Director: John Gulager
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Christopher Lloyd, David Hasselhoff, Ving Rhames
Written by: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan, Joel Soisson, (characters created) Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg
Running Time: 83 mins
Original Cert: 18
Original UK Release: 11th May 2012
In 2010 a kitsch-fuelled horror remake of the 1978 B-movie classic Piranha was released. Filmed in 3D, it was incredibly gory but somewhat pointless but at least it had the good sense to be mildly amusing and surprisingly entertaining. It made a reasonable amount of money to warrant the producers to do it all over again but with less money, less stars and, well less of absolutely everything. What they produced was abhorrent beyond words.
The Piranhas from the first film were, everyone thought, killed off. No. They spawned and went to another river where local businessman, Chet, who is opening a sex-filled swimming pool called the Big Wet. His niece, Maddy, not only disapproves of his venture but just so happens to be a marine biologist and when her friend is bitten in the water and she is nearly killed by the monstrous fish, she soon realises that there is possibly another Lake Victoria (the scene of the first attack) on their hands, especially when she finds out that Chet is using the local river to pump water into his pools. The same river the fish are living in.
And there you have it. A wafer thin plot that was written (probably in crayon) by three, yes count them, three writers! I say writers, more like adolescence who had to write an essay on “What I Did For My Holiday”. There is nothing redeeming about this film. It is incredibly sexist and the director, John Gulger, a middle-aged man whose other work include Feast, Feast II and the award-winning (I am joking) Feast III, seems to have made this movie solely so he could film large-breasted women in bikinis running in slow motion.
It lacks any form of wit, even though it tries to be oh so funny by having the killer fish in every part of the human anatomy, from a girl having on inside her that pops out during sex to an anal rejection! Alexandre Aja’s original was hardly a classic but it had the good sense to realise that it was nonsense and that its tongue was rammed in its cheek. Here it tries to play the whole thing for laughs and it’s just not funny. Sex, sexual acts and private parts can be funny if handled with a light touch (see what I did there?) but this is sledgehammered home so you watch and just think, pathetic.
The horror doesn’t work either. If you are going for scares, you have to at least build tension. There’s nothing. Nada! Zip! Oh look, another fish is eating someone. Oh look, it’s jumped out at the screen! Even the title doesn’t work! Consider how much fun they had saying, “It’s in 3D but the last film was called Piranha 3D. How about 3 double D, like a woman’s breasts!” But then take away the 3D and you are left with Piranha DD. Good one, very funny. Very smart!
The performances are, well, workmanlike. Even reliable Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames (the sole returnees from the first film) are reduced to pathetic cameos, with Rhames getting the worst deal. He was in Pulp Fiction, goddammit! And then there’s David Hasselhoff. Playing himself, he is the saving grace of the whole movie and that, trust me, isn’t saying much. Self mocking, he at least knows it’s rubbish and so hams it up like only The Hoff can. When a film is saved by David Hasselhoff, you know you are in trouble.
Dire beyond compare, may it disappear forever, never to darken our doors again. And may we never see another one like it!
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