Piranha 3DD/DD DVD/Blu-ray

Sunday, 02 September 2012 14:02

Piranha 3DD/DD out on Blu-ray and DVDThe Big Wet Water Park is open for business, but dive-bombing kids and amorous teenagers are not the main cause for concern. A school of starving, prehistoric piranha fish is lurking in a lake nearby, determined to sneak in and feast on unsuspecting paddlers. To make matters worse, sleazy park owner Chet (David Koechner) is more interested in profit and ogling at the suntanned babes than he is in the safety of his customers.

Fortunately for Chet, his step-daughter Maddy (Danielle Panabaker from the remakes of “Friday the 13th” and “The Crazies”) is a marine biology student, so that could come in handy. He also hires none-other than Mr Baywatch, David Hasselhoff as a star attraction at the park’s opening. Who knows, The Hoff might actually have learnt a thing or two about being lifeguard during his TV career. One thing is guaranteed: the little snappers will cause bloody mayhem.

A point of clarification before I go on: The Blu-ray version comes with 3D and 2D versions of the film, and the DVD version (reviewed here) is just in 2D, aka “Piranha DD”.

Sequels of remakes are notorious for scraping the barrel. To succeed, they need to either push the envelope in interesting new directions, or ramp up the action to new heights. “Piranha 3DD” does both in the most tasteless and absurd ways conceivable. For starters, director John Gulager (“Feast”) is obsessed with the taut and surgically inflated bodies of his female cast members, clothed and unclothed. Titillation is as important to this film as severed limbs; over-sexed teenagers will be in heaven.

Secondly, the gory action delights in very graphic depictions of dismemberment, and dares to go beyond anything seen before in terms of where the pesky piranhas venture and what they bite off (use your imagination!). The film’s tone is as close to being a gross-out comedy, like the dire “Scary Movie” franchise, as it is a horror movie.

And yet, out of the wreckage of these terrible ingredients, a reasonably entertaining movie emerges.

Reason 1: David Hasselhoff playing a burnt-out, inconsiderate and self-loving version of himself is actually very funny.

Reason 2: The horror aspect of the film is quite well done, in terms of suspense, gore and special effects. The CGI is sometimes a bit choppy but the frenzied, comically OTT piranhas have personality and menace, as well as somehow being quite endearing!

Reason 3: The acting is generally better than you would expect for such a low-brow film, and the veterans who turn up (The Hoff, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd and Gary Busey) do a good job, rather than phoning it in and taking the pay cheque.

The movie is also mercifully short (70 minutes plus 10 minutes of daft out-takes and clips that are interspersed with the credits), so there is no time to pad the wafer-thin plot out with unnecessary waffle.

Considering the market this film is aimed at (teens and 20-somethings), I have to say that it hits the spot if they want something undemanding, gaudy and idiotic.  I am well outside that age bracket but I still found myself laughing quite regularly, partly through shock and partly because the zany humour running through the film is on my level. Hasselhoff in a shameless, mock title sequence for a new series called “Fish Hunter” has to be seen to be believed.

Special features on both release formats include:

  • The Story Behind the DD (7 mins 30 secs)
  • The Hofftastic World of David Hasselhoff (2 mins)
  • Wet and Wild with David Koechner (1 min 30 secs)
  • A Lesson with John Mcenroe: A Dimension Short Film (3 mins 45 secs)
  • Deleted Scenes (x2)
  • Busey’s Bloopers (2 mins)
  • Preview Trailers (for three other movies)

Ignoring the running time of these extras, they look like a lot, but what they are in reality is short bursts of amusing nonsense in the same vein as the film itself. The Hoff and Busey’s sections are the best, purely for being so out there and because the actors send themselves up so selflessly that I was laughing myself silly. Some movie releases come with very straight-laced and professional bonus content, some do not. “Piranha 3DD” definitely falls into the latter category and is more entertaining for it.

“Piranha 3DD/Piranha DD” (2012) is out now, courtesy of Entertainment in Video. The main feature has a running time of 80 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £19.99 on DVD, £24.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com


Last modified on Sunday, 02 September 2012 14:14

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