Wednesday 9 May 2012
Fish Me Quick
Piranhas aka Piranha USA 1995
Directed by Scott P. Levy
Prism Region 2
Why? Why? Why?
Piranhas is a made-for-TV, Roger Corman produced remake of the original Piranha movie (reviewed here) which was first directed for Corman by Joe Dante.
Now the original film is not exactly a classic movie, in my eyes. Yeah, I know it has it’s supporters but, ultimately, there are a lot of other things I would rather be doing than watching that movie... unfortunately for me, watching this incredibly dull and superfluous remake is not one of them.
I was actually expecting this movie, with the benefit of almost a couple of decades of irony soaked up in the years between this and the original, to actually be a lot better and watchable than the original. Well, I’m sorry, but compared to this, Dante’s version looks like a modern classic. Honestly, if you’re going to do a remake of this material, you should at least attempt to come at it from a slightly different angle, surely. This remake is, if you can believe this, following the original script in almost (with some slight omissions) a shot by shot repeat of the first. It’s like the actors from the original version have all been taken over by seed pods from Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers and are sleepwalking through other people’s lines, zombie-like, without really even bothering to go through the motions... I was so surprised at my lack of interest in this movie while I was watching it.
There’s really not a great deal I can say about this one. The movie opens and the girl taking a swim with her boyfriend has way beyond magnificent and notably humongous bosoms but, frankly, even though this movie has a little more nudity and gore than the original, this young, opening victim brought the only two good and notable things about this movie directly into the foreground of the few shots she’s in. I’m afraid, though, that once you’ve had the opportunity to contemplate her glorious valleys... it’s all down hill after this. Possibly the only other talking point this movie has is that it’s one of the earliest roles of future sex bomb Mila Kunis, here playing the male lead's daughter... although she doesn’t quite share as much screen time as the girl who played Grogan’s daughter in the original.
Pino Donnagio’s score from the first movie has been replaced here by a score by Christopher Lennertz (who also scored the TV remake of Corman’s Humanoids From The Deep) which is, perhaps, a little more serviceable to the on-screen visuals than the former film’s was. Lennertz may well be an underrated composer and I’ll have to look into his work a little at a later date. It doesn’t really manage to elevate the movie into something more watchable however... well, okay maybe it does, but more watchable than what? I suspect this movie might well be the product of Corman wanting to hold on to the rights to the Piranha franchise by making something “quick and dirty” out of the material... in much the same way as he did for another company with his movie of The Fantastic Four (reviewed here).
I noticed the stop motion monster running around the “mad” doctor’s lab was absent in this one, which lends credence to my theory that it was never in John Sayles original screenplay and that Dante had just put that into the original so he could have a bit of a practice directing stop motion. That’s about the only thing I learnt from this movie though...
Well... that and the fact that my tolerance, as demonstrated by my capacity to sit diligently through even the most absurdly dull rubbish, has reached new heights/lows. If I can watch this and review it for my blog then I can probably just about sit through anything. But then again... just because I can do something, doesn’t mean that I should. Just in case you’ve been sleep-reading through this untypically short review... Piranhas, the TV remake, doesn’t get anything like a recommendation from me and makes the original cinematic ventures into similar territory seem like high art. My next stop is to watch the newer version, Piranha 3D, and pray that this doesn’t suffer the same kind of bad decisions going on in this production.
Fish me luck!