Piranha 3D (2010)

Piranha 3D ReviewReviewed by Buz “Danger” Wallick

Starring Ving Rhames, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Jerry O’Connell, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr

Directed by Alexandre Aja

You know what’s great? Boobs. You know what’s also great? Richard Dreyfuss. You know what makes those other two things even greater? Killer fish. What movie has all of these things and more? What About Bob? Fuck no. PIRANHA 3D.

I should preface this review with the scientific fact that I over-praise aquatic monster movies so naturally I went ape-shit for this flick. If you don’t have an appreciation for the underwater mayhem, nature run amok sub-genre, though, then this movie isn’t for you. However, if everything I’ve said so far has tickled your fancy, my god Piranha 3D is a gift from the heavens.

The film is set on the sleepy little Lake Victoria in Arizona. A lake that is invaded every year during spring break with scantily clad women, raging drunk douchebags, sex, drugs, and rock and roll. All the good things in life. And every year it’s up to the town’s local sheriff department, headed up by Julie Forester (Shue), to ensure the safety of the drunken idiots and their wonderful wet T-shirt contests. Something is different this year, however. Due to some strange seismic activity, an underwater cave cracks open and unleashes jaws … lots and lots of jaws. At this point the furious prehistoric piranha begin to make their way around the lake until ultimately showing up at the massive spring break orgy that’s taking place. While this story doesn’t seem all that new, the movie knows exactly what it’s going for and revels in its ridiculous nature run amok bloody goodness.

Piranha 3D ReviewFor a movie of this kind of cheesy proportion, the acting is surprisingly very solid. Everyone goes in knowing what the film is and has fun with it. Elisabeth Shue rocks as always, and Ving Rhames is the ultimate badass (and could indeed be considered the Obama of Piranha). There’s also a surprise performance from Kelly Brook, who plays British bombshell Danni (one of the “Wild Wild Girls”), who instead of just being a ditzy chick with big boobs actually has some ethos and pathos (for a killer piranha movie anyway) with big boobs. The two lead kids, “The Vampire Diaries”‘s Steven R. McQueen (yes, there is a relation) and “Gossip Girl”‘s Jessica Szohr (as Jake and Kelly, respectively), while usually irritating in this kind of film, are tolerable and have some rather good scenes together.

The cast standouts, though, are Adam Scott (from the hilarious show “Party Down”) as the seismic scientist guy who also happens to be a badass with a quick wit; Christopher Lloyd as Doc Bro … I mean Doctor Goodman, the prehistoric piranha expert (great scott!); Jerry O’Connell as Derrick Jones, the douchey yet utterly hilarious “Wild Wild Girls” host; and Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper. Yes, you read that right. Richard Dreyfuss reprises his role as Hooper from Jaws in a killer piranha movie. While the credits may have him as Matt Boyd, he is singing “Show me the way to go home” at one point and is dressed as Matt Hooper (denim and all). If there is one reason to see this movie, that’s it. Well, that and Jerry O’Connell, who literally had me in tears every time he was on screen. Now these aren’t Oscar-winning performances by any stretch, but for a film about killer fish in a lake, they are damn entertaining and just all around fun.

Piranha 3D ReviewFor being a post-conversion 3D movie, Piranha‘s 3D is excellent. They didn’t exactly have the budget for 3D while shooting, but it was always the intention to have the film in 3D so they shot it as such. You have piranha flying out of the screen as well as boat propellers, breast implants, bloody body parts, and a lone penis. And it all looks beautiful. With any Alex Aja movie the cinematography is top-notch. This one has a wonderful warm glow to it that contrasts well with the bloody gore. And while the piranha are all CGI, the gore effects are practical and look insanely awesome thanks to the talents of KNB Effects. The pacing of the film is well done and moves quickly with a cool running time of 90-something minutes. It never drags, and there is always a kill every fifteen minutes or so. Aja definitely knows how to keep a film entertaining.

In all honesty, this is the best movie of the summer, if not my favorite horror film of the year. It literally has every single thing you could ever want in a movie. Killer fish? Check. A slow motion underwater make-out scene set to the classic song “Flower Duet” between two naked women? Check. Ving Rhames shooting said killer fish with a shotgun? Check. Jerry O’Connell in a Speedo? DOUBLE CHECK. It’s a great movie to see with a crowd as you will be cheering, screaming, laughing, and gasping at the levels of insanity that this flick throws at its audience. When the shit hits the fan, it really hits, and it hits hard. Also, for a theatrical release it has more boobs in it than a late night Skinamax marathon. Hell, there is porn out there with less T&A.

Run, don’t walk or swim to see this movie. It’s a bloody good time and sure to be a crowd favorite. I give it 5 out of 5 spring break tits, Jerry O’Connell coke lines, exploding Eli Roth heads, and, yes, 5 out of 5 fucking knives.

I loved this movie.

5 out of 5

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Buz Wallick

  • e-x-i-t

    okay, i’m sold…i have to admit i was afraid aja was turning into the m. night of gore flicks with “high tension” as his “sixth sense” one-hit-wonder and the rest as…well, whatever the hell those were. the presence of eli roth also had me worried, but he’s like jared leto – he’s bearable when you see him killed or beaten to a pulp. hey paul!

    this and the other comments have given me hope. huzzah.

  • Uncle Creepy

    So fucking good we saw it twice in a row back to back! I loved every minute of this wondrous slice of unabashedly low-brow entertainment.

  • Cinemascribe

    According to Box Office Mojo,Vampires Suck actually took in more than this film did on Friday.

    I’m stunned .Literally stunned. I had expected the Expendables to hang in there..but Vampires Suck? This must be a vision of the Eleventh Level of Hell Dante decided to not include in The Divine Comedy because it was just too upsetting.
    “I’m saying that I’m an insect who dreamt he was a man…and loved it. But now the dream is over..and the insect is awake.” – Seth Brundle

    • The Unknown Murderer

      Piranha 3D took in under 11 million this weekend.

      You know who CAN’T market 3D TITS to the general public? The WEINSTEIN BROS., that’s who!

      I mean, my dream would’ve been to see a theater full of people who came to see 3D nudity levae mentally scarred by the beautiful carnage near the end of the film. But, oh well.

      • The Buz

        Sadly I think this is the same case of what happened when Rambo came out against Meet the Spartans in which teenagers basically bought tickets to Meet the Spartans just to see Rambo.

        I think the same thing is happening here, unfortunately. Fucking Vampires Suck. Oh well, it’s still a wonderfully awesome movie that I saw again last night. Easily my favorite horror flick of the year.

        • LifeMi

          Five Stars is a bit generous, if you ask me. I’d give it no more than three and a half. It was a lot of fun, but I wanted more than just that. It was well-acted and I about cried tears of joy at the underwater ballet scene! Still, I think I prefer Dante’s film.

  • TheDreamMaster

    I love shitty aquatic creature features too (hence my undying love for the killer shark genre that’s been dead in the water for decades). Needless to say, I thought Piranha 3D was more awesome than a barrel full of boobs…in 3D.


  • LSD Zombie

    What?! Sorry dude, but you’re fuckin’ Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs! Piranha 3D aced the fuckin’ animal attack formula! That sequence of slaughter was masterfully orchestrated and creative in it’s depictions of death! Jerry O’Connell had me LMAO! Lloyd was back as Doc Brown! Hooper got shredded!


  • Tshoffie

    This movie sucked…i couldnt tell wether they were trying to make a girls gone wild video or a horror film…plenty of gore to bad it didnt have better everything else

    • Uncle Creepy

      Ladies and Gentleman, Tshoffie, continue his colorful reign of hatred for every new film made within the last 15 years! LOL

      Seriously, dude, not being a smart ass, just curious … what was the last thing you actually liked? I don’t think I’ve seen you praise a single thing for any reason at all in ages!

    • GJW

      I have never,never,ever,ever,never,ever,since I first came to Dread Central,see you say ONE good thing about a movie,or like ONE release. Absolutely nothing mean or personal intended,sometimes I completely agree with your opinion,but damn my friend it doesn’t seem like you like anything(lol)!!

      PS: Maybe you really don’t like horror films. It could be you’re more of a (closet) romantic comedy kinda person. LOL,J/K!!

  • The Unknown Murderer

    It seems like even if this doesn’t make bank this weekend, the word of mouth regarding the 3D T&A and massive amounts of gore will most likely carry it through to a really good second weekend.

    I absolutely, positively loved this movie. I laughed my ass off, and it seemed like Aja was playing with the horror fan. Just Awesome.

  • Jus

    The Buzz I’m pretty sure Devin, at Chud, gets an answer to your question about the character that seems to just disappear without any explanation. It was a lack of funds for finishing the vfx on what happened with that character and Aja plans to put it on the DVD in the unfinished form.

    Maybe if the movie is successful enough, he can convince Bob to let him finish it and put it back in the Director’s Cut.

    If you go to Chud and read Devin’s interview with Aja, you can read more about it.

    Keep up the great work. I’m heading to see it at the first matinee today! I cannot wait!


    Holy Shit that film was great. I got dragged in and from the moment I saw Mat Hooper I was sucked in. It is Pearl Harbor with killer fish!!! 6/5

  • James Coker

    YEESSS!!! HOLY SHIT BUZ your making me too excited!!!

  • nonserviam03

    I got curious and looked this up on Rotten Tomatoes. It has a fucking 82… which is AMAZING for this type of movie. Immediately afterwards I came here, only to see a 5/5 review.

    I have to say, as fun as I always thought this looked, I didn’t expect it to get good reviews.

    Now it has officially gone from just peaking my curiosity to being a MUST SEE.

    God damn it, after Scott Pilgrim and The Expendables, movie theaters are KILLING my funds.

    • GJW

      Yes. The good reviews this flick is receiving (the majority I have seen everywhere so far) is very surprising. That is a good thing,unfortunately it could also be a bad thing because we will see tons of cheap rip-offs flodding the market know (I suppose).

  • The Buz

    I should make note of it, since I forgot to in my review:

    There is a particular character that literally seems to completely disappear from the movie. Like they don’t show him dying, or escaping. Nothing. He’s just gone.

    So if anyone can answer that little mystery for me, that’d be awesome.

  • Spaceshark


  • fceurich39

    awesome i also heard there is 10-20 minutes of footage thats gonna be included on the blu release for AJA’S director’s cut will check it out tomorrow

  • Pestilence


  • Impure159

    I was probably going to wait until this went to the second rung discount theater in my area but Buz your review has decided for me. Tomorrow night after work I’m going straight to the theater for this.

    • The Buz

      Hey, if you like Nature Run Amok flicks, this is the one to see. Don’t go in expecting high art though, lol. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be coming down on me for going crazy for this movie.

      But dammit, I loved every moment of it.

      • The Woman In Black

        You’re far from alone — Christy Lemire from the AP just gave it 3-1/2 out of 4!!!! An excerpt:

        Mere words cannot describe how awesomely gnarly “Piranha 3D” is, how hugely entertaining, and how urgently you must get yourself to the theater to see it. Like, now.

        This is not a joke, by the way. This movie is a complete blast. To borrow a phrase from the kind of B-horror flicks to which “Piranha 3D” is such a loving and effective homage: Run, don’t walk.

        Way to go mainstream press!

        Methinks horror could rule the box office after all this weekend.

      • GJW

        Maybe don’t take a 6 pack of Red Bull (Energy Drink) into the theatre with you then come out and immediately write a review. LOL,J/K…………..I didn’t even plan to see this. Was going to wait for the dvd. I’m not gonna miss it now…..I gotta see this on the big screen. Thanks for the review.

        • The Buz

          Boobs and killer fish make me excited. For the record though, I wrote the review two days after seeing the movie. You should have heard me after coming out of the theatre. I was practically screaming.

      • Impure159

        I’m a fan of Nature Run Amok definitely, as well as movies that find that perfect balance between knowing they’re cheesy B movies and taking themselves too seriously.

        From the sound of this it finds that balance perfectly, going by what you said it doesn’t take itself seriously while at the same time didn’t fall to the classic ‘We’re making a terrible movie and know it so we won’t try’ problem.
        If it walks that line like I assume it does then I’m going to love this.

        (Does this post make sense? Re-reading it seems like I may have left it a little confusing.)