top falls off seconds before the top of her falls off. A girl gets her hair caught in a propeller and gets her fucking face torn off. People are getting chewed up. It’s fucking glorious. Piranha 3DD eschews gore for cheesy digital decapitations and sophomoric sexual stunts. A piranha swims into a virgin’s vagina (Katrina Bowden) and when her boyfriend attempts to take her V card, the piranha bites him on the dick. Another worker at the waterpark is fucking one of the water jets — don’t, just don’t think about it — and a piranha bites him on the anus. This is about as gory as the film gets. Otherwise, it’s lots of scenes of people in bathing suits running around in fake blood. In fact, the entire film feels like they brought a bunch of strippers to a water park and then Bowfingered a movie around them.
Here’s a prime example. The first film opens with Richard Dreyfuss as a fisherman when an earthquake erupts underneath him and he gets devoured by piranha. It’s a gruesome opener, made entertainingly ironic by the fact that the scientist from Jaws gets killed by killer fish. The new film opens with Clu Gulager and Gary Busey sloshing through a swamp at night and finding a dead cow floating in the water. The cow is farting piranha eggs into the water. When the flashlight goes out, Busey lights a lighter, which makes the farting cow explode. And then they get eaten. But not before Busey bites the head off a piranha and spits it into the air, because, you know, 3D. Alexandre Aja and his two screenwriters had a lot of fun with their script, but they actually built a few characters. Piranha 3DD comes from director John Gulager and writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, who have been ruining horror films since “Project Greenlight.” These assclowns have no concept of story or narrative, instead writing punchlines and splatters like they were penning a Naked Gun sequel. They did however get assistance on this script from Joel Soisson, a producer who is the gun-for-hire in Hollywood if you want to write the worst fucking sequel possible to enjoyable films. I fear to copy down his actual credits in that I will awaken him like Cthulhu and he will devour me in his unfathomable maw of pure suckage. When I saw their names on this collective asspackage, I knew the film was doomed. But like these idiots, I couldn’t even begin to imagine.
After they finished remolding the cast of American Pie for the reunion, they scraped the Play-Doh into two huge piles and from it they crafter Danielle Panabaker and Matt Bush. Bush, that kid was the tits in Adventureland as Frigo. But here, they’re just collecting paychecks. Like the rest of the cast, some of whom returned from the original. The biggest waste is clearly The Hoff, who plays an Evil Michael Knight version of himself. It’s the laziest kind of special appearance, and so he gets to mock his fat tanned post-Baywatch belly and say fuck and ginger and moron a couple of times. It could have been hilarious, but again, rather than put any effort into the film, they just went the easiest fucking route possible. Katrina Bowden play the girl who gets fishy-fucked, trying to further cement her Paris Hilton-like dull-eyed rise to scream queenery. I give her two more films post-“30 Rock” until she takes off her clothes. David Koechner has been forging a new career path — slaughter boss, the middle management/assistant manager middle-aged dude who gets horribly murdered. I give him one more film until he takes off his. There are other actors in this, but I don’t watch MTV or the CW or ABC Family, so I don’t know care who any of them are.
I wanted Piranha 3DD to succeed. I wanted this to be super fun. But it just wasn’t. There’s hardly any gore, and if I really wanted to see that much silicone flying around, I’d blow up the housewares section at Sears. With a $20 million dollar budget, you think they could have sprung for lighting. Everything blurry and difficult to see, which makes no sense, because you know what the fucking monsters look like. There’ll be a third film, which if it continues on this downward slide will just be fifty-four minutes of a fish swimming like a colonoscopy cam through each of the “Jersey Shore” cumdumpsters, leaping from urethra to uterus to anus, eating through them as they all clusterfuck in an orgy and eventually dying from STD exposure. So, you know, keep open your 2014.