Susan Granger’s review of “Piranha 3DD” (Dimension Films)
Give this tacky horror-comedy sequel some credit for truth in advertising! Opening with a recap of “Piranha 3D,” showing now-abandoned Lake Victoria, not far from Merkin, Arizona, a newscaster comments, “If it happened here, can it happen again? And, if so, where?”
Enter Maddy (Danielle Panabaker), a marine biology grad student, who plans to spend the summer working with her sleazy stepfather, Chet (David Koechner), running the family water park which, following the death of Maddy’s mother, he has redesigned into what’s called “The Big Wet,” a more mature-themed attraction. Staffed by buxom lifeguards who formerly worked as strippers, there’s an “Adults Only” swimming pool that’s full of naked women. For the Grand Opening, “Baywatch” star David Hasselhoff (satirizing himself) has been hired to sign autographs and pose for photographs.
Complications arise when the deadly, super-sized, piranha reappear in nearby Cross Lake. So Maddy, along with her hunky ex-boyfriend Kyle (Chris Zylka) and nerdy co-worker Barry (Matt Bush), consult eccentric Lake Victoria scientist Carl Goodman (Christopher Lloyd), who theorizes that the killer fish may be migrating through a network of underwater lakes and rivers. So when Maddy discovers that Chet has been avoiding paying utility fees for the water park by illegally tapping into a nearby subterranean aquifer, she begs him to cancel. When Chet refuses, it’s only a matter of time before the predictable, carnivorous catastrophe commences. And when that happens, there’s gory biting, bleeding, plenty of jiggling, bare breasts and inevitable castration.
Scripted by Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton and Joel Soisson and directed by John Gulager (Bravo’s “Project Greenlight” winner, who subsequently directed the horror movie “Feast”), it’s ridiculous and redundant. Gary Busey ignites the action via piranha eggs that hatch after expulsion from a cow, and Ving Rhames reprises his role as the legless cop who shoots the ravenous prehistoric predators with a prosthetic machine gun.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Piranha 3DD” is a low-budget, softcore 3, destined to make a quick detour to DVD so sneaky, testosterone-propelled teens can easily subvert the R-rating.