Piranha 3D review

Looking for a film with bucketloads of blood, boats and boobs? Well, you won't be disappointed – Piranha 3D has more of each than you could poke a pointy-toothed prehistoric fish at. Oh, and there's an absolute lakeload of those, too.

A remake of Joe Dante's 1978 cheesy schlockfest – itself a pisstake of Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic, Jaws – Alex Aja's version definitely has its tongue wedged firmly in its cheek. And quite a few cleavages. Surprisingly, for a film of this kind, there is a plot among all the flesh – and it has a certain amount of logic, too. An earthquake cracks open the floor of Arizona's Lake Victoria in the middle of the summer tourist season, releasing millions of prehistoric piranhas that have ben locked away in an underground cavern. And they quickly start nibbling on any available human flesh they come across, starting with Richard Dreyfuss in a lovely homage to his Matt Hooper character from Jaws. Strangely, the feisty flesh-eating fishies are nowhere to be seen while buck-naked Danni (Brook) and Crystal (real-life porn star Steele) perform an erotic underwater ballet for the camera of sleazy Wild Wild Girls filmmaker Derrick Jones (O'Connell).

But elsewhere, the pesky piranhas are causing trouble for town sheriff Julie Forester (Shue) because the annual Spring Break (woo hooo!) is in full swing and the lake is teeming with beer-swilling, breast-baring and butt-waving teenagers. To complicate matters, her teenage son Jake (McQueen) has signed on as the porn producer's local guide (teenage boy? boobies? moth, meet flame ...) instead of babysitting his two younger siblings, who disobey orders to stay at home and end up trapped on a small island in the middle of the lake.

Yes, you can see where all this is going. And the getting there is some of the most fun you're going to have at the cinema this summer. Want to see badass Ving Rhames chopping up piranhas with an outboard motor? Done. Want to see a topless parasailer get her bottom half eaten away? Done. Want to see a buxom beauty devoured until all that's left are her silicon implants? Done. Want to see a piranha spit out a half-eaten penis? Done and done. Although the deaths are played mainly for laughs – keep your eyes on one Eli Roth! – the filmmakers haven't skimped on the blood and gore, making the more recent Saw efforts look like Gossip Girl in comparison. It's a B-movie funfest at its best, and everyone in the cast knows that – from O'Connell hamming it up gloriously as the sleazemeister, snorting cocaine and licking tequila from the bodies of his models, to Lloyd as a crazy Doc Brown-esque biologist who supplies all the exposition that we need about where the aquatic carnivores have come from.

It's not perfect – the Wild Wild Girls cameraman just disappears without explanation, and it's not as funny as it could (and should) have been. But they're minor quibbles. The babes are beautiful, and so is the 3D  – which is a pleasant surprise, because it was a post-production conversion. So, if you've got a strong stomach, and an affinity for lots and lots of bare breasts and gross-out deaths, then this is your (and my) kinda film. Go see it now.

Official Site
Piranha 3D at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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