Okay, let’s clear this up: Jaws (1975) was a big budget major studio version of a Roger Corman Beast at the Beach B-Movie; it made a lot of money, so in response, Corman produced Piranha (1978), a low-budget Jaws rip-off that was more entertaining than it ever deserved to be thanks to director Joe Dante; and now, we have a big-budget major studio remake of Piranha that will, inevitably, be ripped off by Roger Corman for the Sci-Fi network. It’s the cinematic cycle of life my friends.
The tag line for this movie should be the Pieces classic: “It’s exactly what you think it is.” The scenario is dumb beyond belief- Mesozoic era piranha that survived under the earth in a subterranean lake surviving through cannibalism- yes- for millions of years. How did they manage that? I have no idea? Why do various characters in the movie disappear for no apparent reason? No idea there either. How do our heroes get dragged underwater through rocky shoals via powerboat without dying slightly? No clue.
But you go to see these films for gore and nudity, and the film delivers a ton of both. The third-act massacre is one of the bloodiest things I’ve seen outside of war films. The director has compared it to Girls Gone Wild meets Saving Private Ryan, and that’s about accurate. Dozens of idiotic partying half-naked teenagers go from drunken to eaten in about twenty minutes. Eli Roth shows up and plays a douchebag- really most of the kids in these movies are like the “bad guy” in wrestling- they show up, annoy the shit out of the audience, and get triumphantly massacred. It’s a formula that works.
And, goodness, do they get massacred! The levels of nudity and gore in the film make me wonder if the MPAA was given blow before rating it. I can’t tell you if it’s better in 3-D. I hate 3-D and saw it in 2-D because this was the format playing at our drive-in. This is the sort of movie you should see at a drive-in.