Did you know PIRANHA 3DD, the follow up to 2010’s PIRANHA 3D, opened yesterday on June 1st? Now don’t go feeling like a bad horror fan for not knowing because it seems Dimension Films didn’t want you to know. How many TV spots of the trailer did you see? Radio spots? Even the online world was pretty quiet about the opening. Dimension Films treated PIRANHA 3DD the same way the piranha treated Big Dave (Adrian Martinez) in the film (if you’ve seen the film then you know exactly what I’m talking about). Sorry; I don’t want this to end up being a rant against Dimension Films. Let’s talk about PIRANHA 3DD … and how much friggin’ fun it is!!
PIRANHA 3DD is directed by John Gulager and written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (along with Joel Soisson). Those names sound familiar, you say? They should!! Gulager, Melton, and Dunstan are the trio that gave us the FEAST trilogy (one of my all time favorite ‘guilty pleasure’ franchises). If you saw the FEAST films then you’ve seen how bat-shit crazy these three are. There’s no limits to the depravity and depths they’ll sink in order to shock their fans and give them something they haven’t seen before in a horror film. Well good news; they haven’t changed!! These three lunatics fill PIRANHA 3DD with more titties, gore, bathroom humor, and genital gore (along with a little full frontal nudity for good measure) to make even the most hardened horror fan (like yours truly) get excited and even giggle at some points. When the holy trinity of Gulager-Melton-Dunstan are attached to a film you know they won’t be accepting an Academy Award, but you can pretty well damn bet that you’re gonna have a fun time watching their film!! They do not disappoint with PIRANHA 3DD.
The film picks up some undisclosed time after the events of the original film. We’re told via a news report that Lake Victoria, the once bustling “go to” spot for Spring Break, is now closed down and all but abandoned after what the media has dubbed, “The Lake Victoria Massacre.” The news reporter ends her report questioning whether something like this could happen again. I think we all know it can, and the new location is The Big Wet Water Park in Arizona. The owner of the park, Chet (the always great David Koechner), has re-invented the water park for the upcoming new season. Instead of having the regular old stuffy lifeguards, Chet replaced them with stripper-lifeguards (“water certified stripper-lifeguards”) and even made a section of the water park “adults only.” So pretty much from the first frame we get wall-to-wall titties and naked girls running around being crazy. Chet’s stepdaughter Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), isn’t happy at all with these changes. Maddy’s home for the summer from grad school where she’s studying marine biology (hello convenient SyFy-like plot devise).
Gulager takes some time to introduce the other characters: Barry (Matt Bush), who’s secretly been in love with Maddy since the seventh grade; Kyle (Chris Zylka), a crooked deputy who’s Maddy’s ex; Shelby (Katrina Bowden), the gorgeous actress from TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL; Ashley (Meagan Tandy), Shelby’s best friend; and a bunch of other really good looking cast members with either hugh titties or ripped abs. But it doesn’t take long at all for things to get bloody, messy, and gored up!! The piranha have apparently been traveling through underground lakes and streams to end up in Arizona where they’re looking for a new party. But how, you might ask, do the piranha end up in the chlorinated pools of the water park? Good question, and the filmmakers bring back Christopher Lloyd’s “Carl Goodman” character to explain that. Does it make sense? Who fucking cares!! This is a B-movie through and through with great special f/x, great performances, lots of skin, and some unique gore. What happens when a girl goes skinny dipping and a tadpole-ish piranha is in the area? You’ll see!! What about the after effects of having sex with said girl a few days later? You’ll see (and guys; you’re gonna flinch).
Nothing in this film is to be taken seriously (have you seen the FEAST films??). The writing is quick and rides the line between laugh-out-loud humor and cringe-inducing gore. If you can’t have fun in PIRANHA 3DD then you just aren’t a horror fan!! This was originally supposed to be released around Thanksgiving 2011, but releasing it now was a much better idea. This is a 100% summer movie through and through that will make every horror fan stand up and cheer. We also get the return of two other characters from PIRANHA 3D: Ving Rhames, who played Deputy Fallon in the original film and who lost his legs to the little monsters, and Paul Sheer, who played Andrew and was Jerry O’Connell’s camera man. But the actor who pretty much stole the movie was David Hasselhoff!! Yeah; I know. The Hof looks like he’s having a blast ripping on both his character from BAYWATCH and his real life persona. It’s pretty hilarious at how nonchalant he is at the horrors going on around him, and he also gets the best line in the film: “Little ginger moron.” When you see this line in context, you’ll be laughing out loud.
PIRANHA 3DD is never gonna win any awards. It’s over-the-top in both nudity and gore; has a bat-shit crazy kind of energy to it; and doesn’t try to be more than what it is. PIRANHA 3DD is, simply put, a really fun film that would’ve been great to see up on the big screen. Dimension Films needs to seriously reassess the way it treats it’s films!! The lack of support they showed for PIRANHA 3DD says a lot about a company. You should be able to catch PIRANHA 3DD digitally. It’s playing on vudu.com and I caught it on my cable system’s VOD. Look for it; it’s worth it. You’re gonna have a great time. Oh yeah; they also left room for another sequel. Sweet.
Director: John Gulager
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 8.5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer