Boobs, blood, boobs and boobs. You know, a movie about the finer things.
Piranha takes place in the placid town of Lake Havasu where floods of horny college kids have hit the beaches to get drunk, grind so hard against each other that their bathing suits explode off their bodies and encourage every girl in sight to take their top off or at least take part in one of the 36 different wet T-shirt contests going down. But unbeknownst to them, a minor earthquake has unleashed a horde of prehistoric cannibal piranhas right underneath their bikini bottoms, and let me tell ya’, these little critters are right pissed. So the town sheriff has to try and get everyone off the water, her son is supposed to be babysitting his siblings but has instead taken them on a Girls Gone Wild cruise, and that means everyone is pretty much screwed.
Well, I didn’t see it in 3D, I didn’t see in a packed theater and I’m pretty sure this wasn’t meant to be viewed on a laptop in a laundromat, so I was already at a disadvantage before this even started. Those very reasons are why this ended up being one of the few movies I really felt bad about missing this last Summer, and if I’d seen it under the most optimum of circumstances, I’m thinking I would have liked it a whole lot more.
All the same, you’re getting exactly what you’d expect from this even if it is in 2D all by your lonesome.
I’ve never seen any of the Piranha movies, but it doesn’t take a whole lot of research to realize that this is essentially one big shameless rip-off of/homage to Jaws. If you had any doubts about that, the opening five minutes featuring an aged Richard Dreyfuss in complete Hooper attire getting ripped to shreds in a vortex of fishy death should clear things right up. It’s campy, it’s absurd and it pretty much exists for two sole purposes: to give dudes boners and to set a new record for Most Porn Stars Killed in 90 Minutes. A noble set of goals if there ever was one and they sure do go all out to achieve ’em
Seriously, I don’t know how they got away with an R-rating here because there are boobies everywhere. EVERYWHERE! If a girl gets sliced in two, we need to make sure that her boob pops out before her torso plops in the water. If there’s a girl parasailing, she must do it topless and grab herself like gangbusters before the piranhas chew her legs off. If there are two bikini-clad girls doing body shots off each other on a boat, they need to thrown on those birthday suits, jump in the water and get filmed by Jerry O’Connell for an uber-long time through a glass floor. And what the hell, lets get Eli Roth in here to hose down some chicks during a wet T-shirt contest so we can get some legit 3D boobs-in-your-face action going on. Folks, I ain’t kiddin’, this every 13-year-old boy’s wet dream, it probably wasn’t the best idea to watch this in a public place of business, and I haven’t even gotten to the gore yet.
It’s directed by one Alexandre Aja, and for those who don’t know, Alexandre Aja is one sick puppy. Jesus, go watch High Tension or The Hills Have Eyes if you don’t believe me, the guy is certifiable. Then again, this isn’t him at his most extreme by a long shot and that’s mainly because he’s not taking this seriously in the least. Most of it is just countless amounts of people getting chewed to the nub until all that’s left is a floating eye or silicone implants, although Eli Roth does get treated to a gnarly death that’s very fitting of an Eli Roth cameo and then there’s the one girl who is unfortunate enough to get her hair caught in the propeller of a boat. Yeah, that doesn’t end too well for her. Probably the worst spring break ever.
It’s definitely some hairy stuff, but it’s more crazy than it is shocking since the whole thing so damn intentionally ridiculous. Still the best thing Aja’s done in a while though.
And speaking of cameos, I couldn’t believe how many people came out of the woodwork for this one. Christopher Lloyd plays a fish genius of some sort; Elisabeth Shue plays the town sheriff; Ving Rhames plays the co-sheriff and even gets to take a motorboat propeller to those fuckin’ fish; and Jerry O’Connell is annoying as hell as our Joe Francis of the hour, but that’s not much of a surprise. No idea how they got roped into this, but I dig it all the same.
But for the big horror comedy of 2010, I’m still pretty bummed that I didn’t laugh once. The problem is that instead of going the Snakes on a Plane route, it goes crazy on the horror end of things, and that ended up being the wrong direction. Wasn’t expecting a knee-slappin’ experience by any means, but nothing about the comedy here did it for me. Like I said, it really does help to watch a movie like this with a crowd, but I could have gone for more than a smirk here and there. Same problem I had with Teeth.
If it had been funnier, if I had been drunk and if I had someone else to laugh along with, I probably would have liked Piranha a hell of a lot more. I can only imagine the kind of hootin’ and hollerin’ that must have gone down in the theater when the piranhas started burping up severed dongs, but as is, it’s disappointingly forgettable for a movie that could have been a total fuckin’ blast.
Man, James Cameron didn’t even like it and that guy owes his career to Piranha!