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Genre Horror
Year: 2010

Piranha 3D falls into the so-bad-it's-almost-good category of films. Joe Dante directed Piranha in 1978, a Roger Corman produced camp horror B-movie in the slipstream of the Steven Spielberg's Jaws. Alexandre Aja lends a level of credibility to the camp goings-on in this remake, since he's a member of the Splat Pack and directed the critically acclaimed gore-fest horror remake that is The Hills Have EyesPiranha is best described as a blend of Jaws, Girls Gone Wild and Joe's Apartment. Now depending on your taste in film that could be a fantastic or horrible combination, because there's no fence-sitting on this one - you'll either love or hate it.

A prehistoric species of man-eating piranha is released when an underwater tremor opens a deep abyss near a popular Spring break lake resort. After a number of isolated incidents local authorities attempt to close the lake and the resort. Piranha is self-aware, not to say the actors are staring back at you, but more in the sense that it knows it's a send-up... think back to horror comedies like Tremors with Kevin Bacon. How else can you explain a B-movie cast including: Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd and wait for it... Richard Dreyfuss?

The ensemble is phenomenal for this kind of straight-to-video worthy horror fodder and you'll be forgiven for thinking that they're all on the B-movie train to obscurity. They've all seen better days... and who would believe it's been 25 years since Christopher Lloyd literally became 'Doc" in Back to the Future. For what it's worth, their fluff performances do just fine given the nature of the material and carry an equal measure of serious and silly. Elisabeth Shue gives a straight face to the no-nonsense cop mom, Jerry O'Connell gives it horns as an over-the-top porn director, Ving Rhames is the tough guy martyr, "Doc" is just an older, slower "Doc" and Richard Dreyfuss takes first blood as a ridiculous reference to his role in Jaws.

The first thing you'll notice about Piranha is boobies... they're oodles of them. The casting was very biased and everyone from the extras to the actors must have included their cup measurements or an actual bra in order to secure an audition. If you had to do a count, you'd probably find there were more breasts than piranhas. From bobbing up-and-down in the bay for Spring break to doing nude underwater skinny-dipping to classical music, Piranha is a "homage" to the female anatomy and there's possibly some metaphorical connection between the deep chasm and cleavage. The so-called tribute treads a fine line between glorifying and objectifying and this will definitely affect your choice on date night.

The cold hard truth is that this is not a suitable date movie, unless your girlfriend is into girlfriends, you're trying to break up or she's cool and "gets it". The porn shoot on the yacht gets pretty raunchy for a horror flick from some intense lady-on-lady nudity and body shots to naked parachute skiing. This is however, fantastic news if you're planning a movie night with the lads. There's enough nudity to soothe the naturist in everyone and enough gore to counterbalance the titillation factor with some bloody water sport scenes.

The movie does have a vague plot, a reluctant hero and an obvious safety message about piranhas, which prevents anyone from saying it's just 88 minutes of senseless sex and blood. However, don't expect to get any clear answers as to how a school of bloodthirsty prehistoric piranhas could suddenly surface. The CGI is B-movie shoddy, the underwater Jaws perspective shots are twee and the 3D doesn't add much other than D-cup curvature, but who cares about the underwater fish frenzy of blood and bone? Personally, I think one giant piranha would have done more for the horror.

As you can see, Piranha knows its audience down to the bone. So if you have a special affinity for mammary glands, can see the comedy behind a blood-soaked bikini holiday and don't take life too seriously, Piranha 3D is for you. It's camp, crap and full of boobs in every sense of the word, but hey - it may just be lightweight, Summery and entertaining enough to get you through to the credits... and that's got to count for something. Piranha 3D is not clever, it's just giving you what you want and for most Piranha fans all that's missing... is beer. 

The bottom line: Fun.

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