Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Fun "Piranha" Paints the Town Red

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 7 (of 2011) by Leroy Douresseaux

Piranha (2010)
Running time: 88 minutes (1 hour, 28 minutes)
MPAA – R for sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use
DIRECTOR: Alexandre Aja
WRITERS: Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg
PRODUCERS: Alexandre Aja, Mark Canton, Grégory Levasseur, and Marc Toberoff
EDITOR: Baxter


Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Brooklynn Proulx, Sage Ryan, and Richard Dreyfuss

It was called “Piranha 3D” when it was released last summer, but Piranha, the latest film from horror movie director, Alexandre Aja, is a remake. In 1978, director Joe Dante unleashed a campy horror flick entitled Piranha that was a spoof of Steve Spielberg’s Jaws. I didn’t see the new film in 3D, but I doubt I would have liked it more if I had seen it in 3D instead of the way I did – regular D on DVD.

It’s Spring Break on Lake Victoria in Arizona. Scantily clad girls are shaking their melon-like ta-ta’s, swinging their curvy hips, and bouncing their ample asses. Strangely, as healthy as the girls look, the guys are scrawny, but they will still provide good meat for the waterborne death soon to come.

Sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue) has her hands full trying to maintain order with an influx of rowdy college students. What she doesn’t know is that a small earthquake has split open the floor of Lake Victoria. From that chasm, a school of piranha has emerged from a subterranean lake. Sheriff Forester’s son, Jake (Steven R. McQueen), envies the fun everyone has while he has to baby sit his younger sister, Laura (Brooklyn Proulx), and younger brother, Zane (Sage Ryan). Fate has other plans for Jake, his family, his friends, and the visitors to Lake Victoria. The piranha are about to turn the lake into a bloody, killing field.

After the first 20 minutes or so of Piranha, I wanted everybody to die (even the two Forester children) because the movie seemed like it was going to be a disaster. By the time the piranhas really begin their killing spree, I was cheering this movie on and fretting over the fact that, at 88 minutes long, the movie would be over fairly quickly. As far as filmmaking merit goes, Piranha is trash, but as a horror movie willing to deliver bloody mayhem, it is pretty successful.

As a comic horror movie, Piranha is also winning, which isn’t all that common among films that mix comedy and horror. Director Alexandre Aja and his writers take the Spring Break movie set on the water and the wall-to-wall gore of a George Romero zombie movie and mix them into a death-by-trauma spectacular. There is so much blood in this movie that it often looks as if someone set off a cherry jello dirty bomb. The underwater shots of piranha pulling eyeballs out of sockets and stripping off flesh like pulled pork thrilled me – with my gleeful laughing as my own personal soundtrack.

Some viewers will consider Piranha a guilty pleasure. Others will wish more horror comedies could deliver the bloody goods the way Piranha does.

5 of 10

Friday, January 21, 2011


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