DVD Review: Piranha 3DD

One park-goer has an unfortunate encounter with a piranha.

One park-goer has an unfortunate encounter with a piranha.

I should have known better than to go into a movie titled Piranha 3DD expecting anything less than a trainwreck, but after Alexander Aja’s gloriously bloody, hilarious, and entertaining guilty pleasure Piranha 3D surprised me back in 2010, I was hopeful.

Sadly, the follow-up proves that lightning never strikes twice. Everything that was enjoyable about Piranha 3D – the campy characters, over-the-top gore, and tongue-in-cheek script – is missing from this shockingly awful sequel.

This time around, the mayhem is set in the Big Wet Waterpark, a sleazy adult resort with ‘water-certified’ strippers, a year after the events at Lake Victoria. Protagonist Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), a marine biologist who co-owns the waterpark after her mother’s death, is shocked by how far her disgusting step-dad Chet (Anchorman‘s David Koechner) has gone. When she finds piranha in a nearby lake, she’s the only one who realizes that the prehistoric fish could make their way into the waterpark through pipes that Chet has illogically connected to the lake. Chaos ensues as hundreds of vapid hotties attempt to escape the bloodthirsty fish (somehow, “get out of the water” never occurs to many of them).

While its predecessor made fun of the sexploitation horror genre, Piranha 3DD is too puerile to be making fun of anything intentionally. The self-parody is upped to such an extent that the audience laughs at the film instead of with it. All of the actors are so inexcusably, hilariously bad that ultimately even the CGI piranha give more nuanced performances. Incomprehensibly, the filmmakers try to give the movie some dramatic heft when the blood starts spilling, and they fail without qualification.

Panabaker, 30 Rock co-star Katrina Bowden, and many nameless bombshells are nothing more than eye-candy to be bloodily dispatched by the fish. VIng Rhames and Christopher Lloyd, holdovers from the first film, give the Piranha 3DD its only entertaining moments but both only appear on screen for a couple of minutes. And David Hasselhoff’s appearance as a jerky, self-absorbed version of himself is funny for a few seconds before he opens his mouth and we realize that he’s just another cheap ploy meant to distract the audience from the idiocy of what they’re watching.

Nothing in the film makes any sense at all, particularly not the ludicrous way that the fish are ultimately dispatched. And the film’s final scare is so ridiculous that it made me want to beat my head against a wall in hopes of cleansing it from my memory. In fact, I wish I could expunge the entire movie from my memory, it was so utterly horrible.

With a title like Piranha 3DD (pronounced double-D in the trailers in case there was ever any confusion about the filmmakers’ intentions), one might think that the people involved were predicting what grade the schlockfest might be ultimately be saddled with. Shame I can’t comply: Piranha 3DD deserves nothing more than a double F.

Photo Courtesy: Impulse Gamer.

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