Piranha 3DD (2012)

piranha 3dd poster 2012 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visual: 5/10

Stupid but entertaining

Not as developed as the original

Movie Info

Movie Name: Piranha 3DD

Studio: Dimension Films

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s): May 11, 2012 (UK)/June 1, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating: R

piranha 3dd killer fish

They swim faster than you

After the tragedy at Lake Victoria, no one thought it could happen again.  When the owner of a nearby water park named Chet (David Koechner) accidentally taps into the underground waterways that hold the piranhas his plans for a topless waterpark becomes a potential smorgasbord for the piranha.  As his stepdaughter and co-owner of the water park Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) tries to stop the potential disaster, the piranha are getting closer…and it could be a bloodbath.

Directed by John Gulager, Piranha 3DD is a horror comedy.  A sequel to Piranha 3D from 2010, the movie was met with negative reviews and nominated for Razzies for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel and Worst Supporting Actor (David Hasselhoff).

piranha 3dd david hasselhoff little ginger moron

Little Ginger Moron…

I have enjoyed Piranha in its many forms.  The first film was a great riff on Jaws and “animal attack” films while still being scary and tense.  Piranha II:  The Spawning was so ridiculous that it went past bad film and back to so-bad-it-is-good.  The Piranha remake was a surprise because it had a strong cast, some fun jokes, and reveled in the gratuitous “T&A” style of horror movie that made it reflexive instead of completely objectifying the characters.  Piranha 3DD has the “T&A” but is loses a lot of its reflexive nature…just making it exploitive.

Just because a film is tongue in cheek when approaching gratuitous nudity, it doesn’t mean that that it is smart.  Winking at the camera while still putting up women completely naked isn’t really doing anything to subvert the genre.  The basic story for the original Piranha 3D played more with the idea while still using the imagery…here, the story is a lot lazier.

The cast is also ho-hum.  There are a couple holdovers from the first film Christopher Lloyd is back as the wacky scientist while Ving Rhames and Paul Scheer return (which is especially surprising due to what happened to Ving Rhames’s character in the first one).  Danielle Panabaker isn’t very compelling as the lead and she is surrounded by equally bland characters while David Koechner plays the jerk (as usual).  The opening features Gary Busey and genre star Clu Gulager (who is also the director’s father).  David Hasselhoff pokes fun at himself, but it still isn’t funny.

piranha 3dd maddy trident danielle panabaker

Saved by the trident

The piranha in the first film were pretty bad, but they are possibly even worse here.  The first film had some nice photographic quality and this seems to be lacking the interesting underwater shooting.  The 3D aspect of the film has things flying at the camera over and over again.

Piranha 3DD is a disappointing sequel to a rather fun film.  It is still fun to watch in a “so-bad-it-is-good” style, but it could have been much more if the intelligence of the first film was built upon.  The movie ends rather open ended with the piranha now being able to walk on land, but the poor performance by the film in the box office kind of ended the run…but I’m sure the piranha will feast again in Hollywood’s continue effort to recycle old ideas.

Related Links:

Piranha 3D (2010)

Piranha (1978)

Piranha II:  The Spawning (1981)

Piranha (1995)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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