Review: Devil by Jamie

Spoilers Ahead!

I’ve been trying to write about this film for almost a week now. The reason being that I don’t want to come of as just another Shyamalan hater just because I didn’t like this film. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike the films of Mr. M. Night Shyamalan but I don’t want to seem like one of those people who are just jumping on the bandwagon without any particular reason and yet I’m sure writing a negative review of ‘Devil’ will attract exactly those kinds of accusations. Balls to it. I can’t help feeling the way that I do.

I had a small glimmer of hope for this film. Lately I’d come to regard Shyamalan a bit as I see George Lucas these days, as a man who can come up with really quite good ideas but when it comes to the execution of those ideas he just can’t quite pull it off. With ‘Devil’ the basic idea was that the idea for the story had come from Shyamalan but everything else such as the screenplay writing and directing at duties would be handled by other people. Perfect, I thought to myself, this is exactly the way that he should do things for the time being. Maybe watching other directors put his ideas on the screen would give him some pointers on how he could do it better himself.

Of course, now I think of it, similar thoughts were running through my head when I heard that he was directing ‘The Last Airbender’. Great, I thought to myself, this is exactly the that he should do things for the time being. Maybe focusing on directing rather than the story will enable him to perfect his craft. Well, I think we all know how that turned out.

So, yeah, I was willing to give Devil a chance. That was my mistake. The basic premise of the film is that there are five people with questionable backgrounds who are all trapped in a lift (elevator for my American readers) and they are slowly killed off one by one. The reason? Why, the Devil’s in the lift as well of course! Why? Well, apparently it’s just something he does from time to time for no discernable reason.

Meanwhile there’s a couple of cops and security guards on the outside watching them through the CCTV cameras in the lift and trying to find out who each person is because, whilst the people in the lift can hear them, they can‘t hear the people in the lift so they can‘t just tell them who they are. Their time may be better spent trying to focus on just getting the people the hell out of their because the efforts of the emergency services to do just that are pretty fucking poor. Like one guy with a saw. How about you get two guys with saws, cutting from both sides and meeting in the middle? Seriously. Whilst this piss poor rescue attempt is going on and the cops are running around trying to find out who each person is, more and more people are getting killed. Killed to death!

Oh, also one of the cops has a back story wherein his family wife and son were killed in a hit and run accident with the driver of the other vehicle leaving a note behind at the scene simply saying “I’m so sorry”. I wonder if that will play any part in this film later on? In the interest of full disclosure I didn’t wonder if that would play any part in the film later. I don’t know why. It was such an obvious twist looking back on it and this is an M. Night film so a twist should always be at least kinda expected. The only thing I can think is that I was so bored watching this film that I honestly didn’t want to think too deeply about it. Still, I feel stupid at not figuring out. On the other hand I did work out the other twist in the film pretty early on, that being who the Devil actually was so I guess I win at that. Go Team!

So yeah, that’s pretty much the plot. Some people are trapped in a lift. Other people aren’t. Sometimes the people in the lift die. The main problem with the film was just how insanely boring it was. Imagine watching five people trapped in a lift and occasionally sometimes watching other people watching five people trapped in a lift. It would be far more interesting than this film because at least that wouldn’t try to build up faux tension without any kind of pay off. Seriously, anytime it seems like something is about to happen in this film, the lights go out, the screen goes dark, you hear a few weird noises and bam! The lights go on and there’s a corpse! It’s like fucking someone right up until you’re close to the point of climaxing and then just stopping. What’s the fucking point?

To top it all off, there’s no sense of mystery to the film. The film’s advertising and even the title give away exactly what the plot is. There are five people trapped in a lift and one of them is the Devil. Well, thanks very much. Hell, you could tell who the Devil was from watching the trailer alone so the only thing you’re left with is the hope that there will be some interesting death scenes. I’m not talking about bullshit Saw/Hostel torture scenes but something. I mean, this is the motherfucking Devil we’re talking about. He should be able to pull something interesting off. But no, what we’re treated to is darkness and an increasing body count. Well, whoop-de-fuck. Maybe I’m jaded or desensitized to violence to such an extent that I need to see something but come on, who isn’t in this day and age?

it would have also been nice if maybe, just maybe there was an element that hinted that maybe it wasn’t the Devil, at least until the big reveal at the end. Maybe it was someone who was just going mad and had based their killing spree on old tales of what the Devil supposedly did but no. It’s pretty much shown that there’s no way that anyone in that lift could have pulled off the killings without being some ancient malevolent force so that’s lame also.

I suppose the acting wasn’t bad but it wasn’t particularly great either. I didn’t really care about any of the characters because they never really developed to any kind of stage where you could. Perhaps the oddest thing about the film is that the opening five minutes is just a weird shot flying through the city but upside down. It made me feel physically sick. Thanks movie.

So yeah at the end of the day, the film was just boring beyond belief and whilst the film was apparently just M. Night’s idea I have a hard time believing that was his only input. It just felt too much like a film that he would have made otherwise. I don’t know the exact level of his involvement but I think it was probably a little more than advertised. I still feel the need to give Shyamalan one last chance, something I feel every time I’m burned by him, because I do think there’s still a good film maker in there somewhere but I’m starting to think that it may have died, suffocated beneath the layers of whatever the hell he has become. Still, I do love ‘The Happening’. Sure it fails on every level of being a good film but it is fucking hilarious. Sadly Devil is not The Happening and so it gets one pint out of five. Satan deserved so much better. Laterz.

Documental: Exit Through The Gift Shop by Jamie

Spoilers ahead though honestly I don’t think they’ll really hurt your enjoyment of the film.

I’m not the most artistic person in the world. I can just about manage to draw half-human, half-animal people in as long as they’re pretty much just standing there. Oh, and drawing hands always gives me trouble as well. I don’t know much of the art world either. I can look at a painting and say whether or not I like it. Art interpretation is a bit of a mystery to me. This may be because my preferred art form, cinema, has become a huge bloated corporate corpse that’s quite far removed from the art world that birthed it. Sure, there are still the independent film makers still trying to cling onto their artistic integrity and even some mainstream film makers you could still claim are quite artistic but for the most part Hollywood is largely concerned with the dollar. Hell, even if you are an artistic, visionary director, there’s a good chance that your work will be fucked around with by the studio unless you already have quite a bit of clout. Just look at what happened to Fincher on Alien 3.

Still there is one genre of film-making at least were the substance of the story seems to be more important than the profitability of the project and that is documentary, a genre which I am particularly fond of. Sometimes these documentaries are about art such as the one I’m looking at today… Wow, that was a tortuous segue. Anyway, my point is this is a review of ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’, the documentary touted as being about Banksy and, whilst he does feature in it, it isn’t really about him when you get down to it. Rather it’s about the man, Thierry Guetta, who set out to make a documentary about street artists such as Banksy and what happened during this process.

Now, I should point out that there’s been some controversy over whether or not the film is a hoax or not. All I’ll say on this subject is that I’ve seen a fair few documentaries in my time and if this is a hoax then it’s a fucking food one. Everyone interviewed comes off completely natural and unscripted so I personally think it’s real but hey, I could be wrong. It’s happened before.

Anyway, Thierry Guetta is a French man living in California, America. He owns a clothing shop and he has one obsession, his camera. He takes it everywhere and films everything so much so that it‘s occasionally gotten him in trouble during the odd celebrity spotting. On a visit to Paris he meets up with a cousin of his who is part of the burgeoning Street Art movement. My understanding of Street Art is that it’s the inevitable evolution of graffiti, taking it from simple tagging to actually creating murals and pieces of visual theatre and such. That’s what I think it is anyway. Like I said, not particularly arty. Guetta’s cousin, named Invader, makes mosaics of characters from the retro video game ‘Space Invaders’ and places them throughout Paris and, eventually, other cities throughout the world. Guetta joins and films Invader as he spreads his art throughout the Parisian streets.

This ignites a passion in Guetta and he seeks out other street artists in order to film them at work. Finally a chance encounter leads him to Banksy and the idea of creating a documentary is discussed seriously. Good thing too because along his travels Guetta has collected literally thousands and thousands of hours of street artists at work without really considering what he was going to do with it.

Something else begins to happen as he films these people as well. He begins to help them pasting up their giant posters, helping them paint, holding ladders and keeping an eye out for the fuzz. He breaks one of those old documentarian rules, never get involved. I’ll admit, that might only apply to nature documentaries but still I stand by it. The point is that as Guetta gets more involved with the art, the more he begins to become obsessed with it. Soon he’s going out by himself and creating his own pieces. Whilst this is going on, Street Art continues to grow and starts becoming quite big commercially. Inspired by a show that Banksy has put on, Guetta decides he wants to do one as well giving himself the pseudonym Mr Brainwash.

He advertises his show heavily, apparently putting more work into the publicity for the show than he does actually doing the work into it. Still, he hires a massive team, gives them the designs and mass production begins on thousands of pieces of art that Mr Brainwash plans to sell at his show. Finally the show comes around, much money is made and Mr Brainwash is pleased. Some of the Street Artists he had befriended and who had helped him aren’t though. They see his overnight success as something corrupting, something he didn’t work hard to achieve by himself like they had.

And in the end I think that’s what the title of the film means. The film starts of with a genuine look at the rise of the Street Artists and an examination of what they do and why they do it and it ends with a show full of art, mass produced like cheap souvenirs in a museum gift shop, which seems to have been made simply because the ‘artist’ saw that it was making other people money and he wanted that himself. In fact the museum gift shop analogy is fairly apt. You enter the building because your interested in the paintings and such housed inside. You can study them, interpret them, find out the history of them and at the end of the day you can pick yourself up a cheap, meaningless imitation. That’s what I think anyway. Like I said, I’m not much for art interpretation.

Over all, this is a fucking fantastic documentary that I highly recommend whether you’re interested in the subject matter or not. Luckily I do because, although I may not be much into the art, I do like the Street Art stuff, Banksy in particular, but I honestly think that the story is interesting and engaging enough that you’d be able to enjoy it whether you had an interest in it or not even if this review doesn’t really get that across. Sorry but I wrote this a week after watching the film and didn’t have time to watch it again. Still, watch it and I promise you’ll enjoy it. Five pints out of Five. Laterz.

Review: Piranha 3D (2010) by Jamie

Light Spoilers Ahead

Well, we’ve finally come to the end of the Piranhathon and I have to say, thank fuck for that. I am getting pretty damn sick of fucking piranha at this point and I’ve only actually seen one good film out of four so far. Will Piranha 3D be the shining saviour that can make everything ok again?

Well holy fucking shitballs, yes! Yes it can! Now I was a little sceptical going in to Piranha 3D simply because of that 3D bit at the end there. I’ve never really had 3D work properly for me. I don’t know if it’s been were I’ve sat in the cinema or if because I have to wear normal glasses beneath the 3D pair or what but for some reason, it’s always left me feeling a little bit off and with hideously aching eyes, especially after Toy Story 3 which just seemed to give me hideous eye strain for about a week afterwards.

But Piranha 3D worked perfectly! And what’s more, Alexandre Aja seems to get what 3D is. It’s a gimmick and it should be treated as such. James Cameron can bitch and moan about how 3D is the future of cinema as long as you don’t do what Piranha 3D does but he’s wrong. 3D is a gimmick, Piranha 3D treated it as such and it was the first 3D film I’ve enjoyed because of the 3D rather than in spite of it. Avatar just looked like World of Warcraft to me.

Anyway, I suppose I shouldn’t really give too much of the plot away since it’s still a fairly new release but I’m going to issue a spoiler alert right now anyway. Spoiler alert: Piranha eat some folk. That’s about it, honestly. There is a lot of build up where you sort of learn a few things about the main characters, although now that I think about it you don’t really learn that much. Most of the build-up is actually spent on jokes about Spring Break, booze, boobs and porn with the occasional moment where it’s made clear that our main male teen character (Steven R. McQueen) likes female teen character (Jessica Szhor) but none of it really matters. It’s all building up to the slaughter.

Ok, I’m not gonna bother with plot anymore, though like I said, that’s pretty much it. Let’s talk about everything else that makes this movie awesome. First off, it has nudity. A ridiculous amount of nudity. In fact if I would be surprised if it wasn’t the nudity that got this film an 18 in the UK and an R in the US rather than the violence and gore. There’s a scene of Kelly Brook and Riley Steele swimming naked underwater for what seemed like ten minutes. It was a bit confusing because the natural way to end that scene is with a vicious piranha attack but they just surfaced and were fine. Still, nudity.

Piranha 3D also is chock full of blood, gore and severed CGI penises. Alright, it’s not full of severed CGI penises, there’s just one but its pretty amusing. Still, the piranha attacks and the people related death that occur as a result of them trying to escape the piranha are over the top, creative, uber-bloody and just plain fun to watch if you like that kind of thing. I won’t say anything about any of the death in specific I’ll just say that they should easily satisfy a gore-hound. Piranha 3D also manages to keep in with the tradition of the original Piranha by having the odd single death here and there but really going for the massive attack, that is piranha attacking huge groups of people en-masse. It makes for a fantastic scene filled with churning water, frantic bodies and floating body parts. Also that water turns redder than you’ve ever seen it turn red in your life. It’s fucking awesome.

Finally a word about the cameos in this film. First off you’ve got a couple of porn stars. Always nice to see and they actually have some of the best deaths in the entire film. But the two greatest cameos since Zombieland belong to Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd. Richard Dreyfuss basically reprises his role of Matt Hooper from Jaws in the opening scene of this film, sitting on his boat, drinking Amity Beer and singing “Show Me The Way To Go Home”. Then the piranha come. It’s awesome. Then we have Christopher Lloyd playing what is essentially an ichthyologist version of Doc Brown from Back To The Future. Hell they even throw in a little time travel joke with regard as to when it would have been a good time to stop the piranha. Sadly though, he does not say “Great Scott!!!” which would have stood out like a sore thumb but would have been entirely appropriate in this movie.

I’m sorry I haven’t gone into as great detail with this film as I did with ‘Mega Piranha’ yesterday (a fucking 2500 word essay on Mega Piranha!!!) but I think this is definetly one you’ll want to just check out. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s politically incorrect and it’s proud. This film knows exactly what it is and I’d say it does for the B-Movie what The Expendables does for the action movie. See it. See it on the big screen in 3D. You won’t regret it. Four and a half pints out of five. Laterz

Review: Mega Piranha (2010) by Jamie

Well we finally come to the cream of the crap of this little Piranhathon. If you’re looking at a film and the title is an animal name with the word ‘Mega’ in front of it then there’s a good chance you’ve got a pretty shitty B-Movie on your hands. There’s also a good chance that you may be dealing with a release from the internet’s favourite film studio, The Asylum. I hope you put on appropriate protection before picking up that DVD case. The film we’re looking at today, Mega Piranha, also debuted on the SyFy channel so we’re looking at something so terrible that even they wanted to get in on it. Now, I know I probably should have saved his for my new video review series that’s coming soon ‘Cinepub Presents SyFy Presents’ but it just fits in to the whole piranha theme I’ve got going on at the minute not to include it here what with the fact that it’s got piranha in it.

Ok, I warn you now that as I write this I’m starting to feel like I’ve eaten some really bad fish. I’m beginning to suspect I’ve overdosed on piranha based entertainment. If I start to just ramble on about giant piranha crashing into buildings and inexplicably exploding then understand that I’ve pretty much broken down and reality is starting to melt… No, wait. That actually happened in this film. Fucking hell.

Well, the film opens with an American Ambassador to Venezuela on a boat with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister and a bunch of bikini clad/topless women. They’re discussing political things when all of a sudden their boat is attacked by a school of uber-aggressive piranha or Mega Piranha if you will. The scene is really quite ridiculous with a bunch of piss-poor CGI fish jumping onto the boat and eating the party aboard except for one guy who, perhaps realising he’s in an Asylum movie, just jumps overboard into the sweet release of the waiting piscine jaws. Also the water is pretty poorly coloured red digitally. Really? Would it have been that hard to have just splashed some red dye into the water or something? Awful.

The American government is somewhat perturbed by this little sudden disappearance f an ambassador in a foreign land and, fearing a terrorist plot, they decide to send in Jason Fitch, one of their top special forces agents to investigate. Fitch is played by Paul Logan and there’s only one way to adequately explain his performance to you. You know how everyone says that action stars generally aren’t the best actors? Well, to some degree this is true but people tend to over-exaggerate their criticism of action stars acting capabilities. Paul Logan is what you get when everyone’s criticism of action stars is not only true but is actually holding back a bit, perhaps to spare the feelings of those action stars. What I’m basically getting at is that Paul Logan is to action films what Tommy Wiseau is to acting, writing and directing drama films. He’s apparently got a degree in bio-chemistry which I guess makes him a bit like Dolph Lungren if Dolph Lungren were an even worse actor.

So Fitch heads to South America in order to find out if this was terrorists, a boating accident or maybe some kind of Mega Sloth or Mega Tapir. The one thing he never expected, however, would be the one thing he would find… Mega Piranha! As he’s leaving the airport having met the Venezuelan Colonel Diaz, his liaison in the country and the eventual villain of the piece, Fitch is pulled aside by busty red-headed scientist Sarah Monroe because apparently it’s very easy to get this close to secret agents on missions when they are being escorted by the Venezuelan military. She informs him that this was no terrorist attack. It was a strain of incredibly deadly piranha she created in her lab for some reason. More on that later. Anyway, Monroe is played by Tiffany who I understand was a musician of some kind in the 80s. All I know is that while thoroughly researching this film I came across some pictures of her from Playboy on the internet and let’s just hope she gets ‘em out for the lads at some point during this film because if I’m watching films about killer piranha I expect two things, piranha attacks and breasts.

Anyway, Diaz doesn’t believe the story about the Mega Piranha and, infuriated at Fitch’s insistence that that may be what caused the attack, he calls of the entire investigation. Fitch goes to the lab to try and find out more about these killer fish. There he meets Monroe’s colleagues, Dr. Higgins a tubby man who speaks like Adrien Brody in ‘Predators’ making everything he says hilarious (despite which the man playing him, Jude Gerard Prest, does deserve quite a bit of respect for being a man with a long and successful career behind him having filmed on every continent except Antarctica. Seriously, look him up on Wikipedia. It’s really quite impressive.) and Gordon who’s just kinda there looking up data occasionally. They explain that they had been developing hardier animals so that the people of Venezuela would have a more steady food supply. During this experimentation they accidentally released a strain of mutant piranha into the local river system. The piranha are growing at an increasingly rapid rate and show no sign of stopping. Also they’ve developed an assortment of extra organs, can absorb nutrients through the skin (which begs the question ‘Why do they need to eat?’) and have virtually impenetrable. Hold on a moment. You were creating animals for the people of Venezuela to eat so why the fuck did you create these Mega Piranha? What possible benefit could indestructible, ravenous killer fish bring to the impoverished people of Venezuela? I guess that’s why I’m not a movie scientist. I just can’t see the bigger picture.

Fitch goes out to gather evidence of the existence of these Mega Piranha and kills one in order to bring it back to Diaz. He’s attacked a bit but as soon as he stabs a fish, the other piranha ignore him to cannibalize their fallen compatriot. Take note of that because it will be important later or it would be if the ending made any sense. More on that later. Anyway, whilst Fitch is diving to capture the piranha, the movie actually teaches me a couple of things I had never known before. For one, the Amazon is incredibly clear which I guess makes the enlarged sonar organ those river dolphins evolved for navigating murky waters pretty unnecessary. Gutted you endangered pink pricks. Secondly the Amazon has quite a few coral reefs which came as quite a shock to me. I had always considered coral reefs something that were exclusive to marine environments but nope, apparently they occur in rivers as well. Good for them.

Diaz reacts to the piranha the way that any rational human being would. He ignores the scientists thoughts on how to kill them and takes to the air with his squadron of helicopters and shoots the shit out of the river and the natural dam that was keeping them pinned in. Of course the piranha somehow survive the weapons being fired randomly at them from the sky and escape into the river system at large. Diaz decides that the best course of action is to arrest the scientists for creating the piranha and releasing them into the wild, also deciding that the whole thing is part of a secret CIA plot to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

Now, I know that Diaz is meant to be the villain of the piece, impeding the mission of our valiant heroes but he’s kinda got a point. Like I said earlier, why the fuck did those scientists create those Mega Piranha if not to intentionally release them into Venezuela to create panic and unrest during which the CIA could easily replace their system of government with one more to their liking? The more I think about it, the more it’s the only possible solution to the whole mystery behind the creation of the Mega Piranha. The only error the scientists made was making their Piranha too damn Mega, making them a threat to not just Venezuela but the whole world.

Anyway, Dr. Higgins, Fitch and Gordon manage to escape from the military which leads to one of the most blatant and hilarious examples of repeated footage and dialogue I have ever seen. Let’s watch, won’t we?

Jesus fucking Christ. There is no way to describe the ridiculous nature of what we have just observed. Just take it in and cherish it, never let the feeling you had watching it go. You will die a happier person. Anyway, because the two stand there repeating the same movement over and over for a little too long they are apprehended. Still Fitch manages to track them down and, during a Mega Piranha attack on a random Venezuelan city, let’s call it Venezuela City (I don‘t know if Venezuela City even actually exists but it‘s a fine name for a city from Venezuela), he manages to free them and they make their escape. Well, except for Dr. Higgins. He gets gobbled up by a Mega Piranha. Alas poor Higgins, you bizarre voice and habit of doing the same thing over and over will be sorely missed.

I should take a moment to address something very important about the nature of the Mega Piranha’s attacks. They have reached the size of about a car at this point and they attack by simply launching themselves out of the water into buildings and exploding. An explosion which, I should say, they manage to survive. They can be seen quite happily flapping their tails as they sit stuck in buildings. So what the hell causes the Mega Piranha to explode upon impact? Are they attacking exclusively nitro-glycerine plants? Is Venezuela City known for it’s nitro-glycerine production? Or have the mutant piranha simply evolved the ability to extrude napalm through their skin? What the fuck where those scientists doing in that lab? How are giant piranha who attack buildings and explode on impact a help to anyone? I know I’m repeating myself but seriously!

A massive car chase ensues through South America during which time both chaser and chasee’s cars randomly change into different models at random times. The science team manage to ascertain that the Piranha are heading for the river mouth and, being freshwater fish, they’ll be trapped there and vulnerable to attack. Fitch gets on the phone to his boss and a plan is set up where a passing battle cruiser will bomb the river mouth, exterminating the Mega Exploding Piranha for ever more.

Of course the plan fails, the Mega Piranha can in fact survive in sea water and they take down the battle cruiser for good measure as they head out to ocean. Yes, piranha destroy a battle cruiser. It’s… Well, it’s just fucking ridiculous. Admittedly they are now the size of really big things but still… fucking ridiculous. So they all figure out that the Mega Piranha are heading up to Florida and so the race is on to stop them before they kill any goddamn Americans! Yes, the Venezuelan military are putting everything they can into stopping the rogue scientists whilst the Piranha eat everything around them but the good ol’ US of A’s military is fully behind protecting their citizens. Well, sort of. Their contingency plan if they can’t stop the piranha in the ocean is to nuke the fuck out of Florida so there’s that.

Of course they can’t stop the Mega Piranha in the water. They launch a ten kiloton nuke at the fishy bastards and yet they survive. Fitch’s boss is all ready to bomb Florida into a sheet of glass when Fitch remembers the way those piranha cannibalized the one he stabbed earlier. If only he could get them all to bleed, they’d surely eat each other to death. So the plan is to drop a bunch of divers amongst the school and have them shoot at their eyes. Once actually in the water and the eye plan falls, Monroe informs them that some piranha don’t have regular blood vessels in their eyes and they should try shooting their gills instead. Well, thanks scientist lady! That’s information that would have really been helpful earlier before half the team had been eaten by giant ravenous Mega Piranha! Then when that doesn’t work either she suggests shooting bombs into their mouths which should cause massive haemorrhaging in their stomachs! Well, thanks again scientist lady! You didn’t think that the suggestion of shooting them in the largest target area in their face, the one they are most likely to be swimming towards you wide open was important to share back up on the surface before the operation began? I’m starting to think you created these piranha because you just get turned on by the thought of people being eaten by giant fish! What the fuck is wrong with you lady?!?

Anyway, Diaz turns up in a helicopter and Fitch manages to get the piranha to eat him, helicopter and all using a transmitter which emit’s the sounds they make when they find prey. Fitch manages to blow up the Mega Piranha that had eaten Diaz by shooting a missile still attached to the helicopter. The rest of the piranha go into a feeding frenzy and set upon the corpse. All the divers get out and celebrate because apparently blowing up on fish and getting the others to eats its corpse constitutes winning somehow. Seriously, they kill one fish and everyone just starts celebrating… WHAT THE FUCK?!? How does that make any sense? What about the hundred or so other giant piranha which are still going to attack Florida once they’ve finished with their dead comrade? It’s the equivalent of solving a bank heist by arresting one guy who was tangentially involved, brushing your hands together, saying ‘Case closed’ and walking off into the sunset. It doesn’t work! And Tiffany didn’t get ‘em out for the lads! This film is a massive waste of time from every conceivable angle!

That being said it is a hell of a lot more fun than Piranha 2 or the 90s remake of the original Piranha. It’s just so fucking stupid, it is one of those bad films that it’s genuinely fun to watch maybe even more fun than Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. The special effects are laughable, the acting is terrible, the same footage is repeated over and over again and the ending makes no sense whatsoever. It’s hilarious to watch. So all in all I’ll have to give it two and a half stars out of five for simply pushing the boundaries of the ridiculous. Will Piranha 3D fare any better? Come back tomorrow to find out. Laterz.

Review: Piranha (1995) by Jamie

Ah, the 90s. The coke fuelled high of the 80s was over and the year 2000 was just around the corner and was full of terrifying things like millennium bugs, robot uprisings and bizarre lycra-based space fashions. Independent film came more to the forefront, largely in reaction to people becoming tired of the big, overblown films that Hollywood pumped out with disastrous regularity. Just look at the flexography of Stallone or Schwarzenegger during the 90s. The stars of the 80s were fading, their bloated corpses kept afloat by terrible film after terrible film… Well, Kindergarten Cop was fun. Still, the 90s Hollywood machine did adorn us with some awesome. Jurassic Park for example. Still, the 90s was essentially a giant come down after the decadence of the 80s with minds filled with paranoia looking towards the future. Still, the economy was pretty strong. Take that current economical situation!

Still, we’re not here to look at what the 90s was all about. We’re here to look at a made for TV remake of a 70s B-Movie! Yes, that’s right. Apparently during the 90s Roger Corman produced a number of remakes of some of his earlier films for cable television. One of those films was 1995’s remake of Piranha. I would write a plot synopsis but it’s pretty much exactly the same as original. There are a few differences such as the military not showing up this time, the story being much more anti-corporation than it is anti-military.

The film does differ in a few important ways however. For one, the film is pretty much stripped of all humour. This time Grogan is played by William Katt who has literally none of the gruff charm of Bradford Dillman. He’s just a guy who doesn’t have a particularly pronounced drinking problem and is trying to be a writer. Perhaps the biggest example of this character change is the difference between two very similar exchanges in the two films. In the first Maggie asks Grogan if he began drinking after his wife divorced him. In this film she asks if he started writing after the divorce. It’s a little thing but it kind of neuters the character a little. Also his divorce is directly related to his decision to fight against big evil corporate America and the smelting plant which would play a big part later in the film.

Speaking of the smelting plant, something occurred to me which I didn’t even consider during the original film. So the developer has built brand new water park resort on this lake and they didn’t get rid of the big smelting plant that’s just sitting there, flooded, full of industrial waste and slowly rusting away? Am I the only one who sees the problem that this kind of short-sighted thinking would inevitably lead to?

I suppose another thing that is notable about this film is that Mila Kunis stars as Grogan’s daughter and is probably gives the most convincing performance throughout the whole thing. Keep in mind that she is about eleven or twelve during this film so, yeah, that says something about the quality of this film.

So yeah, I think I’m pretty much done with this. The whole film is just a flat, boring rehash of what was a pretty entertaining film. There’s just no fun to be had here at all. Oh, and I should also mention that the land developer behind the water park resort shoots himself in the head after the piranha attack in this version whilst the camera cuts back and forth to the watchful eyes of the mounted animal heads on his wall. Subtlety is not the strong suit of this movie. Still, it is better than the crap put out by the SyFy channel and the Asylum although those things are often fun to watch because you can‘t believe someone actually wrote and filmed something so ridiculous. It also has to be said that it is better than Piranha 2: The Spawning. Ugh, fuck that film.

So to sum up quickly, Piranha 1995 gets two pints out of five. Join us tomorrow for the epic adventure that is ‘Mega Piranha’ brought to you through the combined efforts of the SyFy channel and The Asylum! Huzzah!

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