NOTE: Some of the content in this review is not safe for work and I do spoil several moments from the film.
There is only one way to “enjoy” Piranha 3DD and that is drunk and with as many friends as possible, most of you hardly paying attention to what is going on in the film. I haven’t seen director John Gulager’s Project Greenlight venture Feast, which spawned a pair of sequels after becoming a buzzed about horror film back in 2005, but if this film is any indication of its quality I hope I never do. This is, without a doubt, one of the worst movies I have seen in the last several years. For screenwriters Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan and Joel Soisson to leave their names attached as “writers” is an insult to the word. Prior to Piranha 3DD, Melton and Dunstan were responsible for writing several of the Saw sequels and Soisson can lay claim to the likes of Mimic 2, The Prophecy: Forsaken and Children of the Corn: Genesis among others. To say this was a gathering of the unfortunates is an understatement.
Now let’s get one thing straight, we must understand what kind of film we are dealing with. Alexandre Aja’s 2010 feature Piranha was not a film I endorsed as being good. One could argue my opening sentence above could pertain to that film as well, but by comparison Aja’s film looks like a polished turd compared to the diarrhea that is Piranha 3DD. While I didn’t really like Piranha (a lot of that having to do with the unfortunate surroundings of my screening as detailed in my review) I can understand why someone might like it or even love it. I can find no such understanding with Piranha 3DD, which attempts to capture the debauchery of the first film with naked women and a bit of gore, but misses every step of the way as they blew their budget on C-list celebrities and series of five minute vignettes that don’t even deserve to be described as scenes.
“So what?!?!” I hear you saying, “Terrible effects? Naked women? blood? Sounds like a fun exploitation film to me.” Maybe that’s the case, maybe I just completely missed the boat, but when I’m left to question the logic behind every single decision I can’t take it anymore. There is no rhyme or reason as to why any of what is going on in Piranha 3DD is taking place. It all began with the first film in which some killer prehistoric fish are unearthed from a hole in the bottom of a lake and to kick start this film we have Gary Busey being killed in a lake in Merkin County, Arizona by piranha farted out of the anus of a floating dead cow. Yes, Merkin County. Yes, a piranha egg-farting dead cow. And for those of you that don’t know what a “merkin” is, Google it.
There’s a level of depravity to Piranha 3DD that would actually be fun had their been any semblance of story. There isn’t even an attempt to tell a story as much as it’s a film that plays more like a ten-year-old’s wet dream. The setting is Big Wet Water Park where David Koechner is in cahoots with the local law enforcement and has dug a “bootleg well” to provide water for his naked women fantasy land where, for some reason, people of all ages come and swim even though the majority of women are encouraged to swim nude, an idea that even inspired something of a “crotch cam” to catch the women as they climb the ladder and out of the water. Yeah, this is a really classy joint.
Making things even more classy are Big Wet employees such as Big Dave, played by Adrian Martinez, who can now say he was the fat guy that had sex with a pool wall “where the water comes out” and had a piranha get stuck in his anus, which prompts the obvious removal and subsequent feces stain. However, back to the story…
Just the mentioning of a “bootleg well” answers the question you probably were already asking yourself, “How do piranha get into a water park?” They swim in the bootleg well of course. Duh!
Tossed into this mix are a series of characters, such as Koechner’s step daughter (Danielle Panabaker), whose dream in life is to run the water park her deceased father started, but for whatever reason her father only granted her 49% control and gave the other 51% to … her stepfather? Matt Bush plays the dork that has been in love with Panabaker his whole life, Chris Zylka plays the crooked cop that turns a blind eye to Koechner’s bootleg well, naked women and drug use on the premises and Meagan Tandy plays a girl that gets killed having sex in a van with her boyfriend when the parking brake becomes disengaged and the van rolls in the lake and she loses the key to the handcuffs she used to cuff her boyfriend to the table in the van. Got that?
The only reason I mention Tandy is to now mention Katrina Bowden whose time on “30 Rock”, role in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil and being named “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire magazine in 2011 has apparently gotten her nowhere. Due to the overwhelming panic she is experiencing upon the disappearance of her friend (Tandy) and after a skinny dip in the lake with her boyfriend, Josh (Jean-Luc Bilodeau), Shelby (Bowden) is laying in bed and says to her boyfriend in her state of fear, “Make love to me, I don’t want to die a virgin… Cum inside me, I’ll do whatever you want.”
He does, but things don’t work out so well thanks to the previous naked dip in the lake.
I won’t go into too much detail, but after the blood had dried and we see Shelby in the hospital as her friends arrive, Bowden utters the following line: “Josh cut off his penis because something came out of my vagina!” I can’t lie, that line floored me. No matter how terrible I believe this film is, that line will live on as far as I’m concerned. It’s perfect (and the only reason this film isn’t an “F”), but once the dust settles I still can’t get over the lack of effort put into even getting into that scene… “Make love to me, I don’t want to die a virgin… Cum inside me, I’ll do whatever you want.” Seriously guys?
Later on David Hasselhoff arrives at the grand opening of the water park playing himself and all you can think about is how much he must need the money. Christopher Lloyd shows up once again for a few minutes as do Paul Scheer and Ving Rhames, their characters arriving for no good reason whatsoever.
Piranha 3DD isn’t bad because of all the silliness — the egg farting cow corpse, the vagina-spawning fish — but just how poorly put together it is. To watch it is to not even be sure you’re watching a movie as much as you’d think you were watching clips from several different movies, the only consistency is the number of breasts in each scene, which is capped off when Koechner’s head is decapitated, goes flying over a fence, lands between a pair of bloody breasts and then we hang on that shot for a solid 5-10 seconds as his head is bounced from side-to-side.
There are some solid pieces of schlock material inside here, which is why a certain amount of alcohol is necessary to dumb you down to the proper maturity age to “enjoy” it all. Watching it with three other people in the comfort of my living room wasn’t exactly torture, but that’s only because we share the experience and every minute or so one of us would pipe up and say, “This is truly awful!” or “Why did she jump in the water?” or “How did this get made?”