The funny thing about Piranha 3D is actually how good it is. This low-brow horror flick succeeds where so many others have failed, and can teach aspiring schlockmeisters a lesson or two in how the game is played.
Okay, first up: your girl is probably not going to dig this movie all too hard. It is, after all, about carnivorous fish eating people in a panoply of increasingly gruesome ways. But, you know, if she has an open mind (or doesn’t want to see Eat, Pray, Love again), there’s a lot to dig in this flick even outside the squirting blood. The cast is a bizarre cobbler of Hollywood B(and lower)-listers, including Elizabeth Shue as the town’s sheriff, Ving Rhames as her deputy and Christopher Lloyd as a fish expert. The 3D (which was added in post-production) is used gratuitously and hilariously, with not only the chomp-crazed fish rocketing out of the screen, but also what may be the movie industry’s first 3D vomiting scene.
Director Alexandre Aja knows exactly the line to walk with Piranha 3D – the movie is obviously aware of its ludicrous premise and Z-grade origins, but instead of collapsing into complete self-parody, Aja lets it surf along the border between camp and carnage, which makes both sides more effective. The humor is lowbrow but still incisive – after all, Spring Break at Lake Havasu isn’t exactly the place you’d expect to find Oscar Wildean dialogue. And the kills (and, of course, that’s what it’s all about) are inventive, unexpected and visceral.
Oh, and did I mention the chicks? I forgot to mention the chicks. Playboy covergirl Kelly Brook. Naked. In 3D. If you don’t have a ticket in your hand after reading that sentence, I don’t know what else I can do for you.