What’s the last good movie about piranhas you’ve seen? Actually, have you ever seen any movie with piranhas? These fascinating and deadly little creatures are screaming for more movies about them. Until that happens we’ll have to watch the ones we have. Piranha 3D, a flashy blend of comedy, horror, and action is definitely the best movie about piranhas. It’s one hell of a guilty pleasure movie featuring a lot of nudity, gore, and action. So, you already know the plot as it’s basically the plot from Jaws. A small coastal community is first overwhelmed by horny students going there for spring break and then by thousands of bloodthirsty piranhas.
I mean, the movie even opens with a scene featuring Richard Dreyfuss who played Hooper in the infamous shark movie. It is fascinating to see what a decent budget, a great cast, and a good director can do with a story as generic as this. I’m certain you’ve seen a lot of similar movies, especially if you’re a fan of those cheap SyFy productions. We talked a lot about them in The Rise and Fall of Shark Movies. I recommend you check out a bit older but still hilarious and charming so-bad-it’s-good movie Shark Attack 3: Megalodon if you want to know more.
Moving on, Piranha 3D looks amazing featuring excellent cinematography with saturated colors and crystal-clear focus. Nothing here happens at night, in murky waters or dark corners. No, everything is going on in broad daylight for everyone to see and bask in the glory of excellent special effects. This brings us to another cool aspect of this movie. Piranha 3D, as you probably guessed, is a 3D movie. This means that some scenes will be explicitly geared towards exploiting this gimmick. I had the fortune of watching it during the original theatrical run and I have to say that was a majestic experience.
As someone who enjoys both nudity and gore, it was so much fun to watch a movie that exploits both. However, the 2D version of the movie works just fine and that’s coming from someone who watched it last night. Moreover, I can also tell you that the special effects and CGI in Piranha 3D stood the test of time and still look believable. They’re combined with a lot of pretty graphic practical effects showing the victims of piranha attacks. The last twenty minutes of the movie is practically one long bloodbath with a lot of people dying in the most painful ways imaginable. During that time, the tone changes from rather cheerful and carefree to more intense and foreboding.
Welcome to the beautiful Lake Victoria, Arizona. It’s the perfect place not just for fishing but also partying. However, after a clumsy fisherman drops his beer bottle in the lake causing an earthquake, a huge number of prehistoric piranhas will be released into the lake. All of this is happening during the busiest week on the lake, spring break. Soon, all hell is going to break loose.
Piranha 3D reminded me of another cool movie I recently watched, The Cabin in the Woods. Both of them have this meta approach to their respective genres. And they’re also incredibly entertaining. Something fairly easy to do when you have good pacing and a short running time of just under eighty minutes. Piranha is a movie directed by Alexandre Aja, the guy behind two successful horror remakes The Hills Have Eyes and Mirrors. Although I much prefer his first big movie Haute Tension. Aja returned to natural horror with the 2019 crocodile movie Crawl.
What surprised me the most about this movie was the very familiar cast. We have Elisabeth Shue and Jerry O’Connell in lead roles but we also have Ving Rhames, Adam Scott, and fucking Dina Meyer! And that’s not counting a couple of very memorable cameos I will leave for you to discover. I also want to commend our young crew Steven R. McQueen and Jessica Szohr who gave excellent performances. Well, I should better say fitting performances as they knew what kind of a movie they were making.
The sequel, Piranha 3DD, is not so good and I would not recommend it to you unless you’re really desperate for something similar. You would be better off watching the original movie, Piranha from 1978. Speaking of movies like Piranha 3D, you can check out Meg, Lake Placid, and Eight Legged Freaks. I also cannot help but recommend another eighties cult classic Humanoids From the Deep. It features a hilarious tale of horny monsters who want to have sex with our women and kill our men.
Do you know that I started watching no less than three movies last night? And all of them bored me to death. A Man Called Otto was predictable and cheesy, All My Friends Hate Me was not engaging and the same goes for Nocebo. The fourth one, however, the movie we’re talking about today, was a great choice. I played Piranha 3D very late and still finished it despite the fact this is like my fourth or fifth time watching it. It is that good and entertaining. And this is why this movie gets a solid nine from me.
Director: Alexandre Aja
Writers: Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O’Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele
Fun Facts: Actresses Kelly Brook and Riley Steele who play Dani and Crystal, two hot girls Jerry O’Connell as Derrick is filming on his yacht spent two weeks practicing for that infamous underwater scene. The scene features the two girls completely nude swimming together underwater.