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3.7 out of 5 stars 319 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) comes the new action thriller PIRANHA 3D. Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break, a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there's something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers; a new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the areas new razor-toothed residents. The film stars Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl), Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries), Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Adam Scott, Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Lloyd, and Kelly Brook.


Debating the merits of Piranha 3D, director Alexandre (Mirrors) Aja's testosterone-driven valentine to Joe Dante's 1978 original and the excesses of '80s genre films in general, is a fool's errand; it is, after all, a movie about prehistoric fish preying on hormonal partygoers in various states of undress--and in 3D, mind you--so any review must answer the question--does it deliver what its key audience (young men, ages 14 to 24) require? On that front, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Special effects creators Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger present a veritable buffet of gruesome ways for the thinly drawn characters to die, from a piranha burrowing through a swimmer's head to the horrible encounter between a boat propeller and a longhaired victim. The sheer amount of nudity on display rivals a week's worth of Cinemax late-night screenings, rendered all the more excessive in 3D; as for the gimmick itself, it lends some unsettling depth to the underwater attacks. In short, if one attends Piranha 3D for grindhouse-style yucks, it's bound to be a rollicking good time. All others may find its relentless, Red Bull drive wearying; the whole affair is clearly meant to be a goof, just as Dante's original (produced by Roger Corman and penned by John Sayles) was, but where Dante's target was monster movie camp of the '50s and '60s (as well as Jaws), Aja and writers Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg take aim at either cynical zeitgeist elements like the Girls Gone Wild series (with Jerry O'Connell striking the right tone as its craven creator) or hapless partygoers, which leaves an unpleasant aftertaste of misanthropy. Where the film does succeed is in its supporting cast, which strikes the same winking tone as Dante's version; Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd poke fun at their Jaws and Back to the Future roles, while Adam Scott, comic Paul Scheer, and Eli Roth give appropriately broad turns. Elizabeth Shue, of all people, is the sheriff hero and acquits herself well to the absurd story line, as do Steven R. McQueen (yes, Steve's grandson) and Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr as the film's Young Lovers. Again, taking issue with Piranha 3D is like finding fault with a cheeseburger for being greasy, but for those expecting a full-course meal, the fish get all the big bites here. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

Filmmaker Commentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Adam Scott, Ving Rhames
  • Directors: Alejandre Aja
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZG98KK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,660 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Piranha" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Welcome to Spring Break at Lake Victoria! This year the college students have alot more to worry about than hangovers or STDs. A massive underwater earthquake opens up a mysterious chasm, releasing an ancient swarm of psychotic little fish. These little buggers are super hungry.

Let me just say that hot naked chicks make great fish food. This movie has a ridiculous amount of nudity and the most immaculate gore you'll likey ever see in 3-D! Seriously, these piranha can chomp through human flesh like a lawnmower through grass. Any appendages dipping into the water get instantly devoured down to the bone. Everywhere you look there are chunks of bloody arms, mangled legs, or human carcasses floating around. This has some gruesome effects that are great sick fun. Really it's an absurd, catastrophic mess.

To top off the awesome gore and plethora of topless women, we have a nice ensemble cast providing a good dose of comedy. Jerry O'Connell is especially hilarious as a sleazy porn director. Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) also does great. Elizabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, and several others lead the way. Eli Roth has a small role. Richard Dreyfuss even makes an appearance in a bit of a Jaws homage. Way too fun!

Director Alexandre Aja struck gold with this one. Piranha 3-D lives up to the hype and then some. It does have some minor flaws and/or cliched developments, but still it was the funnest time I've had in the theater in quite awhile. Don't miss it!
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Format: DVD
The Review:

Piranha 3D is a new film by Alexandre Aja, maker of the 2006 remake of the The Hills Have Eyes. Piranha 3D is unbelievably crude, gory and certainly not the best written film, but you know what? It's also a lot of fun. It's probably a better B movie than Quentin Tarantino's and Robert Rodriguez's Grind House (Death Proof and Planet Terror) of a few years ago.

Piranha 3D takes place over spring break in a picturesque lake town (the film was shot entirely on location in Lake Havisu). Inexplicably an underwater earth quake tears open a rift beneath the lake, revealing a deeper underwater lake (yes, that's probably redundant), which is home to prehistoric piranhas that have survived for millions of years. This setup is appropriately preposterous and we the viewers know the type of movie we're in for when the effect of the underwater quake creates a funnel that looks suspiciously like a toilet flushing. It's a super campy opening sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the film. What passes for the plot is hardly worth summarizing. Suffice it to say this unfortunate infestation by prehistoric pygocentrus nattereri is occurring when thousands of kids descend on the town for spring break. What follows is a series of gory dismemberments and naked frolics--in 3D!

Piranha 3D is a self aware send-up of the gore fests of the 70s and 80s like Jaws and the original Piranha. The stars are clearly having a lot fun with it, especially Jerry O'Connell as soft core porn producer, Derrick Jones, a send up of Girls Gone Wild impresario, Robert Francis, which is a nice segue way into the fact that this movie is a hard R. The fact that this wasn't NC-17 demonstrates the utter ridiculousness of the movie ratings system. Free Willy, this is not.
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Piranha 3D is a remake of the 1978 original film Piranha which was itself a parody of the classic film Jaws. The film was made by French producer Alexandre Aja best known for his remake of The Hills Have Eyes. You might be asking yourself: now why would Piranhas come out of seemingly nowhere and kill people? The storyline provides the answer: 1) There is a lake under a lake in which Piranhas have survived by eating their own kind in order to survive in this prehistoric lake and when an earthquake hits the Piranhas break loose 2) This is a "horror" movie (I'd say it's more of a horror-comedy), it doesn't have to actually make sense in order to enjoy. This is a remake of a movie that was really a parody of Jaws, let's put it that way.

I'd say a fun aspect of the film is how it's not that well-written but it makes for a fun B movie. One advantage the movie has is acting, except some characters that were rather goofy the acting in Piranha 3D is pretty good considering how this is a horror movie. The main characters especially were portrayed by good actors in which we actually do see a development to the point that we do care if they survive. The humor of the movie is similar to that of teen aimed movies such as American Pie and Sex Drive, not necessarily a bad thing unless you would consider that sort of humor juvenile. For instance about the humor, watching a penis eaten by piranhas with the 3D effect can only be funny or tasteless, you decide! Now the 3D effect worked very well to a certain degree I'm not sure how well it worked because I have not seen much 3D movies as of yet. Yet there were some pretty good effects and some good thrills resulted out of it.
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Back when James Cameron's "Avatar" was released, there was a lot of talk about the future of 3-D movies - about how much better the process had become with high definition cameras, about how they didn't simply throw things at the screen but actually immersed you in another world. In March of 2009, Josh Quittner of "Time" published an article about the 3-D revolution, particularly in relation to "Avatar," which had yet to be released. After seeing some finished footage, he concluded that the work was so absorbing and detailed that he awoke the following morning with the peculiar sensation of wanting to return to Pandora, as if it were real. "Cameron wasn't surprised," he wrote. "One theory, he says, is that 3-D viewing `is so close to a real experience that it actually triggers memory creation in a way that 2-D viewing doesn't.' His own theory is that stereoscopic viewing uses more neurons."

Given what was said at the time, what would Quittner say now about movies like "Piranha 3-D," a remake of Joe Dante's 1978 film? Hell, what would Cameron say, given that 1981's "Piranha II: The Spawning" was his directorial debut? Would there be any mention of triggering memory creations or neurons or wanting to return to anything? I have my doubts. They might, however, have a thing or two to say about a shot late in the film of two piranhas fighting over a severed penis, the victor eventually spitting out the half-eaten remains directly at the screen. The audience I sat with had plenty to say, although not in words so much as in loud outbursts of disgust and laughter; I clearly heard a guy a few rows behind me say, "Dude, ugh, dude!" This is the future of 3-D, folks. Cameron and Quittner should be proud.
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