Blu-Ray Review: ‘Piranha’ Gives Viewers Skin, Gore They Should Expect

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CHICAGO – “Piranha” is ludicrous, offensive, disgusting, gratuitous, and stupid — just the way that it should be. Can you imagine the complete failure it would have been to try and take the concept of killer fish seriously? Director Alexandre Aja (“High Tension”) wisely went the other way and made a movie that falls completely flat in terms of character, dialogue, and logic but works where it needs to: T, A, and gore. Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg haven’t just remade the B-movie classic “Piranha” but they’ve tried to make a horror film more like the enjoyable trash that came out during the era of the initial film’s release. There was a time when horror movies weren’t obsessed with storytelling hooks or moral messages. In the ’80s, they used to be about blood and skin. Let’s just say that legendary drive-in movie lover Joe Bob Briggs would totally dig “Piranha.”

The movie opens with a nod to “Jaws” as Richard Dreyfuss drinks and sings while he fishes for bass. A minor earthquake opens up a cavern below poor Dick and he finds himself the first victim of the toothy denizens of a subterranean lake buried under the Earth for a couple million years. The creatures that have lived there since the days of the dinosaurs are out and ready to wreak some havoc — just in time for Spring Break.

Piranha was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 11th, 2011
Piranha was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on January 11th, 2011
Photo credit: Sony Home Video

The first hour or so of “Piranha” is boob-filled set-up as drunken, bikini-clad party-goers await the inevitable. Aja is merely counting down until one of the most ridiculous and over-the-top horror centerpieces of all time. There’s a roughly fifteen-minute sequence that should make “Piranha” a must-own for gorehounds. Like something closer to “Dead-Alive” than anything that has played at the multiplex recently, Aja goes off the rails, unleashing total chaos on dozens of co-eds. Heads get lopped off, people are torn in half, a girl is scalped by a propellor blade, and a man’s penis is graphically eaten by a fish. And that’s just part of it. It’s nuts. In a good way.

You probably know if cock-eating fish can be “nuts in a good way” for you or not. What I mean is that no one should get into “Piranha” expecting subtlety or character development. Some of the dialogue could have been more clever and even a purposefully bad performance from Jerry O’Connell is still bad, but films should be judged on their intentions. With what it sets out to do, you couldn’t ask for much more from “Piranha.”

Check out the longer, more-detailed film review of “Piranha.”

Special Features:
o Filmmakers Commentary
o Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
o 10 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
o Deleted Storyboard Sequences

“Piranha 3D” stars Steven R. McQueen, Elisabeth Shue, Jessica Szohr, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell, Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, and Christopher Lloyd. It was written by Pete Goldfinger & Josh Stolberg and directed by Alexandre Aja. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 11th, 2011. It is rated R and runs 88 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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