By Ian Watson (Wales)
Though Piranha 3D was Alexandre Aja’s third horror remake, he seemed to have seized on the wrong movie and re-tooled James Cameron’s lame/pointless Piranha 2: The Spawning rather than Joe Dante’s smart/funny original, even throwing in Humanoid From The Deep’s casual sexism for good measure. Piranha 3DD is the sequel to the remake with Feast 1-3 Helmer John Gulagher filling the director’s chair, once again teamed with writing duo Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunston, who knows a thing or two about sequels, having penned Saws four through seven.
In case you were wondering about the title, it’s helpfully explained by the owner of Big Wet Water Park. “Double D swims free,” he tells his stepdaughter (Danielle Panabaker) before informing her the lifeguards have been replaced with “water certified strippers” whose dual abilities can be viewed on the “cooch cam.” “This is a very expensive joke,” Panabaker replies, and that’s Piranha 3DD in a nutshell: it’s $20m worth of tit shots, dick jokes and related humor for those who found Aja’s movie too thoughtful.
Gulagher and co ignore the previous installment’s cliffhanger by explaining the resort closed afterwards, but they follow its lead by having a famous face (Gary Busey) wiped out in the opening moments and bring back Christopher Lloyd’s bug-eyed scientist to prove that piranha can tear through several inches of galvanized steel. Also encoring is Ving Rhames (now practically synonymous with schlock) who apparently survived the first film minus his legs and gets around on titanium stilts that double as rifles. How did he afford them? With the money he saved on socks.
That this is going to be a more playful and spoofy affair is evinced by the presence of “the most famous lifeguard of all time”, David Hasselhoff (as “himself”) who knows exactly where he’s at, turning up at Big Wet and announcing “Welcome to rock bottom.” He gets to poke fun at himself and runs in slow motion, but you probably guessed that. And he watches a ginger kid get decapitated by a flying piranha, which must be some sort of cinematic first.
Not only does Piranha 3DD have all the decapitations, phallocentric intrusions and blood-soaked females usually found in Troma movies, it also features the line “Josh cut off his penis because something came out of my vagina”, which we don’t recall hearing in Cameron’s film, or indeed, in any film. Fans of Humanoids From The Deep will rejoice, others needn’t bother!