I never thought I’d see so many female body parts so in-my-face in my life, but thanks to Piranha 3D, one of my new favorite movies, I’ve now had some extremely intimate moments with the female anatomy. How can I love a movie so filled with babes and boobs, you ask? Well, because all the fish get eaten in this film…and again, I’m not talking about the piranha.
There’s no talking about this film without ignoring the giant—well, not elephant—in the room. It’s the bearded clams!!! Not to mention the boobage. Piranha 3D has more T, A, and P than any other rated-R horror film I’ve ever seen, which made it all the more uncomfortable having two kids under 10-years-old sitting behind us with their mother. WTF? Seriously, with a movie this explicit, not to mention gory, it should be mandatory for the movie theaters to WARN parents trying to bring their kids in. But back to the, um, TAP in the film. Ironically, there’s no sex, it’s just nudity. But it’s almost every single chick in the flick. Now I’ve never been to spring break, and I’ve heard it’s raunchy (mostly from 80s teen flicks like Spring Break), but I had no idea that there are essentially NO girls with any inhibitions about being naked in front of droves of drunk frat boys.
And despite there being no focus on the bodies of the frat boys, Piranha rules!!! It’s everything the snorefest Jaws isn’t. Okay, that’s taking it a little far, because Jaws is a great film…until, you know, the endless monologues on the boat for the last hour of the movie. As far as fun, entertainment, thrills, and suspense, Piranha is much more up there with the classic Jaws 2, the absolute best film in that franchise, and to which it actually pays much more of an homage. This film truly does for fresh water lakes what Jaws did for salt water ocean. That’s right. This spring break isn’t taking place at the shore, it’s a party on a lake. And shallow water has never been so frighteningly filmed.
The director happens to be the man behind other favorite horror films of mine like the remake of The Hills Have Eyes and the freaky foreign film High Tension. Alexandre Aja shows an amazing ability to cross subgenres of horror films, because every film is good in its own right, but completely different than the others. This film in particular is witty fun, yet soaked with blood and gruesome gore. After seeing the special effects of this film in 3-D, you pretty much have a full sense of how horrible it would be to have your face gnawed off by the razor-sharp teeth of a pack of piranha. The effects are cringe-inducing.
The film is also amazingly American in its portrayal of loads of stupid, drunken college kids just looking to get laid and totally ignoring the authority of law enforcement. And of course, to satire the whole Girls Gone Wild phenomenon, there’s Jerry O’Connell as a sleazy porn director who is a big dick—in more ways than one. Not since South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut has a film gone there to such an extent and gotten so many moviegoers to scream in sheer horror at the sight of all the goodness a man has to offer.
That’s no worm…that’s Dan bait!
And speaking of man goodness, the ever-adorable horror director Eli Roth has a small role here, as does black bear Ving Rhames, surprisingly chubby and older now. There’s even an appearance by “Carlos” from Desperate Housewives, and he’s never looked more delicious (unfortunately…). All the kids in the film are pretty much from a bunch of today’s teen television dramas.
Then there’s the six degrees of Spielberg situation. As if to pay tribute to the man who began the man-eating fish craze thirty-five years ago, this film features Elisabeth Shue as the local sheriff. She still looks stunning after all these years and commands the part seriously despite the campy chaos going on elsewhere. Elisabeth appeared as Marty McFly’s girlfriend in the sequels to the Spielberg creation Back to the Future (replacing the original nobody who played the part in the first film, forever killing the trilogy’s continuity), and is here reunited with none other than Christopher Lloyd, who was clearly directed in this film to act EXACTLY like “Doc” Emmett Brown. Awesome. But the best nod to Spielberg and his original fish film is the cameo in the opening scene.
More fun than Jaws, smartly not taking itself seriously, and with Ray-Ban inspired glasses that are ten times better than the technologically archaic red/blue glasses used for the 1983 classic Jaws 3-D, Piranha had best be just the beginning of a new generation of summer blockbuster fish franchises!!! Because this film bites—in a good way.
And don’t forget my thoughts on the original Piranha!