Why I Didn’t and Won't See Piranha 3-D

Recently, a few days before Piranha 3-D came out, a friend of mine asked if I was excited about going to check out the film. With no compunction at all and without pause, I told him I wasn’t all that interested. He looked at me like I had just donned a brassiere and garters and broke into a number from Chicago accompanied by a coterie of trained dancing collies. I hadn’t. Mostly because that’s just not the kind of thing you do in public, but also because I was just turning down a movie that didn’t capture my imagination. I had a couple of reasons at the time, but it was late and I had imbibed a bit so my arguments weren’t all that well formed. Since then, Piranha 3-D has been on my mind. I watched the trailer a few times, I saw some glowing endorsements from people that I trust, and saw it rake in almost fourteen million at the box office in its first weekend out. Yet I still couldn’t get myself interested in it, and so now with a clear head and a modicum of sleep (plus some coffee), I thought I would lay the reasons out why I’m going to pass on Piranha 3-D.

1. Alexandre Aja. - His career spawned out of the French new wave of horror, but loyal readers will remember that I wasn’t even a fan of his big “hit” High Tension. Then he came to the States where he quickly jumped on the remake machine and cranked out The Hills Have Eyes. Some folks have really liked his version and have singled it out as one of the best remakes. I am not some folks. Then Aja made the world’s most boring gore film in 2008 with Mirrors, and yet people are still willing to give him a chance. Having seen all three of those flicks, I just don’t have any faith in Aja to make a film that I will enjoy.

2. Piranha- It‘s from 1978. It was directed by Joe “Gremlins” Dante. Its got Dick Miller, Paul Bartel, and Barbara Steele. It’s also got some shaky effects, a Roger Corman budget, and a script by John Sayles. It even pissed off Jaws’ home, Universal Studios, until Steven Spielberg saw it and gave it the thumbs up. Now obviously, I was 2 when it was in first run, so I saw it later on VHS. The original film is a solid entry into ‘70’s cult film, and no matter how hard you try to capture that magic, you’re just not going to hit the mark. I don’t want to come off as one of those people who hates a remake. That’s not the case. (In fact next month I’ll be making my case for the remake.) Piranha is a movie still worth watching 32 years after its release. Can you imagine anyone tracking down Aja’s film in 2042?

3. 3-D- I’m done with it. When did I get done with it? Well, when did it start? I’m not sure, but the first one done with the new wave of 3-D that I went out to see was the remake of My Bloody Valentine. Did I enjoy it? Yep, it was pretty good (not original film good naturally), but the 3-D really didn’t add much to it. What it did do was subtract a much larger amount of cash from my wallet. I’m just not down with paying sixteen bucks for a ticket. For sixteen bucks I could get four or five DVDs that I could have until the end of time or I could pay for the honor of renting a hosed down pair of giant glasses that could have been on a leper’s head in the last showing. You never can tell; theaters are notoriously lax about checking for leprosy. If I didn’t spring for Avatar, the black hole into which all movie going money fell for a while, then it’s a hard sell that Piranha 3-D would get my bread.

4. Other Shit I Gotta See- If I had the free time to get out to the theater, there are so many other films that slip by me that I would much rather see. Just looking at the movies that are in the theater today, if I was going to go, I’d much rather see Get Low, Scott Pilgrim, or on Inception. Ok, let’s be honest. I would probably just go see The Expendables again. The more likely thing is I would just stay at home and watch something to review so you folks don’t have to wade though another rant like this from me. I’ve only got a bijillion stacked up all over the place begging to be watch, and I’m willing to bet that most….Hmm, let me back that up…. A good many….No, no, still too strong…. A few of these dang things are surely better than Piranha 3-D, and I am bound and determined to figure out which.

5. Because Someone Has To Not Go- Yep, I’ve got to be honest with myself. Sometimes I’ve just got to be the contrarian. I still to this day haven’t seen more than 3-4 consecutive minutes of Forest Gump. I still want to kick each and every person who enjoyed Gladiator in the shins. I still enjoy the collected films of Chris Seaver. I will always contend that Angelina Jolie is not hot, but Rachel Ray definitely is (Yum-o, indeed.) U2 are not elder statesmen of rock and roll. True Blood this season is kind of dull. Peaches > Apples. I’m plenty willing to take an unpopular stand, and everyone knows, if they’re completely honest with themselves, that sometimes doing just that is way more fun.

So there you go, there’s the reasons that I won’t be traipsing out to check out Piranha 3-D for myself. I don’t begrudge anyone who does or anyone who likes the film. I hear there’s stuff to like. Someone told me about the underwater 3-D lesbian make out scene, and I was tempted by that cinematic first. However once I realized that I could just put on my glasses and watch Bound through an aquarium and save myself a lot of cash, I decided to stay home. So that’s about it for today. I’m going to start sorting through those bijillion flicks I mentioned earlier and throw one on. I’ll see you folks again real soon with a review.


  1. 1. I understand your tiredness with 3D, and yes, Piranha doesn't really use it in any innovative way.

    2. I agree: Gladiator would have been a fun 90 minute action movie. Instead, it's an overlong, overrated, not overly interesting film that ranks as one of the worst best picture/actor wins ever.

    3. High Tension is a narrative mess, though I do think the violence is handled well.

    4. My boyfriend also has an intense crush on Rachel Ray. I mock him for it, but then wonder what that says about me as his partner.

    5. All this being said, Piranha was a blast. Give it a try when it hits DVD. Taken as a dumb summer movie, it's sort of joyful.

  2. 1. I should have said that if the film was NOT in 3D I would have had a much greater chance of checking it out.

    2. thank you, there is someone else.

    3. the violence is pretty good, but I enjoyed other films that came out of that movement more. Ils still haunts me.

    4. You boyfriend is a wise man.

    5. I might see it at home. It's not on my banned list (i.e. anything with Angelina Jolie, Gump, Slumdog, whatever other arbitrary thing I hate.) so it's got a chance. Slap that thing on Netflix Instant Watch, and I'd be all over it. If you want proof of that, I'm watching G.I. Joe right now.

  3. I'm glad to find someone else doesn't think Angelina Jolie is "hot" IF I can convince people just because Julia Roberts was in "Pretty Woman".... that DOES NOT make her pretty.

    Oh yeah....your line "just put on my glasses and watch Bound through an aquarium" made me fall out of my chair laughing!!

  4. I completely agree with all you reasons but yet, Piranha 3-D ROCKS!!
    I don't regret any second of it!

  5. I will see it if for no other reason than James Cameron talking against it.

  6. My reasoning for not seeing it rests solely within those stupid CGI fish. That's about it.

    As for Aja, don't forget that other turd he was associated with, P2. One of the worst films I've ever seen.

    Aaaaand, finally, your comment on Gladiator made me very happy. I was accosted by a man at a party once who asked why my extensive video collection did not include Gladiator. He was not happy with my slamming of the film. Not at all. He followed me around yelling at me, saying it was just because I was a woman, blah blah blah. Ruined my party.

  7. There are so many priceless lines in this post. This was a real LOLer.
    Plus, that kitty pic is A-dorable.
    I also hate 3D. I CAN NOT WAIT for it so die down, although that doesn't seem to likely anytime soon.
    I respect and understand your Piranha avoidance. But I did enjoy the shit out of it.
    As far as Aja goes. I'm a fan. Didn't see Mirrors though. I really liked P2. Wasn't expecting much, but I dug it.
    In closing, great explanation post and more cat pics!

  8. Well, I did enjoy Piranha 3D but it absolutely did NOT have to be in 3D. I am also done with it - I hate it. Please, someone make it end!

    I don't dislike Aja per se, but Mirrors did suck pretty bad. And if we're taking a poll, I liked P2 as well.

    In other polls, Angelina is not hot and Julia Roberts is not pretty. I didn't mind Gladiator though it did drag on, and I will never - yes, I said NEVER - see that damn Avatar movie.

    Oh, and I love the cat pic too, in fact I might steal it.

  9. i make it to the local metroplex once or twice a year, sliding out of work on an afternoon when it's quiet and using the gift card my kids gave me. otherwise, it's all dvd.

    so a couple of weeks ago i did that, and surfed around the movies playing, and watched inception, salt, half of the other guys, the start of the expendables, something else i forget... and my first 3D experience (since the 50s), the climactic fight in avatar. i fished out the only pair of glasses in the barrel at the back of the theater and went in and put them on over my own glasses and sat back and didn't especially like the result. the depth in the picture was outweighed by the slight feeling of something wrong or not normal visually. i sort of forgot that as i watched but after six hours of cinema, i wasn't much interested in what i was seeing anyway.

    bottom line: if there are three or four movies i want to see more than the fish movie, but it's still playing, i'll probably pop in for one "girls gone wild" scene and one aquatic attack.

  10. Isn't Piranha available in non-3D?

    Also, gotta tell you now that I've seen both movies, Piranha is more fun than The Expendables.

    I liked the Expendables, but some of it was excruciatingly bad(clearly the actors were allowed to make up their own dialogue)

    The better movie if you consider the 3 you named though is Scott Pilgrim.

    But Piranha is exactly the kind of movie I'm looking for in the summer when I'm trying to forget how much crap I have on my plate...


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