Friday, August 27, 2010

‘Piranha 3D’–Cheesy, schlocky summer fun!

It’s been a long time since I have had the pleasure of sitting through a campy movie – or at least a campy movie that UNDERSTANDS that it is camp and plays it up to the maximum limits it can. ‘Piranha 3D’ is one of those guilty pleasures of a pure camp, summer cheese fest, popcorn flick! Director Alesandre Aja (‘High Tension’) is in rich form and really does understand how to use the genre of horror in creating a campy gore fest that is loaded with enough skin to make Russ Myers proud. While Aja still has a lot to learn about 3D – it does make good use of it in several shots that will take you back to the 3D horror classics of Universal Studios back in the day!

‘Piranha 3D’ was made to take the B-movie mentality to 21st century extremes – and Aja is just the guy to do it; scene after scene we are treated with soon to be camp classic shockers as Aja pushes the envelope. In one of the more inspired scenes, a floating stage crowded with bikini clad (and unclad) ‘Girls Gone Wild’ party girls and drunken frat boys, slowly sinks into the bloody turmoil of the madly feasting piranhas, where the over-indulged party folk are meant with a series of cartoonish and very often grisly deaths. Nothing is taken seriously here and everything is ripe for Aja’s camp spoof. From the headstrong sheriff (Elizabeth Shue in a simply hilarious role) to the mad scientist played by Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future). Even Ving Rhames as the deputy has a ball and some very clever lines! They know they are here to have fun and they have plenty of it with this inspired material. But best of all, Jerry O’Connell as the sleazy soft core porn peddler, organizing all of the drunken and nude mayhem from his yacht.; is simply one of the best horror characters you can’t wait to see get his due – that I have seen in quite a long time. And his due, while graphic (as is all of the scenes) is an inspired bit of gore to be sure. I won’t even mention the opening scene and who is featured for the kill – but it sets up the rest of the movie perfectly!

This is an unapologetic, camp gore fest in full blown 3D! There is no room for good taste or manners here. Just plain cheesy fun. Aja is a carnival barker and ‘Piranha 3D’ is his ‘E-Ticket’ ride! This is one guilty pleasure that is definitely worth the extra 3D bump in ticket price. Not for the squeamish and not for the kids (young kids that is) – this 3 star gore fest is worth the trip!

As long as we are going with camp horror this week…my Redbox pick of the week is the next chapter in George Romero’s Dead Series, ‘Survival of the Dead’. This film picks up where ‘Diary of the Dead’ left off and now zombies outnumber the humans. Off of the coast of Delaware sits Plum Islands – where two warring families are deciding the fate of humankind. Rife with classic Romero social commentary – this is not a film for the weak of stomach. But it is a solid 2 ½ star addition to the Dead films and well worth the measly $1.00 it costs at my beloved Redbox! I doubt you would want to see both ‘Piranha’ and ‘Dead’ on the same night or even the same week-end; unless camp horror and gore are your thing – then it might be a fun double feature indeed!

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