Wednesday 1 September 2010


Out now on DVD is The Asylum's latest cheapo knock-off.
Watch the trailer and find out more, after the jump...

A couple of weeks ago I gave a brief assessment of two of the Asylum's upcoming films. Basically, I said they looked shit. Well now, I've been able to see Mega Piranha, so I can fully and fairly assess its quality.

Or lack thereof. Paul Logan stars as Jason Fitch, a massive meathead Navy Seal tasked with discovering what happened to an American ambassador on a trip up the Amazon. Did his boat explode or did he get eaten by mutant fish? Tiffany's bio engineer has accidentally released some into the water, so my bet's on them.

Once Fitch arrives on the scene he teams up with local militant Colonel Diaz, who decides the best way to kill the ever-growing fish is to blow them up in his chopper. Wouldn't you guess it, he blows up the dam that was keeping them confined instead. Soon the Piranha are headed down river and on their way to Florida. Chomping their way through foreigners is one thing, but Americans? No sir.

Logan's acting abilities are of below-par wrestler standard, and his only real talent is being able to deliver his lines with a straight face. As for Tiffany; well, it seems like an easy shot to make fun of a woman who thinks it's acceptable to go through life without a surname, but all she has to do is run around after Fitch (looking quite frumpy, bless her), and she can't even do that convincingly. I'd tell her to stick to singing but, y'know.

You have to feel for these actors. Maybe if they had any idea what they were acting against they could have done a better job. Tiffany's helper warns us that the fish could get as big as a Rhinocerous, but we've just seen them jumping out of the water as tall as houses, dive-bombing their way into the side of hotels and news-gathering weather girls. This fish movie needed more work done on the scales.

You'd think that by taking the no name actors approach they'd have more money to put into the special effects, but there's so much reused footage in this film you could create a drinking game. Take a shot every time you see that giant Piranha swim in front of the lens; take another shot when they show that close up of the helicopter's gun barrel, etc. They try and trick you by having an action scene set during the day, then turning down the contrast and having the same shots used for a nighttime scene. These auteurs, I tell you.

This film has taken the similar approach of many of The Asylum's output, by being in some way connected with a higher profile release in the cinemas. For Mega Piranha, it's Piranha 3D, and I'd love to attest to this film's cheap and cheerful nature and winking nods towards its bigger Hollywood brother, but they don't even get the genre right, turning it into an 'all guns blazing' action movie rather than a cheesy B-movie horror. That's something that could have been achievable for The Asylum.

As you'd expect (if not demand), there are a few moments of unintentional hilarity. Whilst driving through a militarised checkpoint, Fitch tells Tiffany and co to 'make yourselves invisible', and somehow they do, only to reappear in the front seat once the guard's gone. Fitch also gets to use some of his kung-fu moves on a stream of snapping Mega Piranha. It's just a good job they're only attacking him from one direction.

It is a guilty pleasure movie, and one that I admittedly enjoyed more than last year's Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, but that's not saying much. It misses its target by a mile (it's not scary in the slightest), and has an appalling finale that manages to resolve nothing on screen, instead making you trust that things have happened because they said so. I don't know if I'm willing to put that much faith in their storytelling capabilities.


1 comment:

  1. As bad as they are, I really love watching The Asylum's movies. They are the king of unintentionally funny movies.