*The only thing disappointing about this high body-count horror flick is that it was released too late in the summer to enjoy the long run in theaters it really deserves.
Otherwise, this campy B-flick is the best offering from the tongue-in-cheek genre since Snakes on a Plane, another gratuitous gore fest with a good sense of humor.
First of all, understand that this film’s R rating is well-earned, being laced with lots of sex, vivisection and eroticized violence. Still, I’m sure word of mouth will have plenty of underaged jumpers buying tickets for another movie and simply switching theaters.
Like Snakes on a Plane, Piranha 3D has a title which lives up to its billing, as it serves up plenty of the prehistoric monsters in a fashion which makes you think you could almost reach out and touch them. But the plot reads more like Jaws, given that the story unfolds in a resort town at the height of the tourist season.
It’s Spring Break, and thousands of college students have descended on fictional Lake Victoria in Arizona for a little fun in the sun and the water. And it falls to Sheriff Forester (Elisabeth Shue) and her beefy deputy dog (Ving Rhames) to keep the kids under control, although the two are only anticipating having to deal with disorderly person issues like public nudity and intoxication.
Their primary adversary in this regard is Derrick Jones (Jerry McConnell), the sleazy producer of a string of titillating Girls Gone Wild-style videos. The dirty old man has arrived on location with a camera crew ready to stage wet T-shirt contests and soused coeds coaxed to take off their bikini tops.
However, unusual seismic activity in the midst of the debauchery creates a fissure under the lake which leads to the mysterious death of an unsuspecting fisherman (Richard Dreyfuss). Against their better judgment, the cops never close the beaches, even ignoring the dire warnings of an alarmed scientist (Christopher Lloyd) out of fear that mass hysteria might be bad for the local businesses.
Beware, Hell hath no fury like a school of hungry, teen-eating piranhas!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for sexuality, profanity, graphic nudity, teen alcohol consumption, gratuitous violence and gore, crude humor and drug use.
Running time: 89 Minutes
Studio: Dimension Films