movie film review | chris tookey

Piranha 3D

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  Piranha 3D Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
4.25 /10
Elisabeth Shue, Steven McQueen, Adam Scott
Full Cast >

Directed by: Alejandra Aja
Written by: Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg

Released: -2010
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 88

Spoof horror with plenty of nudity and gross-out violence.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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This horror comedy about prehistoric killer-fish delivers gallows humour and nasty shocks by the bucket-load.

Director Alejandro Aja plays the whole thing for laughs, grossness and sexual voyeurism, making his film a cheerfully tasteless display of ladies’ boobs and bottoms, with a cod-lyrical nude, lesbian underwater ballet – set to the flower duet from Lakme – which on its own would make this a must-see for connoisseurs of schlock.

The victims are mostly American, though one of the film’s major attractions is our very own Kelly Brook (pictured right) swimming in the aforementioned ballet before she, too, is eaten alive. She plays a dimwitted pole-dancer turned porn actress. It’s her most convincing performance yet.

There is a story. It concerns an awkward teenager (Steven McQueen, grandson of the former film star) who’s ordered by his sheriff mum (Elizabeth Shue) to babysit his young brother and sister while mom patrols the spring break festivities on Lake Victoria Arizona.

These appear largely to consist of young women jiggling in (and out of) wet t-shirts. As if these weren’t enough of a temptation, our young hero is offered a job as location scout by an extravagantly sleazy porn director (Jerry O’Connell) who’s filming his latest extravaganza at the lake with two coked-up, champagne-quaffing, lesbian starlets (Riley Scott, pictured left, and Ms Brook).

Piranha 3D contains some of the grossest scenes in horror history, as most of the cast are eaten alive. A strong stomach is required to sit through scenes where savagely mutilated bodies are hauled out of the water. The carnage, most of it below the waist, is so protracted and lovingly photographed that it struck me as thoroughly disgusting, but then I am not this film’s target audience.

Lovers of camp will treasure the fact that the piranhas’ first victim is played by Richard Dreyfuss as his character from Jaws.

It is equally bitter-sweet to see a fine actress once Oscar-nominated for Leaving Las Vegas (Shue) and the distinguished comic lead from Back to the Future (Christopher Lloyd as a piranha expert who’s every bit as crazed as the fish) demean themselves by appearing in something this rubbishy.

All the same, I must confess a sneaking admiration for knowingly humorous movies that exploit the worst instincts of their target audience. It is sure to become a cult classic with anyone who enjoys movies that are so bad they’re good.

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