Whatever You Do, Don’t Go In The Water

Whatever You Do, Don’t Go In The Water

Static Mass Rating: 2/5
PIRANHA (Blu-ray)

Release date: December 27th 2010
Certificate (UK): 18
Running time: 81 minutes

Director: Alexandre Aja

Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Jerry O’Connell, Dina Meyer, Richard Dreyfuss, Kelly Brook

Joe Dante’s 1978 parody of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1978) gets a gore-filled 3D update in Alexandre Aja’s version.

The film stars Elizabeth Shue as sheriff Julie Forester who tries to keep the community of Lake Victoria safe and under control when they discover an underwater earthquake has released thousands of the prehistoric piranhas once thought to be extinct.

As its spring break, the local kids are high off their heads and drunk out of their minds and heed the warnings about staying out of the water. This makes for an exciting buffet for the hungry piranhas as they chomp their way through swimming trunks, bikinis and anything else which stands between them and their meal. Backed by a soundtrack which is more fitted to a club night, Piranha, like its female cast, is completely stripped bare of tension or suspense.

Add to that Sheriff Forester’s three kids including her teenage son out on a boat with coke-sniffing sleaze-ball Derrick Jones (O’Connell) and you can tell there’ll be an obligatory rescue attempt.

Ricardo Antonio Chavira, perhaps better known as Carlos Solis from Desperate Housewives, is on-screen for a few minutes as Sam, a seismologist. He’s used to dealing with piranha’s of a different kind but doesn’t last very long here. In the most interesting scene of the movie, Sam goes off to explore the underwater prehistoric lake where we see scores of towering piranha eggs. The movie could have done more to tell us what this ancient life form has been living on all these years because we’re given no hint of it here.

In another scene which can only be described as a parody of James Cameron’s Titanic (1997), panicked partygoers clamour onto a floating stage rigged with cables and lights only for it to start rising out of the water from one end under the weight. As teens plunge back into the water a cable snaps loose, reminiscent of the opening scene from Ghost Ship (2002), leaving a couple of topless girls half of what they used to be.

It’s not the first time Piranha has been remade. In 1995, Scott P. Levy directed a version for the Showtime network starring Alexandra Paul from Baywatch and former Punky Brewster child star Soleil Moon Frye.


If you can stand the sight of gore, together with Jerry O’Connell’s floating appendage and worst of all, Kelly Brook’s butchering of the few lines she has to read off a cue card, Piranha should be right up your alley (or down your stream, as the case might be).

The Blu-ray comes with 2 disc set containing the 3D Edition and 2D Edition. For the full 3D experience you will need to have a 3D Blu-ray player along with a compatible television set. There’s also a 3D version which comes with a pair of paper glasses you can watch with a normal Blu-ray player but after the first 5 minutes I had to change over to the 2D version. There was no colour in the picture; nothing looked 3D and the opening credits were impossible to read. Deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a commentary by Alexandre Aja are also included.

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