Piranha 3DD (2012)


So here is the sequel to Alexandre Aja’s Piranha, the 2010 B-movie attempt that came up a little short. Piranha 3DD, directed by John Gulager, winds up just as flat. It’s nowhere near as fun as it should be and feels a touch on the sober side, despite featuring some truly goofy stuff.

Just like with Piranha, it feels weird to talk about this as taking itself too seriously. A film that features cow farts, a piranha in a girl’s vagina and the same piranha feasting on a dude’s beef whistle after emerging from said girl’s whispering eye, a pile of topless and bottomless women, a boy being beheaded by a fish, and a guy with a fish up his butt probably shouldn’t feel too serious – but here we are.

Piranha 3DD takes place a year after the events of the first movie. A couple of farmers unwittingly free a new crop of piranha’s after locating their lost cow and releasing the eggs by somehow accelerating the cow’s farts. From there, we meet Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), a marine biologist who apparently co-owns a waterpark with her repugnant stepfather (David Koechner).

It doesn’t take long for the piranhas to make their way to the waterpark, but not before the fish are able to wreak havoc on a few of Maddy’s chums. Terrified, she seeks out Mr. Goodman (Christopher Lloyd). He informs her that the piranhas are evolving, so she sets out with her ex-boyfriend (Chris Zylka) and a dude she figures is gay (Matt Bush) to warn everyone. Maddy has trouble convincing her stepfather that the park is in danger and before anyone can say “David Hasselhoff” all hell breaks loose.

The breakdown sounds more entertaining than it is. On paper, Piranha 3DD should probably work in some way. It has a number of silly elements and over-the-top moments, but somehow Gulager can’t bring things together in any really entertaining way. There are some humorous sequences, like when Maddy’s lecherous stepdad finally gets his, but they’re broken up by prosaic gore and shopworn “romance.”

The effects are terrible and the gore repetitive, offering nothing different from the first flick. Piranha 3DD features the same patterns and the same jiggling boobs, with titillation for 13-year-old males and little else for others outside the key demographic. The rest of the project feels weirdly like an earnest Saved by the Bell episode, complete with bad boyfriend and good guy waiting in the wings.

Obviously any flick that features Gary Busey and David Hasselhoff among its numbers shouldn’t be taken that seriously, yet Piranha 3DD can’t seem to commit to the trashiness it seeks. Despite some sequences starting off well, Gulager somehow almost always plays it wrong. He even botches the scene in which a piranha makes its way in Katrina Bowden’s coin purse, offering a partial penis lop-off with none of the fun one would expect from such a sequence.

Piranha 3DD is about as good and about as bad as Piranha. There are no reasons to check out the sequel and even the boobage gets old. Koechner’s stepfather-as-perv is more creepy than funny (maybe that was the point) and Panabaker’s heroine is a lame, meatless, mundane character. Hasselhoff does the expected, but even he seems to acknowledge the utter pointlessness of the project – and that’s really saying something.


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