Oh boy – This was something else… since I don’t work for some syndication, my ratings are my own and I give this four top hats for delivering everything I had expected, SO – if you are NOT expecting TONS of blood, TONS of body parts, TONS of naked women, and TONS of man eating fish gruesomely ripping college kids apart, then this probably isn’t for you. If that’s what you’re expecting, then this thing delivers.
Alexandre Aja, the guy behind High Tension (4 top hats), The Hills Have Eyes remake (3 top hats) and the woeful Mirrors (one top hat), has single handedly upped the “gore you’ve never seen before” in his first three American movies (the press dubbing him a member of “The Splat Pack”) – and he does it again here (and I don’t know how he got so many chicks to unclothe themselves). I am sure you know what a piranha is, so, imagine a 90 minute movie filled with about 45 minutes of chewed to shreds partying co-eds, and then try and picture it – because they did a really gruesome looking, nice job in the makeup and prosthetics department. For real – I did have a couple of gag moments. One of the best parts of the movie is a 20 or so minutes relentless piranha attack on the whole group of Cancun-style partiers (hundreds of ‘em) – I repeat – relentless… on hundreds of ‘em.
When I was leaving work to go see this beauty, I was thinking of my review and hoping I would be able to give it a five rating. But – I was forced to see WAY too much of Jerry O’Connell, who I have never liked since he was a kid in the TV show “My Secret Identity” and then doubly forced to witness the most horrible actor in existence (another member of The Splat Pack), Eli Roth. I dig the movies he directs, but he is terrible on screen. Luckily, his screen time was short lived and he succumbed to a “kill” deserving of his acting ability. I wonder if they did that on purpose…. Another ding against the five top hats was the 3-D. This was actually my first movie to see in the new era of 3-D because I have been so opposed to it for these last couple of years. Well – this didn’t do anything to make me change my mind.
I can’t stand that they are 3-D-ing everything. If you don’t WANT to watch 3-D and you watch the 2-D, the special effect-ing to make it 3-D makes the 2-D look stupid. With this thing, sure the glasses weren’t the red and green pieces of shit from Hollywood’s first attempt at this in the 80’s, but they still made me cross eyed. I am pretty sure this was filmed in 2-D and then re-mastered afterwards, so maybe that was where I missed out, but, I am not a convert. So there you go.
Here’s the synopsis, if you’ve made it this far: Earthquake opens rift to underground lake where man eating piranhas have been living for 2 million years (or so). They are unleashed during spring break where hundreds of college kids, the local police, some U.S. Geological Survey folks and an awesome Christopher Lloyd either try to fight them, or end up carved to bits. I remember reading somewhere that Aja wanted to “make the goriest B-movie ever”, and I do think he succeeded. The production company here is the Weinstein company, who also produced the awesome Grindhouse double feature a few years ago, so I think what we have here is a “Grindhouse style flick”, with a big budget and a gasoline tanker full of synthetic blood.
Rereading this, it looks like I failed to mention that Elizabeth Shue was AWESOME as always and Ving Rhames was pretty cool too.
Some spoilers (don’t go any further if you don’t want to see):
To make a point of the tongue I cheekiness of this thing: Jerry O’connell’s weenus gets chewed off, then floats around for a few seconds, then eaten, then burped up. The mostly always naked, blond, porn star actress gets chewed to pieces, and her silicone boobs float off. There is a lengthy topless parasail scene that ends very poorly for that character. This very annoying character (during the massacre) drives off in a speed boat over the other coeds getting chewed to death. His rotor gets caught in someone’s long hair. Do they do it?? DO THEY?? Yes – he restarts the motor and her face rips off. That’s what you are in for with this feature film.
P.S. Eli Roth gets his head gruesomely smashed between two boats – LOVE IT!!