Piranha 3DD is chock full of raunchy gore
Starring Danielle Panabaker and David Hasselhoff. Rated 18A.
Thanks to the increasingly puritanical U.S. ratings system, exploitation movies are caught in a double bind. On the one hand, they exist almost entirely to satisfy the adolescent-male craving for sex, nudity, gore, violence and lowbrow humour. On the other, they must do everything in their power to avoid an NC-17 death kiss. The end result is often as conflicted as those latter-day men’s magazines that, though totally obsessed with the female form, dutifully whisper, “Put it on; put it on.”
Piranha 3DD—like its predecessor, 2010’s Piranha—suffers from no such inhibitions. This shameless celebration of Beavis and Butt-head’s sniggering fantasies is full of chewed-up penises, full-frontal siliconed lifeguards, and comic setups that would embarrass Benny Hill at a stag party, and it repeatedly pushes all the right taboo buttons with insouciant glee. There isn’t an art-house moment in the whole damn thing. There isn’t a dull one, either.
In this third resurrection of Joe Dante’s 1978 Jaws rip-off, the prehistoric devil fish have moved from Lake Victoria to a nearby combination water park–brothel. Comely marine-biology student Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) is extremely unhappy about the changes her sleazy stepfather (David Koechner) has made to “The Big Wet”, but, being a minority shareholder, there’s not much she can do about it (at least until the monsters start eating her friends).
The Piranha of two years ago began with Richard Dreyfuss getting devoured before the opening credits, and this time out of the gate, director John Gulager doubles the old-fart fish-fodder ante by feeding Gary Busey and (his own father!) Clu Gulager to a pack of finned predators that are much bigger-mouthed than bass.
As for viewers without an XY chromosome, the rewards are pretty much restricted to leverage (“If I see this crap with you, will you see The Five-Year Engagement with me?”). Piranha 3DD isn’t ashamed of its hairy palms, cracking voice, and pimple-stained forehead. Hell, it brandishes them with pride.
Watch the trailer for Piranha 3DD.