Sunday, August 22, 2010

Piranha 3D: Blood and Birthday Suits Galore

So everybody and their brother has written a review/post on Piranha 3D. Does that mean I am going to forego having a sheep over the cliff moment and avoid blogging about it to refrain from being repetitive?
Sorry, no.

I doubt I can tell you anything you don't already know about the gore-fest that opened this weekend opposite the makefunofeveryaspectofTwilight Vampires Suck. There's boobs and blood. Pretty much all you need to know.

I guess what irks me the most are the people out there bashing this film because it "doesn't have any real substance" or is "lacking a plot". Seriously? You mean to tell me there are folks out there that thought a movie about prehistoric killer fish wreaking havoc at Spring Break would have a legitimate plot? Chill out! It's just a fun film with boatloads of gore (literally) and a lot of T & A. Do you really need more than that to have a fun ninety minutes? Have you honestly never sat through a bad Sy-Fy movie on a Sunday afternoon and enjoyed yourself? Shame on you and your pretentiousness if you haven't!

This is no critically acclaimed horror movie. It's not Jaws. Hell, it's not even the original 1977 Pirahna. So go ahead critics, give it two out of five stars, feel free. But I think the general consensus is that Piranha 3D is just bloody good fun. It's a concept film, of course, throwing things off the screen at the audience in an attempt to cause jump scares or perhaps a shaky stomach.

The last time I saw a 3D movie in a theater was Jaws 3-D, and I shit you not on that point. (And before you go trashing that one, please keep in mind that Richard Matheson was one of the screenwriters on that one. Yep, I'm serious.) And oh yeah, it was 1983.
So it's quite possible that many of you dear readers (except you my beloved Pax!) weren't even a twinkle in your parents eye when I was sinking into those big theater seats with my ridiculous blue and red cardboard 3D glasses to be scared shitless (well, to be entertained, anyway!)
I was too young, but already had a helluva catalog of horror under my belt, so a little water-skier lunch wasn't going to deter me.

That being said, I detest the current obsession filmmakers have with turning absolutely everything into a 3D mess. I don't understand the fascination with it, not at all. Most movies just end up a gimmicky disaster (such as the recent Clash of the Titans). This would be the primary reason that I haven't seen one in so damn long. Another reason is that the damn 3D craze died out just about as quickly as it came around the last time, and it is my hope that producers and directors alike will soon realize that perhaps it may be more important to concentrate on putting a decent script together than seeing how many pointed objects they can propel toward the screen to make a few people gasp. Ugh.

So....even though I am not a fan of 3D, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the latest Alexandre Aja film in theaters. I am a fan of both Haute Tension (though the ending leaves something to be desired) and The Hills Have Eyes remake, and found the Aja produced P2 to be mildly entertaining. (We shall leave Mirrors out of this equation, thank you very much.) And honestly, early noise about the film stated it was going to be rife with blood and guts, of which I am a very big fan. And I am also a big 'water horror' aficionado as well, so this was right up my alley. After all, Jaws is my favorite film.

I have to give props to my movie-watching partner in crime, my uncle Shawn, who graciously ponied up the $11.25 per ticket as a belated birthday gift. I think I've mentioned him before on my blog as my long-time horror movie accomplice - despite him being my uncle, he's the same age as me and we grew up together watching bad zombie movies and dudes in hockey masks. So he was able to get away from his day job as an undertaker (seriously) and escort me to the massacre.

By the way, the theater was so age-conscientious that there was an actual cop and a manager of some sort outside the number 10 theater to ensure no one under 17 was admitted. I have never seen this happen before. Hilarious.

Quick, meaningless four-point plot synopsis:

1) Jake Forester (played by Steven R. McQueen - grandson of THE Steve McQueen) is up to no good when he takes a job as a location scout for a cheesy porno director (played to the umpteenth sleaziest degree by Jerry O'Connell) in his Spring Break infested hometown of Lake Victoria.

2) Jake's mom (the still-amazingly-hot Elisabeth Shue) is the town sheriff, who has the kick-ass-and-take-names-later Ving Rhames as her deputy. Attempting to keep some semblance of order during the naked, drunken fun-fest that has invaded her town is a rather difficult job, especially after finding the chewed up remains of a local fisherman in the lake. (And yes, you'll recognize this fisherman!)

3) As if you didn't already know this, a school of vicious, man-eating, prehistoric piranha escape a huge crack in the lake floor after a minor earthquake.

4) Massive amounts of grisly carnage ensues.

Basically, that's all you have to know. There's nothing else that the plot yields as far as substance and there's no underlying meaning. It's just bad ass fish biting people to death.
There are a few minor stories including Jake's obsession with a girl his age (Jessica Szohr), his disobedient younger siblings, and a couple seismologists who dive under the lake to see what the deal is, but really it's just filler.

There really is an alarming amount of gore in this film. I have trouble believing the producers were able to flesh out (pun intended) an R rating. In the central attack, spring breakers participating in (and ogling) a wet t-shirt contest are gobbled up in a most impressive fashion, turning the lake waters crimson while limbs fly left and right and people rush for the safety of shore. Naturally though, very few make it out alive or at least without major blood loss and absolutely gruesome wounds all over.

In one particularly effective moment, a girl is literally ripped in two while being carted out of the water, and in another our pal Eli Roth (in a turn as the annoying wet t-shirt contest host) meets a ghastly end - which actually made me laugh out loud in the theater. Also amusing was the demise of said porno director - he was such a dick that you knew it was coming, but his last words were just comical, to say the least.

Can I just say, when they say Aja used over 7000 gallons of fake blood in the filming of the movie, that still doesn't seem high enough a number. I have literally not seen a more gory film in over twenty years...maybe ever.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention all the boobs. You think there's a lot of blood in this movie? It pales in comparison to the avalanche of bouncing breastages that make an appearance here! There is even an underwater ballet in which two of our porno gals frolic and dance naked to an operatic melody. Gasp! Now it's not that I don't appreciate the female form, I do (I own one, after all!) - but WOW. Can I just say that my hubby is soooo going to enjoy this one, I can't lie.

So at the end of the day, when you hear people bitch about this movie, don't immediately take them at their word. See it for yourself. As a long-time horror fan, I have to say I was completely entertained, and as campy and ridiculous as it may have been, I don't have any complaints.

HorrorBlips: vote it up!


Anonymous said...

Jaws 3D works with polarized glasses (not the red and blue one) Check

Zombie Mom said...

Seriously looking forward to this one! Thanks for the positive review...I was starting to worry...

B-Sol said...

Christine, I'll have you know that I was a precocious 8-year-old when Jaws 3-D came out. But unfortunately, no, my parents wouldn't take me to see it :-(

B-Movie Becky said...

The movie was lots of fun, but I was still a little disappointed. Didn't quite go all the way for me, but yes, the gore was incredible.

The Mike said...

Good stuff, Christine! Completely agree that anyone who was looking for more than what the film offered was missing something.

C.L. Hadden said...

Anon: Will check that one out with mah glasses(the ones I was supposed to recycle but kept in case they'd work with my My Bloody Valentine remake!)

Mindy: You'll like it, it's like a B movie with an upgrade.

Brian: I wasn't really much older than that, and had a friend whose mom paid for us to get in but then she left us at Jaws 3 and went to see some romantic comedy!

Becky: This film has more blood than a slaughterhouse, yikes!

Mike: Agreed. It was what it was, a boob and gore-fest. What were they expecting, really?

lazlo azavaar said...

I gotta go see this movie.
----a fellow syfy sinner

Anonymous said...

My dear Christine. I, too, don't understand why people bitch about movies like this. I mean, they told you what to expect as soon as you saw the preview. Anyone writing about the "death of the golden age of horror" or "the waste of time of boobs and blood" are basically just asking to be ridiculed.

However, one may have a point if she's pissed with the sudden influx of 3D ridiculousness. It's a complete waste of time, effort, and money to invest in something that died out within the same 10 years that it was a huge sensation. But, anyway. I'll stay away from this one as it's not my cup of tea and save the grumbling for something with loftier intentions ;)