Monday, September 24, 2012
Piranha 3DD (2012)
Review is only for the 2D Blu-ray Disc.
Piranha 3DD was looked like a promising sequel to the 2010 Alexandre Aja's remake of the Joe Dante film Piranha. The cast, when it was first announced, sounded fantastic. We got David Koechner (Snakes on a Plane and Anchorman); Gary Busey; Danielle Panabaker; and David Hasselhoff. Returning from Piranha 3D, we got Ving Rhames; Paul Scheer; and Christopher Lloyd. Sounds like we got a potentially great sequel lined up, right? Well, Piranha 3DD sounds great in theory, but the execution and, mainly, the writing is sloppy. This time the film is directed by John Gulager and written by the hack duo who did Feast #1 - 3; Saw #4 - 7; and The Collector. Also, co-written by Joel Soisson who happened to run such franchises into the ground like the American version of Pulse; Wes Craven's Dracula; Mimic; Hollow Man; The Prophecy; and last but not least, Hellraiser.
While the film is not that bad as to some of the sequel to other properties that I previously mentioned; the plot is that piranhas are attacking a water park. That sounds great; going into spoilers here; only problem is that the film is 72 minutes. Piranhas attack at the one hour mark. It keeps building up to it and building up to it and then you get less than fifteen minutes of carnage. But, let me back track to the beginning of this film; it is a year after the Lake Victoria incident and everything from the end of Piranha 3D is ignored, especially that big Piranha that was the mommy or daddy that jumped out of the boat and killed Adam Scott's character. Maddy (Panabaker) comes home from college to see her step-father (Koechner) has turned their family water park into a sexed up, drugged up, and booze filled joint called "The Big Wet". We see some of Maddy's friends who are the wreck less; "We're going to have sex because it's wrong but we're going to have fun" get mostly killed off by piranha after their introductions. Except for Katrina Bowden's character who gets a piranha up the vagina. How you don't notice a piranha literally eating your vagina and innards up to shreds is beyond me.
Maddy goes to console her friend (Bowden) when piranhas attack and they have a dead one on hand and learn about Goodman (Lloyd) who helped deal with these piranha at Lake Victoria a year prior. Goodman seems more senile this time around rambling on about Youtube views and some foreshadowing. All this is going on while we are still waiting for the piranha to attack the park, which still isn't happening. Then after several events of just padding, we finally hit the one hour mark when the piranhas attack the water park. The build up to the attack on the park has a legless Deputy Fallon who supposedly lived after the fish ate him up halfway through the first film. And there's an ongoing gag where David Hasselhoff has a connection with this ginger child because the child think's he's just a lifeguard. Then at the end when we learn the piranhas can now walk on land, the fish bites the kid's head off.
While the film is pretty bad, I do give it some props in terms of visual effects. Although I wonder how many of those chewed up corpses were reused props from the Alexandre Aja film. The piranhas were mostly rubber toys that were made pretty well; whereas in the Aja film, they're mostly crappy CGI. It just makes me wonder what they could have accomplished if the water park attack happened within the first half hour and we deal with the aftermath for the rest of the film. That could have been a greater horror film right there. Movie scores a 2.5/5
Piranha 3DD presents the film with a great transfer that is almost perfection. However, I guess these where re-shoots or something; there's these shots that look horribly pixelated. These are mostly in the night shots and a few underwater shots that I am guessing is second unit work or is reshoots to help pad this train wreck out to 72 minutes. I wonder if someone who was working the cameras accidentally screwed up and filmed these shots in possibly SD? Video scores a 4.5/5.
We only have 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio for the film, plus a commentary track. The audio is pretty solid. It's amazing how this average film gets almost a full five star treatment from Anchor Bay. A studio that's screwed around and not given a U.S. release of something like Demons; which I don't even care about anymore since I got the British Region B Blu-ray. Enough with the ranting, the audio is pretty sweet in terms of hearing piranhas snapping their jaws and devouring flesh and the crispness of the horrifying screams as people die. 5/5 for the audio.
The film contains a commentary by the director and some of the crew. I didn't really mind it. Deleted scenes revolving around the character Big Dave who is the stoner who kept putting his "manhood" into one of the jet holes. There's a short film about tennis player John McEnroe. Gary Busey outtakes which it's always fun to see Gary. Story behind Piranha DD which is mostly cast and crew interviews. There's two segments, one is on David Koechner and Hasselhof. These extra features left me not really caring at all. 2.5/5.
This sequel had so much promise and did not live up to the hype. Especially with how brutal Alexandre Aja's remake was. That film had me feeling stomach pains from how realistic the practical effects were handled. John Gulager has potential as a director and he needs to do a film sans Dunstan and Marcus writing the script. This Blu-ray release is pretty solid, except for some of the shots that look bloody horrible and the average bonus material. I can recommend this if you can get it dirt cheap, 3.5/5.