Sunday, 10 June 2012

Piranha 3DD

Title: Piranha 3DD
Director: John Gulager
Released: 2012
Staring: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Chris Zylka, Katrina Bowden, Gary Busey, Christopher Lloyd, David Hasselhoff, Ving Rhames

Plot: After the events of “Piranha 3D” Lake Victoria has become inhabitable in an attempt to eliminate the threat of the pre-historic piranhas. However they continue to thrive as they now move upstream, soon finding their way into a newly opened waterpark.

Review: Since I was a kid, I’ve always had this irrational fear when using the local swimming pool, that a hatch would open somewhere in the pool and unleash a giant killer shark or some equally horrific creature from whatever movie I'd been watching that week to attack the unwitting swimmers. No doubt this could be linked to “Jaws” scaring my fragile child psyche from a young age, especially seeing how beyond unlikely such a thing would be to ever happen. Then of course comes along this movie to dig up all those fears again!

Coming a mere two years after “Piranha 3D” one of the more surprisingly good remakes of recent years as Alexandre Aja proved himself the king of the horror remakes, having successfully also remade “The Hills Have Eyes” and “In The Mirror”, however here he continues his trend of not returning for the sequels, as the reigns of the franchise are now passed over to Gulager who previously had directed the cult “Feast” trilogy, whose writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan also being brought on board to write the script, before Joel Soisson a man who is no stranger to DTV movies having wrote the script for the DTV sequels to Hollow Man, Mimic, aswell as the “Pulse” movies and seeing how at one point this film was too heading for a DTV release something especially rumored for the UK, it’s no surprise that the studio looked to him to rewrite the script. Still seeing how much fun “Piranha 3D” was with it’s heavy mix of gore and nudity, as well as arguably being one of the few films to justify the use of 3D as a film making medium, I was looking forward to another swarm of killer Piranha, especially with the Water Park setting being something I hadn’t seen done before, with the original plot line teased at the end of the last film which hinted at giant piranha now having been scrapped, possibly thanks to "The Asylum" beating them to the punch with "Mega Piranha", though it doesn't stop it from being as much fun as the original.

Opening with a quick recap of the events of the last film, including snippets of the spring break massacre, we are soon thrown back into the craziness as we get to see the always wonderful and Oscar nominated Gary Busey as one of two farmers poking the body of a dead cow which somehow has ended up in a lake. It’s during their redneck examination that we see that the Piranha have very much survived, with their eggs attached to the nearby reeds. Still thanks to this bumbling twosome causing said cow to explode by lighting the gas leaking from the cow they manage to unleash a whole new swarm into the water supply, while perfectly setting the tone for the rest of the film, for while the previous film might have played it largely straight, this one cares little for such things and hence aims for sheer randomness instead, with this opening essentially setting the tone for what is to follow.

This time around the action is based around the water park “Big Wet” the brainchild of owner Chet (Koechner) and even boasts “Water Certified Strippers”.  Returning home for the summer his step daughter and co-owner of the park Maddy (Panabaker) is understandably horrified by this latest idea for saving the park from closure, while her personal life is non the less chaotic as she runs in with her policeman ex-boyfriend Kyle (Zylka), aswell as the geeky Barry (Bush) who has secretly had a crush on her since they went to school together. Needless to say the last things she really needs is the shoal of hungry Piranha heading towards the park, yet considering that the first time she realises of their existence is after randomly encountering them on the jetty she is light speed quick to leap into action, not that it essentially makes any difference as you can tell by the trailer, but it’s good to see smart female lead who doesn’t rely on her handsome love interest to help her save the day, as most of the time she seems to handle things pretty darn well on her own.

While none of the main characters from “Piranha 3D” have returned here, we still surprisingly get quite a few of the more popular supporting characters making a return with Christopher Lloyd once again on suitably barmy duties as the marine biologist Mr. Goodman, while essentially clearing up any questions regarding the piranha getting into the water system. Meanwhile despite seemingly  dying in the first film Ving Rhames returns for another round as Deputy Fallon only now with the added bonus shotgun legs, something which might have been questionable before, but by this point in the film you’ll be pretty much willing to except anything the film throws at you, plus Ving Rhames always seems to be the guy you’d want taking control of the situation when the shit goes down be it zombies (Dawn of the Dead) or killer piranha he always seems ready to kick ass at the drop of a hat. Also adding to the randomness quota we also have David Hasselhoff hamming things up by playing himself, a role which could easily have gone either way, but here it is played with the right amount of cheese to make it a fun cameo, even if he essentially playing his Hoff alter ego, which he seems to have strangely evolved into these days.

While the gore quota might not be as high as the carnage unleashed in “Piranha 3D” it is still high enough to make for a satisfying watch, especially with a great scene involving a decapitated head, much like the much talked about piranha which finds itself in a rather unique position to say the least. Still what has increased in the meantime is the humour quota with Koechner once again bringing his usual shitkicker styled humour, while the majority of the humour on offer is mainly sex based from Adrian Martinez’s “Big Dave” humping a pool suction valve to a piranha chomped penis once again making an appearance. No doubt the humour content will turn off some viewers but you have to at the same time question what you were really expecting from a movie called “Piranha 3DD”??

While not better than the previous film, it is a fun watch and manages to combine crass humour with high gore, while not outstaying its welcome thanks to its fast paced plotting. Still if you’re a fan of mutant fish, copious amounts of exposed breasts and a healthy dose of splatter you will no doubt lap this one up, while for those expecting alittle more meat and more importantly brains with their horror, your best giving this one a miss.

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