I didn’t walk into Piranha 3D expecting much of anything, but I walked out thinking that this movie may actually accomplish something. It may become a harbinger for the eventual downfall of the current 3D craze.

Inspired by Joe Dante’s 1978 feature Piranha, this new movie about killer fish aims to be like the cheesy 3D horror films from the 1980s. I have not seen movies like Jaws 3-D all the way through, but I think I’ve seen enough to consider them pretty tame. Consequently, Piranha 3D strikes me as being much more violent and tasteless than anything to which those earlier films would aspire. Every scene has one or more of these three goals in mind: kill something, flash breasts and rip off the original Jaws. It fulfills these goals with sickening aplomb. The nudity is pointless, the Jaws moments are too blatant to even be funny and the overdone violence ruins some of the movie’s few amusing moments (like the ironic fate of a chauvinist director played Jerry O’Connell). Piranha 3Dis simply a piece of junk, and I say “junk” because to call it “chum” would be an insult to sharks.

Piranha 3D is bad by itself, but many of its crudest moments are present because of the unnecessary 3D effects. When it isn’t employing the technology to highlight topless girls, the movie uses the same 3D horror tricks as Jaws 3-D, which involve bringing floating objects (usually body parts) towards the audience. I usually refrain from detailing movies so I don’t spoil anything, but this time it is because director Alexandre Aja’s choices in floating objects reach the height of disgust. The only useful aspect of the 3D is that the shaded glasses dim some of the gore. Consider that a godsend if you see some of the abhorrent deeds that occur in this movie.


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