on February 15, 2004
"The greatest film about flying Piranha ever made". Well, Jim Cameron definetly called it right on this one. About as "guilty" as guilty pleasures get, this stubborn but very watchable "mother nature run amok" B-movie will probably best be known as the directorial debut of James Cameron who would later go on to make a couple of small unknown indie films called Terminator 2 and Titanic.
This name-only sequel to the Roger Corman cult classic has a rather silly premise involving a strand of mutated killer piranha with the ability to fly who are terrorizing an island resort. Of course, the resort's diving instructor (Tricia O'Neil) wants to close down the water activities but her boss isn't having it. Her estranged husband, the island's law enforcement (a young Lance Henriksen) is skeptical at first but when dead bodies keep piling up, he starts thinking otherwise.
"Piranha II" is no Jaws in any way but it gets the job done as far as "late night creature features" are concerned. The special effects leave a lot to be desired as we get to see actors battle with fish on a string but it's all in good fun. The DVD has no added special features and is only available in its full-frame format.
on December 22, 2009
Though Pirahna II is generally considered by many to be Jim Cameron's directorial debut because he is the credited director, he has said it really isn't his work and doesn't consider it part of his filmography.
Yes, he was the director of sorts on-set for part of the shoot (generally the first part, not the more lurid stuff with the penthouse girls). But the real reason Italian producer Ovidio Assonitis brought him on was because his production deal with Warner Bros. stipulated that he must have an American director (or in the case of Cameron, Canadian, which I guess was close enough) to offset Assonitis' less-commercial "European" sensibilities. Assonitis unceremoniously fired Cameron from the pic halfway through and shot the more racy elements himself.
Legend has it that upon seeing the final lurid Assonitis cut of the film, Cameron attempted to recut it in secret, but the producer found out and barred Cameron from doing this, releasing a final cut that Cameron abhorred.
There is no known "Cameron cut" of this film available, and though it is regarded as a curiosity due to Cameron's limited involvement, it really cannot be viewed as much more than that.
on February 5, 2010
I enjoyed the original Piranha movie, so when I saw this one in the store, and that it was directed by James Cameron, I thought it would be good. I was wrong. Most of this movie was filled with sex, naked women, and people with major personality disorders. Normally I don't have a problem with the nude scenes in horror films, having decided that it is something the directors/producers feel they must do, but the frequency of these nude/sex scenes detracted from the rest of the film. I found myself spending most of the movie wishing the piranhas would eat everyone but the boy and his mom. It's really kind of pathetic when you find yourself cheering for the 'monsters'. The special effects (in a manner of speaking) were ok for the time, but nothing spectacular. Some of the actors were above average, but most were definitely C or D list. In short, this film has nothing going for it but the naked women, if that is what you like. I say skip this one and just watch the original. I know I will never watch this movie again. It had a fairly good concept that fell apart almost immediately.
on September 20, 2013
Apparently those pesky scientists just don't know when to quit, as they are at it...again. The government is well known for it's evil diabolical schemes, and this time they have been messing with piranhas...oh, wait, they've done that before? Well, they're doing it again, but this time they've upped the anty and have genetically altered them even more. Apparently the last fiasco didn't teach them a thing or two about being careful, and yet again the creatures have escaped their clutches. The ship carrying the altered eggs sank, and is discovered by two divers who insist on getting naked (??) as they are checking out the disaster underwater.
First of all, James Cameron, oh where art thou talent? It's hard to believe the man who did this is the same who did the infamous Terminator series, the blockbuster Titanic, and the incredible Aliens. Here some minor - perhaps ?? - okay I'm stretching it - badly - talent can be seen as evolving - *coughs* - maybe with the water hues? The top of the water is red and the bottom is darker blues. There are some good underwater shots as well, interesting. But oh well, I've tried, but too tired to keep going, sorry. Not the best directing job, or script for that matter.
Actually, the movie looked like it would have been better than I remembered until the coroner nurse was looking at a body and pulled a piranha head out of the corpse. Then all credibility and enjoyment flew out the window faster than a flying, genetically altered fish. When it flies at her neck and does a vicious jugular attack that would make even a rabid dog envious, it made me want to hurl more than just my credibility.
While this sounds too fun to miss, ahem, the attacks a bit too far and few in between, unlike the first one. To me these piranhas resemble mutating bats. If the fish had been kept underwater the movie would have worked much better. They did have the effects to create bloody water, but not hungry flying fish! I don't get it, either - if it was 600,000 to make the first Piranha, and it took in over 30 mil, why wouldn't they put a bigger budget in the sequel?
But wait, let me step back and try and keep a straight face here. Maybe I'm being too harsh. Believe it or not, this movie DOES have redeeming qualities. No, really. I mean it. Seriously. For one thing the characters were attempted. Before the whole flying fish fiasco, at least the movie was floating in the right direction. The characters seemed genuine - the main ones - not the fish food ones obviously - and the acting (main only) isn't that bad. Lance Henricksens always a blast to watch and here he's Steve, the type of police/head water patrol. The wife, kid, boyfriend, love interest - all good enough. The minor characters there mainly for piranha appetizers aren't award winners but they're better than a typical, cheap slasher.
The movie makes nods to other creature features, whether it be the swimming or the flying variety. As a back flash to Jaws, we have the people not believed for the financial benefit of the island. The underwater divers finding the sunk ship is a nod to the opening of Jaws 2. Like Birds, as one man is killed the rest of the island watches helplessly behind a glass window. Nods like these are always fun.
The ending would have been more believable if more drama had been there. (Did I actually just say that?) The threesome love triangle with the bikini women and the chef brought this movie down at least 2 stars - hideous. But Piranha 2 does have some saving graces - plenty of unneeded nudity, a score and acting to laugh at, Lance Henriksen, a decent beginning (believe it or not), and some semi dramatic moments that were actually depressing.
It's definitely not a film to plunge into without ample warning, but if you're in the mood to turn you brain off, clear the slate of any common sense, and just have to see it because you're a piranha or Henricksen fan, then get at it. Otherwise, stay away- this water's too polluted.
on April 2, 2011
Wow...my head literally hurts after this movie. I LOVE the original! This one is so bad! First off, there is no character development. Second, there are just so many unnecessary scenes and so much unnecessary dialogue. Third, we don't even see a piranha fly until 40 minutes into it! Fourth, the big fish-fry-at-night-on-the-beach scene is SO anti-climatic! That is supposed to be the "big scene"! How did James Cameron ever work again after this? Apparently, whoever thought up this idea had no idea that actual "flying fish" jump up into the air and need to land into water again to survive. Actual "flying fish" are still fish and can't survive out of water. If you see this movie, you know why I say that. There is a plus, that many of the guys wear tight short shorts of tiny bathing suits. In fact, in the opening scene, the guy has an actual half-chub, ha. Overall, if you enjoy the original, don't watch this. Save your money! It's not nearly as cool as it seems.
4 years after the events in Texas, it seems that a ship that was doing the same experiments to create genetically altered piranhas that could breath in both water and the air as they even fly for they come out at night but hide during the day until the ship has sunk into the ocean nearby a Caribbean island resort. Anne (Tricia O'Neil) is a scuba diver instructor who also studies marine life investigates the mysterious deaths of other divers. Her husband officer Steve (Lance Henriksen) also investigates the bodies of the victims as now the reosrt has became a major nightmare for everyone on the resort.
James Cameron is one of cinema's greatest directors who made such amazing movies like Terminator 1 & 2, The Abyss, Aliens, True Lies, Titanic and now Avatar has made a debut here and his worst yet. Cameron worked on a few New World Pictures productions before getting his debut as director as this one hit the jackpot for him but he realized what a stinker it was and disowned by him. This Italian-US production is just a greedy cash-in on the surprisingly good Jaws homage from Roger Corman, it's very inferior to the first movie and it's just a cheapjack and cheesy follow-up with no wit, soul or good material here.
This DVD presents the film in a fullscreen version with a weak transfer and that sort of thing.
on October 3, 2010
Piranha II: The Spawning has roots to the first movie but offers a new twist. The government; the crafty insidious, evil doers they always are kept some of the original Piranha from the first movie. These Piranha were a little different in that they were genetically modified from flying fish to be able to fly like birds. While they were transporting the Piranha to a different facility for study their ship sank. The Piranha find their first meal on some unsuspecting skin divers looking for a little night dive nookie. We find our main characters as a female dive instructor and Lance Henrickson playing the Chief Brody role from Jaws. Together they try to keep a resorters happy and safe. Of course they do a poor job till a government spy gives them a good idea but does it really work? If you like campy and cheesy then James Cameron (T2, Avatar, and many other Thrill rides) provides both. He obviously didn't have the budget he usually commands as these fish fly in on sticks and strings with the appearance of a wood carving. If that wasn't enough they attack at angles that aren't even remotely possible. They also apparently can live inside the human body and a little chest burster preview from aliens also happens. But altogether not a bad cheesy horror film.