Man-Eaters… – Piranha 3DD (2012)

When you put out a movie like Piranha 3DD, what is it that one exactly expects to see in such a film?  World class acting or special effects?  A story to move you like no other, worthy of Oscar contention?  It really should be none of that and if that is what you are looking for, this is definitely the wrong movie.  What you do end up getting is exactly what you would expect to see in a film that follows in the footsteps of other over-the-top monster films like Anaconda and Lake Placid.  There is some decent acting, a possible and believable story about monster fish, mediocre effects and in this film, a whole lot of DDs.  A lot.

So the film, an appreciation of all things summer, pools and the female form in all its glory, turned out to be a little more than that with the added introduction of man-eating, prehistoric piranhas.  It also happened to be a sequel to the film-gold that was Piranha 3D and if that movie was awesome, then logic dictates that this movie also had to be awesome.

It was.

Directed by John Gulager with Danielle Panabaker as the lead of the film, and starring alongside David Koechner, Chris Zylka, Matt Bush and Katrina Bowden, she does a pretty good job of it, at least as far as the material is concerned.  A film about killer fish can only reach a certain level of credibility, which in reality, is not a whole lot.  She plays the attractive good girl of the film, the one everybody wants, but is unattainable except in the case of the bad boy who always gets what he desires.  Panabaker’s was a cookie-cutter role, one which any young starlet could have played, but Panabaker was good enough to be captivating which is evidence of her acting skills.

There is no Richard Dreyfuss this go round, but Gary Busey takes his place and is killed first thing in the film.  It is a hilarious little bit of over-acting but is right at home amid all the other craziness of the film.  Christopher Lloyd also makes an appearance as a crazy scientist akin to his Back to the Future character, Dr. Emmett Brown.  Where he played one doctor who proposed time travel was possible, in this film he thinks the prehistoric fish will soon learn to walk.  The man is not wrong.

The sheer lunacy of the film continues with the Hoff, David Hasslehoff, guest-starring in perhaps one of the greatest supporting roles in any movie.  Within the movie, he stars as himself, supposedly shilling himself out as long as it pays.  He mocks himself and his role in Baywatch and when he is called on to save someone, it is one of the funniest things to happen during the film.  Even with all the cameos sprinkled throughout the movie, they still managed to squeeze in a couple more with Paul Scheer and Ving Rames reprising their roles from the first film.  They also lend some humour to the picture and close the circle, so to speak, from the first Piranha.

One of the only things that could have been a bit stronger was the role played by David Koechner.  It was not that he was terrible in the film, it was the fact that he played the same character that he always plays in every single film he is ever in.  He does add a little comedy relief, but in the larger scheme of things, if he had been absent from the film, it would not have made a difference.  A shame as it was a waste of his talent.

The effects, while not stellar, were decent.  They were not as strong as they were in the first film, as the budget was probably slashed to maximize profits, but they did the job and conveyed what they needed to.  Sadly, it was not obviously horror, as they looked a little laughable, but you knew they were fish with large teeth which was the important thing.

Was this the greatest film ever made that nobody ever saw?  Quite possibly.  One thing the movie can claim is that it is never dull and never boring with thrills, chills, spills and gills aplenty, and more blood and nudity than most films care to show these days.  It is unfair that the movie was judged so poorly by most as it turned out to be a truly fun, little film.  While a second sequel is off the books at the moment, it is hopeful that someone, one day, will decide to produce it as there needs to be more Piranha on the big screen.

4 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. Got to say, I watched this one with the missus a while back – I enjoyed it, she didn’t. Well reasoned write up and I agree with the score. Nice one! And I loved Ving Rames in it…

    Liked by 1 person

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