Sunday, 2 January 2011

PIRANHA 3D DVD review

Out now on DVD and Blu-Ray is this remake/sequel to the 70's Roger Corman exploitation flick.

Read my review, next...


Following a recent earthquake, an underground cave opens up releasing hundreds of flesh hungry fish into the sleepy waters of Lake Victoria. Unfortunately, it's also spring break, and thousands of American youths have descended on the town, eager to show some skin and take a swim. It's all fun and frivolities, captured on camera by pornographer Derrick Jones (Jerry O'Connell), eager to take advantage of the situation. It's up to Elisabeth Shue's town sheriff to warn the partygoers of the fishy threat, if they're willing to listen.

Christopher Lloyd is around to provide us with all the necessary backstory for these snappy little creatures, delivering his lines with all the gusto of Doc Brown. Richard Dreyfuss also has a sweet little cameo in the opening scene that winks heavily towards his role in Jaws. It's a cheeky little reference that completely sets the tone for the rest of the film.


If there's one word you could use to describe this film it's 'gratuitous'. There's plenty of gore and nudity, not to mention the bloodlust satisfaction in seeing shirtless knobheads getting bit to pieces. Once the hordes of sweaty teenagers are introduced, you just can't wait to see every last one of them get killed. They're all vile, idiotic creatures who it's better to not have in the gene pool anymore. It's not safe to go in the water, but only because you're liable to catch something from them.

Piranha 3D has a deliciously sick sense of humour, and relishes any opportunity it has to show it. Going paragliding with your friends? If you value your life make sure they don't dip you into the water. Got your hair caught in a motor? Sorry, it's not going to end well for you, love. Tits and ass bounce around in abundance to the point where they lose any shred of feminine mystique. Kelly Brook has a scene where she and a pornstar perform naked underwater ballet, and it's certainly an eye-opener that'll appeal to at least 50% of the population.

This film really is a 15 year old boy's dream, and a wet one at that. It's also precisely the sort of film that should be made in 3D. No matter what James Cameron says, the process really is nothing more than a gimmick, and goes hand in hand with the shlocky story of Piranha 3D. I appreciate the art of subtlety, but that's not exactly what Piranha 3D preaches. Having said that, this film doesn't have enough of its gimmick on show. Perhaps if it had been filmed in 3D rather than retro-fitted it would have been more impressive, visually.

Not that director Alexandre Aja doesn't deliver some excellent gore. Once the Piranha hit the beach, the action and gore hits a bloody pace that it maintains until the credits roll. Teens run screaming and the water turns red, and some poor girl gets her entire face ripped off by a propeller blade. St John's Ambulance have definitely got their work cut out for them. There's also some hilarious moments too, as characters try to deliver meaningful dialogue with their legs chewed down to matchsticks.

Elisabeth Shue appears as the town sheriff/worried mother, and is perfectly fine in the role, but the mystery of where the Piranha have come from doesn't really interest me when I know there's some gore a-coming. Her son Jake (Steven R. McQueen) can't carry his slightly weak story on his own, but there's a hilariously obnoxious appearance by Jerry O'Connell and a surprisingly adequate turn by Kelly Brook to keep the film going whilst we wait for the biting to begin.


The Blu-Ray version, despite not boasting an awful lot of extras, is quite an impressive disc for those jumping on the 3D bandwagon. The two discs offer you the standard 2D version and the glasses for the anaglyph 3D version, but also includes a stereoscopic 3D version that's compatible with your 3D TV's. James Cameron probably isn't best pleased, as it's a bargain package that's a must buy for any of those who've invested in a 3D TV.

Not quite the blood-and-guts fest I was hoping for, but an enjoyably sick comedy nonetheless. Piranha 3D is a cheesy horror that provides ridiculousness and gore in equal measures. I'd welcome the hinted at sequel if they can get the 3D right.

Verdict

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