ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 21, 2010
Sometimes when I’ve had nothing better to do I’ve pondered the worst way to die. Getting hacked to death is right up there—glad I don’t live in Somalia—but being eaten alive by wild animals usually wins out. It helps when you remember hearing, as a kid in school, how piranhas in the Amazon River could turn a cow into bones in, what was it, two minutes flat?
In Piranha 3D, director Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) takes that primal fear and runs with it in a supremely sick and twisted way. Thousands of foot-long, super-fierce piranha are unleashed from a prehistoric time warp when an underwater tremor opens up the bottom of an Arizona lake. As luck would have it for the ravenous beasties, the spot has just become party central for hordes of tit-flashing, tequila-guzzling spring breakers, aka lunch.
Elisabeth Shue stars as the sheriff of the lakeside town, but don’t let her Oscar-nominated cred fool you: there isn’t one minute of good acting during the entire film, and decent dialogue is just as scarce. Piranha 3D is one bad movie. So bad it’s hilarious.
In spots, at least.
Fans of campy gore will relish the sight of heroic cop Ving Rhames, waist-deep in water, using the propeller of the outboard motor he just yanked from a nearby boat to churn up gruesome sushi—“Chew on this, motherfuckers!”—while his lower body is simultaneously devoured. It reminded me of that scene in the Peter Jackson bloodfest, Dead Alive, where a zombie-battling dude wields a lawnmower in a similar fashion.
The best example of the level of art that Piranha 3D aspires to comes when a guy gets his dick chomped off and it gracefully floats down towards you in 3D. A racing piranha latches onto it, but a bigger one steals it away and gobbles it down. The greedy bugger then burps and hurls the mangled member back up at you. In 3D.
Hey, I’m not saying this movie’s for everyone.