Piranha 3-D delivers with nekkid and severed hard bodies

Piranha 3-D
Feather River Cinemas and Tinseltown. Rated R.
Rated 4.0

Piranha 3-D may be the best ’80s horror film made since the ’80s. Although there’s no way this would have pulled an R-rating back then. It’s very, very gruesome. And very demented. Crass, even. It’s unapologetic in its crassness, using a send-up of Girls Gone Wild as a launching pad for spreading acres of boobies and booties across its 90-minute running time. Which in a turn serves as a life-support system for the over-the-top mayhem (a nice balance of practical FX and CGI). Sometimes director Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension) even chums with something that resembles a plot:

A fissure opens up beneath the lake of an Arizona tourist trap, releasing an old school of piranha … a very old school—looking all prehistoric-like, making their contemporary brethren look like goldfish. Of course, it’s on the eve of spring break, and the sheriff (Elisabeth Shue) already has her hands full with a fornicatory stew of drunken hard bodies (aka meat). And then …

Fish, boobies, blood. That’s pretty much it.

Piranha 3-D is willfully stupid and mean-spirited, in a clever sort of way. There’s a very sick sense of humor at play, most likely courtesy of producer Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), who shows up to die spectacularly. The subtext indicates an unbridled loathing for the kind of bottom feeders eager to debase themselves on reality TV, from the Jersey Shore all the way up into The Hills. Which means that everyone here must die. Very, very horribly. Well, except for the ones you know won’t die. And even then …

The 3-D is kinda weak, though. Which is too bad. There’s some nicely uncanny underwater photography going on, which gets all sorts of muddied.

Of course, your appreciation of Piranha 3-D depends on whether you’ll be amused at how the filmmakers find a way to pull five gags out of one severed penis. If you are, you’ll have a blast. If you aren’t, well, then you most likely won’t.