B-movie stalwart Jim Wynorski directs Piranhaconda, a ridiculous jaunt clearly in the vein of other Syfy Channel outings like Sharktopus. This 2012 flick is produced by Roger Corman and features a screenplay by Mike MacLean, who coincidentally wrote the aforementioned Sharktopus.
Like Sharktopus and its sequels, Piranhaconda combines two creatures in one silly-looking body. This time, a piranha and an anaconda have joined forces as part of what a character calls “jumping the line” of evolution. There’s no other explanation required, thank goodness, and the piranhaconda inflicts all manner of mayhem.
Michael Madsen stars as Professor Lovegrove and he’s tracking the piranhaconda in Hawaii. He swipes an egg, which only raises the ire of the creature(s). Meanwhile, a movie crew is making a slasher picture in the jungle. Star Kimmy (Shandi Finnessey), script doctor Rose (Terri Ivens), director Milo (Christopher De Christopher), and stuntman Jack (Rib Hillis) are captured and held for ransom.
Opportunely, the kidnappers have also snatched Professor Lovegrove. He’s been trying to tell their fearless leader (Michael Swan) about the piranhaconda, but the abductors don’t seem to care until the creature masticates one of their own (Rachel Hunter). This leads to all-out chaos and so forth.
Piranhaconda is full of all sorts of meta-jokes, most of which come at the hands of the film crew. They’re making bad movie after bad movie and they know it, although Rose discusses “fact-checking the script” at one point and the stuntman is naturally pressed to do most of the heavy-lifting against the slinking antagonist.
There’s plenty of eye candy for those so inclined, with Ivens and Finnessey sharing a great deal of screen time and Hunter proving a lovely if lukewarm addition to the band of criminals. Other bit players include Cindy Lucas, Angie Savage, Christina DeRosa, and Erika Jordan. The latter plays Dr. Masters, who makes an all-too-brief trip into the bush where she hoards rare orchids in Tupperware containers.
These mindless little pieces would undermine Piranhaconda if it was in any way designed to be taken seriously, but Wynorski knows better. He’s acutely aware of his limitations, like when he has the title beast crunch on its prey only to leave red haze and a couple of limbs behind. The kills are of the ludicrous variety, with the actual screen shading crimson.
It’s interesting to consider the monster of Piranhaconda, as there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for its piranha DNA. Sure, it swims up and out of the water from time to time. For the most part, however, the creature slithers around and chomps away like a giant snake with a mohawk. A little more balance would’ve made more use of the fish’s chomping jaws or sharp teeth or cow-tearing penchants.
But I digress. The flavour of Piranhaconda really comes down to slithering and running and slithering and running. The snake-thing chases people and chomps into them with a big whomp sound and that’s about it until a Master Plan lets Rib Hillis be the hero again. For a few seconds, at least.
Movies like Piranhaconda are not for the sullen, carping masses who fill up “goof” sections on IMDb with anachronistic complaints about distributor caps or mutterings about the visibility of urine streams. No, movies like Piranhaconda are for those with a little sense of fun and a nose for jiggly, reckless, zero-budget nonsense. And believe me, there’s nothing wrong with that.