Piranha 3DD (2012)

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Overall Rating 52%
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Ranked #2,575
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Connections: Piranha

After the events at Lake Victoria, the pre-historic school of blood-thirsty piranhas make their way into a newly opened waterpark. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: July 13, 2012
A couple of years ago, Alexandre Aja gave us his version of Piranha, which was met with mixed reactions. Apparently, some people out there expected a serious, genre-changing horror flick about killer fish - I know, right? Still, there were people out there who would tell you that it was one of the best movies of the year, while others would tell you it was "you know, like, the worst movie ever made, ever!" Personally, I side with the former: I expected a campy horror movie with little substance and lots of blood, boobs, and laughs. That's all I wanted, and that is exactly what I got. So, here we are with Piranha 3DD, the sequel that had an extremely limited theatrical run while simultaneously hitting video-on-demand before quickly going to DVD later this month. It's got to be bad, right? I mean, the Weinstein crew never screws over good movies, right?

We begin with a recap of the first movie, and if you didn't see that one, it boils down to "giant piranhas eat a bunch of people in a small town." We quickly move over to another small town in Arizona of all places, where we discover that a kind, caring man named Chet (David Koechner) is preparing for the grand opening of his "Wet Spot", a waterpark that caters to horny young men and nubile young women. The tag-line for the park is "Double D's Swim Free", if that tells you how the park is run. His partner in the business, Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), is extremely pissed off about the transition to adult entertainment, but since it's a 51 / 49 split in the partnership, she can't do a thing about it. Sorry, but I gotta side with the villain on this one.

Anyway, the grand opening is just a few days away, and what do you know: the piranhas have found their way to this town. It is explained that since they lived in a sulphurous environment millions of years ago, those kind of chemicals are extremely attractive to them... and what do you know, those same chemicals are also found in pool water. Alright, it's not a brainy movie, but it gives them an excuse to put killer piranhas in a waterpark filled with topless women, so I'm not going to bitch about it. As if all of that wasn't bad enough, Maddy is forced to make a decision in regards to her love life: should she get back with the crooked cop who also happens to be her ex (Chris Zylka), or should she throw caution to the wind and go after the guy (Matt Bush) she believes to be gay? Decisions!

Look, if the poster for the movie didn't give it away, I would hope that the plot outline did: this is not a serious horror movie. It is campy schlock at its finest, and it was made for those of you who enjoy lots of bloodshed and loads of boobs, but not necessarily a whole lot of thinking. Personally, I love this kind of movie when they are done right, and this one positively nailed it. What horror fan could say "no" to a killer fish coming out of a woman's vagina and chomping down on her lover's penis while they're having sex? How could you turn your nose up at David freaking Hasselhoff laughing at a child's death?

Wait, The Hoff is in this? Yes, John Gulager continued the trend of throwing in a bunch of cameo appearances, and they all hit their mark. Hasselhoff plays the lifeguard at this waterpark in an obvious nod to his Baywatch days, but he also takes the time to rip on his other work over the years. I'm not a big fan of the guy, truth be told, but he was great here. Christopher Lloyd reprises his role from the first movie, and dare I say it, he's actually better this time around. The man is a legend, and his brief appearance here shows why. Gary Busey and Clu Gulager kick the movie off in an excellent fashion, and if all that wasn't enough, Ving Rhames returns from the first movie. I know, he was eaten by piranhas in that one, but it's explained away and all is good. I can't in good conscience spoil his key scene here, but I will say that it was easily one of the top three moments of the entire movie, and I was laughing my fool head off the entire time. It's an obvious homage to another campy movie, but it works so well that you can't help but love it.

I realize that a bunch of cameos isn't enough to sell you on a movie, so let's get down to the specifics: namely, the blood and the boobs. If you're not picking the movie up for one or both of those B's, you're not picking it up for the right reasons. The boobs? They're there in full force, and there is just as much here as there was in the first movie - maybe even a little more. The gore is the real money though, and there is a lot of really good scenes here. Admittedly, there's not quite as much as there was last time around and the effects aren't perfect (some of the CGI sequences are downright hokey), but there's more than enough to keep gorehounds satisfied and the cheesiness of the CGI sort of compliments the overall tone of the movie. Besides, a decapitated head motorboating a woman's over-inflated tits? You just can't ask for anything more from a movie.

Maybe you guessed this from reading the review, but I freaking loved this movie. It's not quite as good as Aja's original (well, the original remake), but it's not far from it and it's definitely not another one of those sequels that deserved to go directly to video. I didn't see it in 3D, but who cares: the movie itself didn't need the gimmick, it stood well enough on its own. Avoid if you want legitimate scares or a "real" horror movie, but if you want a campy horror flick that is overflowing with gore, breasts, cheese, and laugh-out-loud moments, pick this up. 9/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added September 15, 2012 at 11:17am
I loved the first half, but it flew off the rails during the big climax.
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