How do you judge Piranha 3D?
I’d say if you are disappointed by this movie, you shouldn’t watch these types of movies. This movie knows 100% what it is and succeeds in being so.
If you are unsure what this is, let this brief description speak for itself:
The director of a porno hires a local boy to show him a spot where he can drive with his boat and shoot a porno, meanwhile a couple of scientists discover that an extinct sort of Piranhas has been awakened… and by the way there’s a Springbreak rip-off in town.
Piranha check #1: If you smiled while reading this description: GO SEE PIRANHA 3D!
If you are annoyed that you can’t legally watch Machete until December 15th in Austria, then watch Piranha 3D to bridge the wait. This is the perfect counterpart for a grindhouse double feature – or if you are quick enough you might catch some tickets for Machete at the Viennale and watch Piranha before the Viennale.
The Piranha franchise started in 1978 with Piranha (no way!) a comedy modelled after Jaws.
I haven’t seen the original, I only watched Piranha 2: The Spawning, not because I was interested in the movie, but because a director I really liked had his directorial debut with this movie. You probably haven’t heard about him, James Cameron, an independent director who nearly bankrupted movie companies with art-house flicks like Avatar, Titanic, Terminator or Aliens.
Up to this day Cameron thinks that Piranha 2 “the finest flying killer fish horror-comedy ever made”. But don’t worry, he wasn’t really responsible for this movie, he just had to step in for the director, originally Cameron only did special effects work.
Every shot in Piranha is directly lifted from other horror movies, the fake tension starting with a woman screaming until we find out she’s screaming out of joy instead of horror, yet this is not like Expendables where you wonder if this movie is just bad or intentionally bad – there is a meta-humour, an big awareness of how ridiculous this movie is.
Stereotypes are over the top, nude scenes that come close to being actual pornographic material and a final bloodfest that rewards the audience, who’s hungry for badly acted, fake looking and over the top gore.
And while the beginning is a little of a drag, the finale makes up for everything, there are very few movies with similar cartoonish slaughter and hilarious ideas of what people can do when fighting Piranhas – actually this movie is way more creative when it comes to ridiculous deaths than the recent Final Destination (a series priding itself with complicated over the top kills).
Piranha check #2: if you were revolted by this paragraph and thinking “oh my god, how sick of a person do you have to be to like those things” don’t watch Piranha 3D.
So how useless is the 3D?
Piranha 3D is a camp movie so there is no point in analysing this thing, it’s just there for its audience. If you are going to see this, see it definitely in 3D.
Why? Piranha 3D knows about the gimmicky nature of 3D. Stuff getting thrown at the audience is not interesting when watching a serious movie. When a guy in Alice in Wonderland points a spear at the camera we think “woah that looks totally 3d!” we are no longer in the story, we are thinking about something outside of the film.
This fact ruins most 3D movies for me and it’s a complaint so common that the “best” 3D is the one that prides itself by stating “you won’t even notice the 3D”. But where this is not adequate for regular movies, it’s totally necessary for Piranha 3D. There are things thrown, swimming, flying at the camera to constantly shove the 3D aspect down our throats, it adds a new layer of self-awareness as if the producers are winking at us, reminding us that this movie is just dumb fun… nothing more.
P.S.: Oh yeah and Doc Brown is in it.
Rating and Moviequation:
Piranha check #3: If you feel that the above moviequation is: 1) immature 2) sexist 3) insulting – don’t watch Piranha 3D