Fish & Chicks
I've never watched Joe Dante's original "Piranha" but I would imagine I am not alone yet that doesn't really matter when it comes to the 2010 version. I say version because this new "Piranha" seems to take its lead from "Jaws" in fact it opens with a hilarious cameo from Richard Dreyfuss which for those who have seen "Jaws" will be in fits. And that is the thing about "Piranha" it is funny and has the feel about it of being written by a group of 15 year old boys who have watched some movies they shouldn't have and let their minds go wild delivering horror, tits, horror and more tits whilst occasionally throwing in some cleverness. It's not great movie making but it is entertaining at the simplest level and enjoyable for being nothing more than it set out to be.
With Spring Break in full swing at Lake Victoria, thousands of horny teenagers descend for a lot of partying and wet t-shirt contests. But something has been awoken from the deep as thousands of Piranhas appear in the lake mutilating any one which comes in contact with them. With Sheriff Julie Forester (Elisabeth Shue - Dreamer) trying to get everyone out of the water at the wet t-shirt competition whilst her son Jake (Steven R. McQueen) has headed out into the lake with Derrick Jones (Jerry O'Connell - Kangaroo Jack), a porn movie maker and before long they find themselves in deep trouble when their boat gets into trouble.
I mentioned "Jaws" early on and it feels like writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg have used it as their basis but switching it so we have a lake and Piranhas. As such we not only have the amusing cameo from Richard Dreyfuss to open the movie but a similar narrative as Sheriff Forester becomes aware of trouble in the lake but knows that Spring Break is an economic boom time for the town. And as various people die in the lake, a piranha is caught and taken to an expert for identifying everything eventually leads to Julie trying to rescue her children aboard a stricken boat which in truth is a mix of "Jaws 2" and "Jaws".
But whilst "Piranha" has this basic vehicle it does feel like it has been filled by the imagination of 15 year old boys going wild with their desires which means tits and horror. From wet t-shirt competitions, grinding bikini clad women as well as a couple of porn stars "Piranha" is soaked in half naked and fully naked women and yes that is in 3D. In fact whilst we are just talking about nudity some of it is surprising such as an extended scene featuring naked swimmers including Kelly Brook. But we also have the horror and this is the horror of "Jaws" where people get mutilated in water but with lots more gore, from eyes popping to scalpings with gallons of blood it is full on gore.
The thing is that all of this could have made "Piranha" just an exploitation movie but there is some clever comedy to it which makes it much more than just tits and horror. From Dreyfuss's cameo as he sings "Show me the way to go home" to horror scenes which tease us with what will happen such as a topless paraglider skimming the piranha filled water it makes you smile. And surprisingly there are times it even gets you on edge and with no one being safe from a grisly death you wonder who will get bitten and bite the dust next.
What this all boils down to is that "Piranha" is a movie which simply takes an old idea and brings it up to date with horror being embellished by gore and then plenty of nudity thrown in to entertain boys. It is all done tongue in cheek and whilst it lacks certain things it is still entertaining in a guilty pleasure sort of way.