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Piranha 3D

Year: 2010
Production Co: Dimension Films
Director: Alexandre Aja
Producer: Alexandre Aja/Mark Canton
Writer: Peter Goldfinger/Josh Stolberg
Cast: Elizabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss, Jerry O'Connell, Riley Steele, Kelly Brooke, Dina Meyer, Eli Roth, Gianna Michaels

Borrowing only the title from the 1978 Joe Dante schlocker, this film works for one reason and one reason only – it knows how stupid it is.

Outrageous bloodshed and dismemberment sits shoulder to shoulder with gleefully exploitative nudity, as if the whole thing had been created by a committee of 13 year old boys.

Special effects? Buckets of red food dye and lots of cheap CGI. Acting? Pornstars Riley Steele, Gianna Michaels (dragging her pendulous breasts through the water from a parasail) and softcore star Kelly Brook. Even the cameos by Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd are a hoot, the latter so deliriously over the top his one or two scenes are reminiscent of Peter Graves or Lloyd Bridges from the Flying High movies.

Plot? An earthquake opens a crack between idyllic Lake Victoria and the much bigger subterranean vault below that's home to hordes of prehistoric-era piranhas. But with an army of horny teenagers on spring break descending on the lakeside town, the titular monsters are going to have a more varied diet this year.

No time is wasted getting to shots of gratuitous T&A, and thence to scenes of preposterous carnage as the fish find the swimmers. But it's all played for laughs – wet T shirt competition MC (Eli Roth) has his head sheared off by a passing boat. The aforementioned Ms Michaels has her legs eaten off after screaming for the guys in the boat to pull her up. Jerry O'Connell, as a sleazy Girls Gone Wild-style web entrepreneur, has his entire half stripped away to bone and lays dying on the deck of his party boat. A tin runabout rips the face off a girl with her hair tangled in its propeller.

It could have been toned right down to aim for a PG rating, and doing so would have stripped it of all it had to offer. Destined for much bigger things on DVD at drunken pizza and video nights, it's unapologetically dumb fun.

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