A few thoughts on Piranha 3DD. D. DD.
“Twice the terror. Double the D’s.”
Director: John Gulager / Writers: Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton / Cast: Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Chris Zylka, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Paul Scheer, Katrina Bowden, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Paul James Jordan, Meagan Tandy, David Hasselhoff, Gary Busey, Clu Gulager, Adrian Martinez.
Body Count: I counted 11
Dire-logue: “Josh cut off his penis because something came out of my vagina!”
I wouldn’t normally review this movie here, as fish don’t usually wield blades and have intricate revenge plots to settle (possibly excluding that shark in Jaws: The Revenge). But I hope that a few thoughts on my frankly miserable experience might save somebody else’s sanity, somewhere in the world…
Plus I did that Be careful what you fish for thingy some while ago.
Let us begin by stating that Piranha 3D (2010) was a horror film with a bit of comedy, whereas Piranha 3DD is a comedy with a bit of horror.
My misery began on a rainy Monday, when I drove my VW camper along the cinema to see an afternoon performance. During the ads and trailers, the sound seemed muffled and I hoped by the time the movie began it would work. Lo and behold, it didn’t. Only the music and added sound effects were discernible to the ear: All dialogue sounded like the actors were talking through gas masks. 35 minutes in, the techs couldn’t fix it and the showing was cancelled. We got refunded and home I went.
Having seen (though not heard) the first third of the movie, I thought “oh, it’s not as bad as it was meant to be.” Indeed, Piranha 3DD starts well enough, with a couple of tame fish attacks on a pair of trappers (Busey and director’s dad Gulager) and then ‘the van scene’, which was nicely done, although, again, very light on the bloodletting, something the 2010 movie was super liberal about.
When I went to a different cinema after work the next day, I re-enjoyed the first 35 minutes and then began to slip into a parallel state of being where I literally couldn’t believe that what was appearing on the screen had ever made it past any sort of editing suite. The subtle beginnings give way to an onslaught of ridiculous setups and, given the waterpark finale we were all salivating over the prospects of, a real damp squib of a finale.
The fish make it to the park and ‘the massacre’ scene occurs and is over and done with largely within 2-3 minutes. Shots from the trailer appear but there is no extra meat (‘scuse the pun) to them. The girl we see on the slide being attacked, for instance, there’s no preamble to it. Elsewhere, there’s a decapitation by driving a golf cart into what appears to be string bunting!
The mainstay from the first film is the nudity. If you thought it was crowbarred in before, it’s completely superfluous this time round. A montage of tits and vadge is shown near the start as Koechner’s agreeably slimy waterpark owner introduces Danielle Panabaker to the ‘adult pool’, which includes an underwater ‘Coochie Cam’. It’s entirely without point and weirdly off-putting.
Finally, there’s David Hasselhoff. Introduced in a frankly bizarre scene where he composes a crappy my-first-Casio song about “love honey”, then attempts to spoof his Baywatch role, poses a lot, and is utterly unaffected by the carnage going on around him.
- The CG-fish look better
- Too many principal cast members survive (and several of those that don’t aren’t even chomped by the piranha)
- Nudity beyond requirement. Oddly, in the two sex scenes, there’s none!
- The Hoff lives
- Ving Rhames and Paul Scheer (Andrew the camera guy who literally disappeared in the first film) appear for all of five minutes.
- This should be a horror film, not Porky’s Meets Piranha
A good first act notwithstanding, this is possibly the worst of the five Piranha movies. And that includes Roger Corman’s dodgy 1995 version.
Blurbs-of-interest: Danielle Panabaker was Jenna in the 2009 Friday the 13th redux; David Koechner was recently in Final Destination 5; Chris Zylka can be found in all three My Super Psycho Sweet 16 films; Clu Gulager played the dad in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2. Writers Dunstan and Melton were the “creative” force behind The Collector.