After 2010’s hit horror remake “Piranha” made a killing at the box office ($83 million worldwide on a $25 million budget), Weinstein Company quickly gave the go ahead to make an even campier sequel with the affectionate title “Piranha 3DD.” Tentatively scheduled for August 2011, the release date came and went without any word about the film. Weinstein soon announced that they would be releasing the horror sequel in November 2011. Once again, the release date whizzed by with no word from the studio as to when or if the film would be released. Now, on June 1st, the film has finally been released to horror hell. Opening in 83 theaters this weekend, the film is also showing on demand (where I caught it as no theaters within a 100 mile radius of me is playing the flick). With little press and even littler buzz, the film has little to no hope of making waves at the box office. Did Weinstein Company lose faith in the film? Is the film so awful that it simply doesn’t deserve a theatrical release and the studios is simply fulfilling contract obligations? Let’s take a step into these piranha filled waters and find out.
“Piranha 3DD” begins one year after the famous attack on Lake Victoria by prehistoric piranhas. Extremely bad press from the incident has left the lake devoid of any life whatsoever. The town itself has been largely abandoned as a result of the drying-up of their main revenue source, tourism by horny spring breakers. At a nearby lake, two middle aged rednecks named Clayton (Gary Busey) and Mo (Clu Gulager) wade into the water to recover the body of a dead cow. Eggs laid inside the cow carcass, and before you can say “piranha meal” the farmers are killed by a hungry and very angry swarm of baby piranha.
Enter Maddy (the lovely “Friday the 13th” remake star Danielle Panabaker) a marine biology student. She returns home for the summer to the waterpark she co-owns. She finds to her horror, and our amusement, that the other co-owner, her step-father Chet (David Koechner), plans to add an adult-themed section to the waterpark with ‘water-certified strippers’, and re-open it as “Big Wet” where the “double DD’s get in for free.” At a party at the waterpark that night, Maddy encounters several old friends, including her policeman ex-boyfriend Kyle (the enjoyable slimy Chris Zylka), and Barry (Matt Bush) who has secretly had a crush on her since grade-school. She also runs into two of her close friends, Ashley (Meagan Tandy), and Shelby (Katrina Bowden). It doesn’t take long to guess who will and won’t become piranha bait.
Shelby and her boyfriend Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau) go skinny-dipping in the lake, where a piranha makes its way inside her vagina (yes, you read that right). Meanwhile, Ashley and her boyfriend Travis (Paul James Jordan) go to have sex in their van. They accidentally trip the handbrake, causing the van to roll into the lake, where they are both devoured by the angry piranhas.
The next day, Maddy is consoling Shelby about their missing friends. While sitting on the boat dock, they are both attacked by the swarm of piranhas in easily the film’s most suspenseful sequence. After some struggle, the two girls manage to kill one. Maddy, Kyle and Barry bring it to the strange Mr. Goodman (Christopher Lloyd in a kooky and actually sort of sweet performance that manages not to go too over the top) to examine. He has some bad news for them. He informs them that the piranhas may be moving via sewage pipes and underground rivers between lakes. Oh no, the waterpark is not safe!! Big surprise.
Meanwhile, back at the waterpark, we find celebrity lifeguard David Hasselhoff (played by himself in a hilarious, mocking tone similar to Jennifer Tilly’s role in “Seed of Chucky”) has been hired on as an “A list” lifeguard from the waterpark. It doesn’t take long before the piranhas find their way to the park to devour and feast on the lovely young teens and the families enjoying their stay at “Big Wet.”
Sound silly, over-the-top, and preposterous? Of course it is! The film is “Piranha 3DD” not “Schindler’s List.” You want big breasted girls being torn apart by piranhas? You want David Hasselholff running in slow motion to the Baywatch theme to save a drowning ginger boy? You want the death of not one but TWO annoying kids played up for two of the biggest laughs in the movie? Well, you get all of this and a hell of a lot more. Rating a movie like “Piranha 3DD” is a different proposition. The film itself is not nearly as good as the original remake (how’s that for an oxymoron?) but I would argue that this sequel is a hell of a lot more fun. Take out the 13 minute credits (stay for them, there are some funny bloopers and behind the scenes video) and you are left with a 70 minute nonstop rollercoaster ride that is over before you can even begin to think of the bad acting and nonsensical plot developments. “Piranha 3DD” left me craving another sequel and isn’t that the best thing you can say about a cheesy horror flick?
To order on demand from Amazon: Piranha 3DD (Theatrical Rental)