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Overall Rating

Worth A Look34.38%
Average: 21.88%
Pretty Bad: 6.25%
Total Crap: 3.13%

3 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Piranha 3-D
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Not quite the trash classic you might've been led to believe it is."
3 stars

While talking to schlock-movie magnate Roger Corman, the great drive-in movie critic Joe Bob Briggs developed the three-B formula for B-movies: blood, breasts and beasts. "Piranha 3D" packs plenty of all three (it shouldíve been called "Piranha 3B").

The gore comes in waves, the quantity of bouncing boobs (in and out of bikini tops) verges on ridiculous, and the critters ó prehistoric piranha stirred up by an earthquake under a lake ó attack in ferocious, water-churning swarms. I was amped for this movie ó I wanted it to be a trash masterpiece, a three-B flick so gratuitous and grisly it would soar past exploitation and crash-land somewhere in the rocky borderlands of art.

Turns out, though, Piranha 3D probably plays best if met with low expectations. People have been talking about it as if it would redeem not just this dull summer but the newly burgeoning and mostly squandered subgenre of 3D movies. The film was conceived for 3D but wasnít actually shot in 3D; as a result, much of the movie has that glazed ViewMaster look, a slick layered flatness, and thatís true of the movieís tone, too. The original Piranha, from 1978, was also exploitation (from, ahem, the Roger Corman factory), but itís a junk classic, with two genuine wits at the helm ó director Joe Dante and writer John Sayles, who turned a Jaws rip-off into a wry send-up of aquatic-monster flicks. The new effort works hard to be over-the-top, but it seems to have no reason for being aside from congratulating itself for its own excess.

Director Alexandre Aja (High Tension, the Hills Have Eyes remake) gives us one gorgeous moment: British model Kelly Brook and porn actress Riley Steele performing a nude underwater dance. The movie stops dead for this; otherwise itís full steam ahead into a plot that feeds thousands of horny spring-break youngsters into the gnashing choppers of the piranha. This is what we came to see, but the result ó which seems intent on challenging Saving Private Ryan for the championship belt in blood-drenched beach scenes ó is more ugly than fun. There is, it turns out, a clear demarcation point past which ravaged flesh and floating body parts become a bit boring, and Aja speedboats over the line and keeps on going.

Thereís a spooky, dread-ridden shot in the trailer that sold many of us on the movie ó a terrified Jessica Szohr, underwater, as scores of piranha advance on her slowly. That shot isnít in the movie, but a lot else is: a hang-gliding woman eaten from the torso down; a woman whose hair gets caught in a propeller and whose face gets torn off. Lest you think Piranha 3D is misogynist rubbish reveling in exposing female flesh and then jamming it, Larry Flynt-like, into the meat grinder, thereís also the comeuppance of a smarmy character (Jerry O'Connell) clearly based on Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild infamy. This upstanding fellow loses the organ most valuable to him and his legions of video viewers, and a piranha makes off with it and then barfs it back into our faces in 3D.

You donít see that every day, nor do you get to write that sentence every day. For that, if for nothing else, as a viewer and as a critic, I suppose I should be thankful.

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originally posted: 08/22/10 12:46:20
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell the original is better this one is lame IMHO 1 stars
9/11/11 Captain00Kirk Gore, sex, and nudity.You get your money's worth. 4 stars
7/10/11 Jeep a pair of stars for the boobie fun, plus Gianna in a mainstream!? 2 stars
3/17/11 art A GEAT REMAKE!,see it as a doubEl-feature with the 1978 original! 5 stars
2/01/11 Charles Tatum Trashy and surprisingly gory 4 stars
1/15/11 mr.mike DVD version is just OK. 3 stars
10/13/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Almost as good as Corman's/Dante's original 4 stars
9/15/10 Lloyd Camp horror at its best! 5 stars
9/02/10 Pete Kesic Easily the most gratuitous, over-the-top, rediculousness ive ever seen on film. 10/10 5 stars
8/30/10 M TITS 3D 2 stars
8/28/10 Mitch Dolan i had a blast at the theater with this one! NUDIE BALLET FTW 5 stars
8/24/10 Joseph If you want to have a good time, you have found the right movie 4 stars
8/23/10 James What a great time!! This movie was barrels of fun. 5 stars
8/22/10 Rhys A nice campy throwback to the original 78 film wth nice gore and plenty of nudity. 4 stars
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  20-Aug-2010 (R)
  DVD: 11-Jan-2011


  DVD: 11-Jan-2011

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