Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Manic Teeth Feasters

18 – 88mins – 2010
Written by: Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg
Based on the film
Piranha (1978), written by: Richard Robinson and John Sayles
Directed by: Alexandre Aja
Starring: Steven R. McQueen, Jerry O'Connell, Jessica Szohr, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele, Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Ving Rhames, Ricardo Chavira, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth and Richard Dreyfuss


Spring break, the notorious US tradition where thousands of supposedly learned students descend upon sunny beach communities to wreak havoc for a week of unopposed study-free partying. This year, however, in Lake Victoria, the fun-loving local “sand rats” have some company. These mouthy little party-crashers are from a very different school indeed, although they are also hungry for flesh, and any co-ed taking a dip in the crystal blue lagoon will get nibbles thrown in free of charge.

A minor earthquake in the Arizona region has caused a cavernous rift to unleash a once-thought-extinct breed of deadly piranha into the water. "Thousands of them. And they're pissed," so diver Novak (Adam Scott) helpfully clarifies, having just hauled out the lifeless skeleton of one of their meals. Jaws ain't got nothing on these diminutive little blighters, who have survived in isolation for two thousand years by eating their own kind. Now, however, they have a craving for students, and spring break is about to get a whole lot wilder.

From the opening scene where Richard Jaws Dreyfuss is fishing on the lake whistling “Show Me The Way To Go Home”, you know Piranha 3D isn't a film which takes itself at all seriously. Likewise, anyone viewing this riotous horror-comedy should approach it in a similar vein: disconnect your brain, down a couple of brewskis and let the orgy commence!

The impressive cast just have a blast as madness descends – appendages get bitten off in seconds, eyeballs (and other organs) float towards the screen and boat motors make remarkably good fish deterrents. It's great to see Christopher Lloyd back to his madcap best as the panicky piscine expert, while Kelly Brook is remarkably game for everything the director requires. But special note must go to Jerry Sliders O'Connell as slimeball porn director Derrick Jones – he really didn't hold back in portraying an absolute douche with wild-eyed glee.

As the lunacy progresses, the bikini-clad babes get naked-er, the death tole gets bigger-er, the wise-cracks get stoopid-er and the destruction gets gorier and evermore inventive... er. It's brash, trash and ludicrously lowbrow, but unapologetically so. Piranha 3D certainly won't be to everyone's taste, but it knows its audience and panders to them perfectly.

In a CR@B Shell: You'll giggle, you'll cheer, you'll gawp and you'll gag, but you'll never be bored, provided you aren't expecting logic or decorum, that is.

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