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Piranha 3D: Confessions Of A Guilty Film-Goer

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piranha-3d
Pirahna 3D is a guilty pleasure.
I would like to start this off by saying that I am not proud of myself.

Not proud at all.

But as a responsible film writer I feel it my duty to report my experience last night, it simply needs to be done.

Around 10:00 I was sitting around my house watching T.V. and feeling a strange desire.  For a long time I tried to shove this desire beneath the surface but I could not.  I tried walking around or making myself something to eat but my body and soul would not rest until I gave into the temptation that had been weighing on me…

Trevor White
Yours truly making a late night visit to see Piranha 3D
I wanted to see Pirahna 3D…

So I decided to cave in.  I drove my truck out to the closest multiplex that was offering an after midnight show.  In the parking lot I second-guessed myself, could I really want to see this trash film?  Trevor White, a lover of quality cinema could not actually desire to see a 3-D film about attacking hordes of carnivorous fish.  However after ten and a half seconds of soul searching I got out of the car and went to the theatre.  I bought my tickets and Kid’s Pack of Popcorn, Buncha Crunch, and Cherry Coke and shuffled shamefully into the theatre.  I put on my 3-D glasses early to conceal my identity, worried that I might be found out in this theatre filled to the brim with 4 people.  I sat alone and hunched over on the left wing of the room, only to be joined by another lone voyeur moments later in the row behind me.

As the film started I quickly forgot all of my doubts and insecurities and got caught up in the fun of Piranha.  This film knows it is not going to be taken seriously and has a heck of a time with that fact.  The first scene is an obvious homage to Jaws, as Richard Dreyfuss is fishing while listening to “Show Me the Way to Go Home”.   This homage continues into the plot of the movie, which takes place on the sleepy town of Lake Victoria.  Here thousands of Co-eds pilgrimage for Spring Break, much to the chagrin of the local Sheriff Julie (Elisabeth Shue) who wants to shut down the lake after finding a body…stop me if this gets to sounding to familiar.

Yet this movie emerges from all of the countless Jaws impersonators because it realizes it is one and not trying to best the classic but instead cash in on the memory.  The fish themselves arrive due to a shift of a fault running under the lake, which reveals a subterranean lake with a hive of prehistoric beasts.  Then the film splits time between two plotlines.  First, the Sheriff’s son Jake (Steven R. McQueen) who is location scouting for a “Wild, Wild, Girls” video shoot which displays all of the requisite nudity and teenage boy fodder.  Second, Sheriff Julie and Deputy Fallon (Ving Rhames) attempt to evacuate all of the spring break partiers from the lake, leading to the main set piece of the film and the goriest five minutes of the summer.

When leaving the film, I by no means felt like I had seen a good movie.  But I was massively entertained.  Piranha has a good time showcasing second-rate special effects and scenery-chewing B-listers (Notables include Jerry O’Connell as a coke-addicted Porn director and Christopher Lloyd as a raspy-voiced Fish Expert).  It doesn’t aspire to greatness and it doesn’t achieve it, but it is still well worth the viewing for people who are like me attracted to aquatic-themed horror films.  It plays sort of like Jersey Shore meets Jaws, and if that sounds like a great time then you should also take a late night trip to your local Cineplex.