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Piranha Blu-Ray Review

PiranhaDirector: Joe Dante

Starring: Bradford Dillman, Heather Menzies

Running Time: 94 Mins

Certificate: 15.

Extras: Commentary, Making Of, Behind the Scenes, Outtakes, Galleries, TV & Radio Spots

Remakes are crap, the Original is always better, or so the saying often goes. With that frequently tried and tested formula in mind, anyone watching the original 1978 PIRANHA will most obviously be wondering just how bad the 2010 re-hash could possibly be in comparison.  Because put bluntly, the original PIRANHA is pretty dreadful as well.

A paper-thin plot about genetically engineered Pirahna being released into the rivers surrounding a summer resort bastardizes the basic premise of JAWS (people go in water, they get eaten) and that’s about it.  There’s a love story of sorts between the two leads that’s barely noticeable unless you really look for it, a brief and creaky subplot about a US Colonel’s involvement in a dodgy Water Park, and a hell of a lot of gory deaths. Spread over 90 minutes, it’s a hell of a drag, and despite the occasional decent moment (the multiple deaths and massacres are almost all well shot and edited, even if lacking in variety), as well as the odd funny line (“They’re eating the guests, sir”), there’s not much available to keep things on the good side of entertaining. Director Joe Dante would thankfully go on to direct much better movies with films such as GREMLINS (1984) and SMALL SOLDIERS (1998), but here his talent is wasted on a by-the-numbers script that puts cheap scares and gore over decent storytelling or interesting characters.

Overall, PIRANHA is a lot better then it’s later 3D remake (which has much more in the way of tits and gore, but even less in terms of story), but there’s no denying that the original is still an incredibly weak piece of exploitative hokum as well. You can’t improve on something that’s already perfect they say.  Yet PIRANHA proves that sometimes things can be so bad that they can’t be improved upon either!

Extras: A fun and lively commentary by Dante and producer Jon Davison is a must, whilst elsewhere there’s plenty of behind the scenes nuggets in a short ‘Making Of’ Featurette and a 16mm behind the scenes film.

2 Star NewPiranha is available to buy on Blu-Ray now from all good retailers. 

From an early age, Matt Dennis dreamt of one day becoming a Power Ranger. Having achieved that dream back in the noughties, he’s now turned his hand to journalism and broadcasting. Matt can often be found in front of a TV screen, watching his current favourite shows such as DOCTOR WHO, GAME OF THRONES, SHERLOCK, DAREDEVIL, and THE WALKING DEAD, though he’s partial to a bit of vintage TV from yesteryear. Matt also co-presents the Geek Cubed podcast, which you can download from iTunes. It’s quite nice.

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