This week the silly, sexy and ultra-gory creature feature romp Piranha 3DD is hitting DVD and Blu-ray shelves everywhere, and to get you guys ready, Dread Central recently chatted with horror’s dynamic duo of writing: Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton!
The duo penned the sequel for a frequent co-collaborator of theirs, director John Gulager (the madman behind the Feast trilogy and a “Project Greenlight” winner alongside Dunstan and Melton in Season Three).
Check out what both Melton and Dunstan had to say about their sequel, pushing boundaries, deconstructing “The Hoff,” sequel potential and more in our exclusive interview with the screenwriting team below.
Dread Central: Can you guys talk about what kind of touchstones you made sure to keep from the first movie for Piranha 3DD? Clearly the location was different and – I would imagine – more challenging.
Marcus Dunstan: There were challenges, but having Piranha 3DD take place in a water park was also a prime testing ground for just how far we could push things. We wanted to push the lines in regard to that weird kind of glamour that’s associated with a sleazy adults-only type of place; sort of that same feeling you get when you’re swimming and you accidentally pick up a Band-Aid floating in the water and it’s not yours (laughs).
Patrick Melton: We knew from our work on the first one that this one was going to have to do something more extreme like a water park so we found two great locations down in Louisiana with Gulager- one in Shreveport and one in Baton Rouge. We just decided to stay down there and wrote the first draft while we were there. We just always had to be conscientious of the budget; that was a big challenge.
Dread Central: I was a huge fan of the humor in Piranha 3DD, particularly “the line” Katrina Bowden drops later on in the film–
Marcus Dunstan: Isn’t that great? She just nailed that so perfectly, I loved it! (laughs) It really was a make or break moment in the film, and her delivery really paid off and sold that moment.
Patrick Melton: You know, for that we had a studio mandate…
Dread Central: Wait, that was a studio mandated moment? Wow. (laughs)
Patrick Melton: Oh yes, really. (laughs) We really had a mandate that said there needed to be a moment when a piranha comes into a woman’s…um…’hoo-ha’ and then out of it so we just went with that and kind of worked backwards with the concept. It ended up being sort of the unintentional centerpiece moment of the movie, but yeah, it’s a lot of fun.
Oh, and that didn’t even end up being the weirdest note we had on Piranha 3DD either; that involved another location on a dude, if you can imagine (laughs).
Marcus Dunstan: We really cranked it up to 17 on Piranha 3DD; we originally wanted to have an homage to Humanoids from the Deep where a baby piranha would bust out of a pregnant woman’s stomach, but we had to keep our budget in mind.
Dread Central: Let’s talk about another great part of Piranha 3DD– David Hasselhoff; was he entirely on board with this role from the start? This kind of deconstructive role isn’t usually the type of thing we see a lot of actors do in movies- sometimes people aren’t very good at poking fun at themselves.
Patrick Melton: Our original idea was to have this water park that was filled with D-list celebrity lifeguards who hate being there, but we had to scrap that idea and eventually went with the idea of the lifeguard being The Hoff because he is really the best. He has been around for like 20-30 years now and was great about everything, but of course we had a line with how far we’d go with it just so he didn’t come off as really unlikable.
It really came down to the humor of The Hoff’s general reluctance to help anyone around him when things go bad at the water park; that humor really helps bridge the story in the movie and especially all the different horror and comedy elements.
Marcus Dunstan: People ended up really caring about The Hoff’s character in the end, which was great (laughs).
Dread Central: Since I have time for one last question, I wanted to know whether or not the three of you (Dunstan, Melton and Gulager) have talked about another sequel if there’s a chance to do a third Piranha flick?
Patrick Melton: We would love to come back and do another one, definitely. And of course we’d love to work with John again because he really gets what these movies are all about.
Marcus Dunstan: We’ve already set up for what the third movie could be since the piranha are continuing to evolve, and there are plenty of common-place water systems like plumbing in your home or in office buildings so yes- there is plenty of carnage out there to be had if we get to do a third Piranha.
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