***This Review contains MAJOR SPOILERS***
Danielle Panabaker, David Hasselhoff and Matt Bush
Piranha 3DD. If that title doesn't even make you smirk, now might be a good time to turn around and head back in the direction you came from. If you go in to this movie expecting an Oscar worthy film of the year with an intricate plot, complex characters and gorgeous cinematography then well...you've clearly made a wrong turn in the movie selection road. This movie isn't some artsy fartsy masterpiece and it doesn't try to be. It knows exactly what it is, so you either roll the punches or get punched in your rolls. This is the kind of movie where you invite over a few drinking buddies, roll up some green stuff, order a pizza and enjoy the show.
The movie starts off with an interesting cameo from Gary Busey as a fisherman who finds a dead animal carcass in a lake with one of his fishing pals. It farts out some piranha eggs and the terror begins all over again. Before you even ask, yes, I do know how ridiculous that sounds. It's a setup that is simple enough and no one really cares about the actual reasoning for the Piranha's return, we just want to see the chaos that they cause. Shortly after the eggs are released, Busey and company get gobbled up and Busey does some gobbling of his own. Yeah, that sounds about right, Busey, you rascal you.
We are then introduced to the playground for our fishy friends; a newly renovated adult Waterpark owned by the hilarious Chet (David Koechner) and his step-daughter Maddy played by the star of the show Danielle Panabaker. The grand opening for this themepark is just a couple of days away, so the Piranha invitations were perfectly timed. Some other characters invited to the show include a hopelessly geek romantic (Matt Bush), a crooked joint smoking cop (Chris Zylka) and the Hoff himself (David Hasselhoff).
Thankfully, we also get a few returning characters from Alexandre Aja's 2010 Piranha film. These characters include Mr. Goodman (Christopher Lloyd) and Deputy Fallon (Ving Rhames). Mr.Goodman provides his Piranha expertise and explanations once again to those seeking information on the water predators. Ving Rhames' return is quite the memorable one after his first encounter with the fishies, he now has shotgun stumps and his request for them when needed is incredibly epic "Bring me my legs". It's so perfectly timed, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Also featured is the beautiful Katrina Bowden, who completely steals the show as the virgin Shelby. From the moment she first goes skinny dipping and a baby piranha enters her body from a southern entrance, you just know it's setting itself up for something great. If you haven't turned your brain off and completely prepared yourself for suspension of belief by now, then you're about to swim in the deep end of trouble for what comes next. The highlight of the movie comes from Katrina's character having sex for the first time while the baby piranha is still in her and let's just say it latches on to the first thing that pokes it's head through her rabbit hole. She then manages to drop one of the greatest lines ever while explaining the entire ordeal to her friends "Josh cut off his penis because something came out of my vagina!" It's a sticky (and Bloody) situation but hey, you always remember your first time!
If at this point in time you're left scratching your head, thinking who films this stuff? You may not have heard of Piranha 3DD's Director John Gulager, whose previous films include Feast, Feast II: Sloppy Seconds and Feast III: The Happy Finish. Think this stuff is raunchy? Well, that's a series that features mouth banging monsters, naked biker strippers and high flying edible babies. Believe me, I couldn`t make this stuff up if I tried.
Now it may seem like Piranha 3DD is just going for gross out gags sprinkled with vulgar humor and it is, but there are more layers to the film`s flesh. It also features some intense moments of good old fashioned horror. Such is the case in a scene featuring Danielle and Katrina on a dock at the lake. Piranha start jumping out of the water and snapping at them in mid air. Very entertaining with a great amount of suspense, especially when they fall in to the water. As a viewer, you're left screaming at the screen "Swim dammit, Swim!" If only there were more scenes like this one to balance everything out.
Just like the remake, Piranha 3DD builds up to a final climax of terror. Even though it may not be as satisfying as the previous film`s, the Waterpark massacre is highly entertaining. The water turns red, people lose their heads and chunks of flesh are chewed off. All great stuff but it still seems to miss the mark in the gore department. This may have been because of budget restrictions, which is understandable, but it still leaves more to be desired. Also the final bits of piranha chaos seem to finish fairly quickly, just like the entire movie. As it`s actually shorter then most movies with a running time of about 70 minutes.
The main difference between Piranha 3DD and it`s predecessor is the fact that it is a comedy with horror elements, while Piranha 3D was a horror movie with comedy elements. And much like any fish dish, it may not be for everyone. This is not a movie you show your grandparents and if you`re a grandparent, this is not a movie you show your grandchildren. Unless of course, gratuitous nudity, vulgar humor and killer fish are their type of thing. At the end of the day though, Piranha 3DD is just a fun movie that with an open mind (and an open bar), it`s hard not to enjoy (from land that is...for now).