Seeking to fulfill its unstated goal of becoming the Snakes On A Plane/Anaconda/camp version of JawsÂ for the summer of 2010, Piranha 3D hit theaters this week with the promise of being just about as mindlessly fun as itÂ wantsÂ to be. Yes, here’sÂ a match made inÂ Hollywood heaven: schools of ill-tempered, razor-toothed piranhaÂ proliferating upon aÂ lake stocked with lascivious, bikini-clad coeds. The concept worked back in 1978 when Roger Corman’s Piranha (sans 3D) became sort of a Sam Raimi version of Jaws. The 2010Â depiction of the movie even opens with a tongue-in-cheek nod to Spielberg, as Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss portrays a fisherman who is attacked by a farragoÂ of the feisty predators on an otherwise serene lake.
Most early accounts of Piranha 3DÂ have rightfullyÂ refused to compare it to other such “fish tales” of l[u]re as Moby Dick and The Old Man and the Sea, and reviewed it for what it is: an exploitation flick that preys on our lesser instincts as land-dwellers. Set in Lake Victoria, Ariz., a lovely lakefrontÂ hamlet, during (of course) spring break, the escalation of plot comes with no shortage of sin-starved college kids eager to shedÂ their clothes and inhibitions.Â Softcore porn is the norm as the camera’s eye somewhatÂ creepily caresses every pair of boobs and buttocks in sight. Vaguely recalling the orgiastic rites of ancient Rome, the film makes no secret of its intention to make every “Giggity”-spouting male above the age of 35 take an extra long gulp from their Pepsis.Â The film stars Elisabeth ShueÂ as the town’s sheriff and Jerry O’ConnellÂ as a louche,Â Girls Gone Wild-type movie producer.Â O’Connell hires Shue’s oldest son Jake to scout locations for his next flick, which is about asÂ deep as the “plot” gets. Shue herself is unfortunately not featured in a swimsuit (and I say unfortunately because she still looks great despite the fact that sheÂ must be like 50 now).
Undeniably loutish, the horror-comedy goes for the jugular with the sort ofÂ shameless haste that would make even the BP oil spillÂ blush. But hey, it’s summer, America is the new Rome, and what’s the point of thinking too deeply about things when even Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying if he could do it all over again, he’d come back as a plumber.
*And if you don’t believe me about the Einstein quote, check it here, Ein Sof.