Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Second Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series - Movie #9: Piranha

So sad: this is the final movie in this year's Scarelicious October Movie Series!  I got off to a slow start, I'm afraid, and just didn't get to nearly as many horror flicks as I would have liked to (and Mr. Mouse is champing at the bit, saying it's high time I got a movie he wants to watch too and enough with this horror bullshit).  I'll get to Red State soon, but it'll definitely be in November so it doesn't count.  And yes, it is still October 31 out here in Utah whilst I post this, so even tho' Blogger's datestamp will say November 1st, Piranha was actually watched - and enjoyed - on Halloween.

So, Alexandre Aja's Piranha - what can be said about it?  Bountiful bouncy bare boobs and buckets of blood, and lots of ugly fishies with really nasty teeth, that's Piranha in a nutshell.  It's hilarious and, as I understand it, a callback to Aja's favorite creature features, winking but offering up enough true gore and scares to be a real horror flick in and of itself.  The plot is bare bones: "Lake Victoria," in Arizona, is the site of a rowdy spring break crowd.  The little town is bursting with 20,000 mostly naked college students, swimming, wake-boarding, drinking, etc.  The local sheriff's son, Jake, gets asked by the sleazy Girls Gone Wild-esque director (played with smarmy glee by Jerry O'Connell) to be their location scout for the porno-lite he's filming with two chickies.  Unbeknownst to everyone, a recent earthquake has opened a fissure underneath the lake, freeing thousands of prehistoric piranhas.  Shortly thereafter, mayhem ensues.

I can't decide what was my favorite part: the snickety-snickety noise the piranha teeth made; Jerry O'Connell's piscine penisectomy; Eli Roth's head getting smushed between a couple of boat hulls; Ving Rhames laying waste with an outboard motor; or simply the creative and exceedingly nasty ways Aja showed a person's stripped limbs post-piranha attack.  The cast was impressive too.  In addition to the previously mentioned folks, we've got Elisabeth Shue as the embattled sheriff, Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl) as Jake's crush, Christopher Lloyd as a pet shop owner, Adam Scott as a seismologist (so much fun to see Adam Scott get to be almost an action hero! at least for a little while) and, in a wonderful cameo shoutout to Jaws, Richard Dreyfuss as a hapless fisherman.  There's no great acting being done here but everyone committed to their roles and everyone looked like they were having a helluva a lot of fun.  Unless they were being systematically stripped of their flesh by those hideous fish.

Piranha was just fun.  Gruesome, gory, gratuitously nude fun - everything a B creature feature should be.  I've never seen Joe Dante's original 1978 cult classic Piranha (which is supposed to be a ripoff of Jaws), but now I don't think I need too.  Non CGI fish would be better, of course, but I'm pretty happy with what I just saw.

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