When it was initially suggested that Piranha 3DD wouldn’t be receiving a theatrical release in the UK there was somewhat of an uproar. That wasn’t because we’d seen anything of the sequel to Alexandre Aja’s 2010 remake that promised anything spectacular, but more because Aja’s film was such an unexpected delight and that we assumed the sequel couldn’t deviate too far from that winning formula.
The title too suggested that the same tongue-in-cheek approach had been adopted, so understandably we thought it seemed like a very good thing when the decision was reversed and Piranha 3DD was given the chance to play at cinemas.
We were wrong.
Ultimately the film only stuck around in theatres for two weeks, and you have to feel sorry for anyone who parted with their hard-earned cash to watch this rubbish. To suggest that doubling the D’s refers to doubling the dross would be a disservice to Aja’s film. There was effort put into that film, whereas this was never intended to be any more than cheapie made-for-DVD schlock.
The film begins with news footage of the piranha attack from the first movie. It’s a year on but we soon find out that the piranhas are back after they are farted out a cow’s anus during a pre-credits attack on Gary Busey. Meanwhile Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) returns home for the summer to the water park she co-owns (which will later play host to the carnage) to find out that her step-father (David Koechner) has replaced the lifeguards with strippers. That pretty much sets the scene – there’s wall-to-wall bloodshed, nudity, bad jokes and C-list celebrity cameos from there on in.
A couple of the cast members give decent accounts of themselves (Panabaker, Matt Bush) and some of the cameos are kind of fun (Paul Scheer and Ving Rhames’ return is fleetingly amusing) but apart from that there’s little to cling onto over the paltry 71 minute running time. Whereas Aja crafted a film that embraced the trash while never forgetting to service the horror elements of his story, or inhabit it with characters you semi care about, John Gulager’s direction only serves to prove how difficult it must be to strike the delicate balance that Aja did.
So, expectations obliterated, what is there left to entertain anyone looking simply for some cheap exploitation thrills. Well there’s a piranha swimming up a vagina, a severed head, another severed penis, breasts, breasts, and David Hasselhoff’s jiggling man-breasts. If you delve into the DVD extras there’s Gary Busey acting appropriately nutty, a whopping 61 seconds worth of deleted scenes, and a commentary that demonstrates how much funnier the filmmakers find their film than their audience does. Do yourself a favour, watch the first one again instead and avoid this like you would piranha-infested waters. Awful, just awful.