Piranha 3DD

Year: 2012
Production Co: Dimension Films
Director: John Gulager
Writer: Patrick Melton/Marcus Dunstan/Joel Soisson
Cast: Danielle Pannabaker, David Koechener, David Hasselhoff, Gary Busey, Clu Gulager

The fact that this sequel makes Alexandre Aja's original look much higher quality than it is by comparison gives you an idea how bad it is. I wouldn't have told you that movie had its tongue wryly in its cheek because it knew it was a B movie at the time, but compared to this travesty flailing its arms around like a drowning idiot, it's Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen all rolled into one.

Same plot, different photogenic teenagers, less subtlety (if that's possible). A corrupt doofus (Koechener) is opening a water park for horny teenagers on the shore of a lake and his hot but smart heroine stepdaughter figures out the piranha that left the town from the first film in economic ruins have shown up to do the same. It's up to her and her hot friends (those that haven't been eaten) to save the day.

If it knew it was having fun, the identical plot and premise and same pat characters might be forgivable, but even the sequences supposed to be overtly funny – like when celebrity lifeguard David Hasselhoff shows up – are barely enough to raise a smile.

Writers Dunstan and Melton went on to make the far superior The Collection, a sequel to their earlier hit, and the abysmal box office presumably put the last nail in the coffin of this franchise. But I wonder if director Gulager is related to Clu, the golden years icon most Gen X-ers know from Return of the Living Dead?

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