EXTREME motor-boating!

Theatrical Release Date: 08/20/2010
Director: Alexandre Aja
Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Steven R. McQueen, Jerry O’Connell, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele, Adam Scott, Ricardo Chavira, Dina Meyer, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss
Rated: R for sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use.
Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes


I think I’ll skip the fish course.

I went into the theater not expecting much from “Piranha 3D”, but what I did get was extremely entertaining. We’re smack in the middle of the summer blockbusters right now, and it’s been a sad, slow run so far. This is just the pick me up I needed; a bunch of man-eating fish devouring hot young people on spring break, all in 3D (pause for super special sound effects).

Here’s your spoiler busting plot folks: Every year the sleepy town of Lake Victoria is over run by spring breakers. But this year the party goers don’t realize that a small earthquake has freed an unspeakable horror from the deep. Underwater caves below the lake housing prehistoric piranha eggs have been released to the surface where they have hatched. The spawning terrorizes the lake and only the local sheriff and lone deputy, played by Elizabeth Shue and Ving Rhames, can defend the unsuspecting visitors.

In perfect horror movie casting, Christopher Lloyd, plays the crazy marine biologist with all the important, accurate, and precise scientific information you need to know. And to round out the story, Jerry O’Connell plays a porn producer intent on making the latest spring break reality porno on his mini yacht, the Barracuda. Yup, it’s that kind of comedy, and it only gets funnier and more outrageous from here.

The true joy of the film is the massacres (spoiler alerts ahead). People die whether they are swimming, parasailing, inner tubing, on land, on boats, on dinghies, on docks, or in caves. There is even a great “Jaws” parody. Some of the best deaths, however, are when the mass confusion sets in and all hell breaks loose. As the crowd tries to escape the water for the safety of the boats the floating dance floor the cords break creating a swath of death. The broken cords swing through the air and bisect a young tourist giving us a fabulous hands free bikini release shot.

As people realize that the boats are insufficient safety they begin to race for land. In their haste, some get caught under the motor boats, and voilà, you get one of the best “Face Offs” this reviewer has seen: a girl’s hair is caught in the ruder of a motor boat and the driver refuses to turn down the power. Within moments the girl is scalped, pulling her entire face off with it. She is left screaming under the water as the ravenous piranhas catch up to their freshly prepared meal.

There are no holds barred when it comes to the devouring of human flesh and, to that end, the piranhas play the field evenly; biting off female and male genitalia with gruesome, albeit nonchalant finesse. I am not usually given to enjoying crass humor like the “Jackass” franchise, however I can appreciate the equality of the massacre, which we can all appreciate better in 3D. No, not really, but the movie studios want you to believe that. In reality, the 3D is little more than a nuisance, excepting the quintessential penis shot.

The film is loaded with blood, guts, tits and ass. It is not burdened with sparkling dialogue, over complicated plot twists, or heavy handed acting. This is what rated R-rated films used to be like back in the 80’s and still should be like today. It’s great entertainment all the way to the last death by big mamma piranha, and, as should come as no surprise, drinking game rules abound. With a stomach ache from laughing really hard for almost the entire 88 min running time, and keeping in mind this is of the horror-comedy genre, I give “Piranha 3D” a 4 out of 5.

4 out of 53D Maybe