Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break; a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there's something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets...
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Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break; a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there's something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area's new razor-toothed residents.
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Those who've watched MTV's Spring Break and wished for its undulating crew of debauched partiers to be devoured wholesale, or who've witnessed Girls Gone Wild's shameless exploitation of drunken college girls and longed for its smarmy founder, Joe Francis, to receive a grisly dose of karmic justice, or who've seen any of Eli Roth's films and hoped for the "torture-porn" impresario to receive a dose of his own vile medicine, will find their catharsis in Piranha 3D. What they will not find is much in the way of a plot, quality acting, or anything remotely resembling restraint. But you weren't really expecting that in a film about killer fish, were you?
In Piranha 3D, director Alexandre Aja's (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes remake) overriding concern is with his relentless onslaught of T&E — tits and entrails. He often groups them together in the same scene — presumably for efficiency's sake — as when a busty topless parasailor (an IMDB search reveals her to be a porn star named Gianna Michaels) is bisected during a brief dip below the water's surface, or when a similarly-endowed party girl is separated from her bikini top — and then much of her upper torso — by a stray cable from a tumbling platform. Indeed, Piranha DDD might be a more suitable title for the film, given Aja's Russ Meyer-meets-Faces of Death sensibility.
Given the ridiculous subject matter, Aja has little choice but to wholeheartedly embrace the camp of it all, and Piranha 3D is nothing less than the Avatar of B movie schlockfests. In addition to its array of grotesquely violent set pieces, the film boasts a gleefully wicked sense of humor, the primary vessel of which is Jerry O'Connell, who plays internet sleaze merchant Derrick Jones, an obvious stand-in for the aforementioned Francis. In search of fresh meat for his co-ed porn site, he combs the fictional Arizona resort town of Lake Victoria at the height of spring break for new prey. Unbeknownst to him, his prospective talent pool is about to be decimated by a swarm of piranhas recently freed from their undersea prison by a timely earthquake — this despite the heroic efforts of the town's pair of hardy but laughably impotent sheriffs, (Elisabeth Shue and Ving Rhames).
These razor-toothed piranhas may seem like mindless predators, but they are not without their share of admirable traits. Before beginning their feeding frenzy, for example, they're considerate enough to allow the lake's doomed revelers one last hedonistic hurrah, the highlight of which is an extended sequence in which Jones' two most prized fillies, played by softcore titans Kelly Brook and Riley Steele, frolic naked underwater to the tune of "The Flower Duet" from Delibes' Lakme. ("They're like fish with boobies!" their director shouts ecstatically.) The fish clearly possess a taste for the ironic, and perhaps a bit of a feminist streak as well, as we witness when O'Connell's character is literally emasculated during an ill-timed dive. (Fittingly, he gurgles "Wet t-shirt" as his final, blood-drenched words.) As his severed manhood sinks toward the bottom, a piranha arrives and snaps it up, but it doesn't quite agree with the creature, and the penis is quickly burped up in disgust. Even the fish can't stomach him, it seems.
Hollywood.com rated this film 3 1/2 stars.
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