Piranha 3DD (2012)

(On Cable TV, August 2014) I really, really disliked 2010’s Piranha 3D (to which this “3DD” film is a sequel), so I have no one else to blame for disliking this one as well.  It’s not as if I’m completely opposed to monster B-movies in which most of the cast gets eaten before the end credits, but there’s something about the gleeful sadism of this series that has me gritting my teeth.  The good news, I suppose, is that Piranha 3DD is a lesser film than its predecessor: fewer laughs, scaled-back scope and, crucially, reduced gore.  Given that my main issue with the previous film was the excessive amount of carnage that flipped the film from “harmless laughs” to “stomach-churning tragedy”, reduced gore is more than a relief in this case.  That may explain why, in the end, I found Piranha 3DD less objectionable than its predecessor, even though its final few sadistic moments do push my patience.  One of the lesser virtues of the film is that it’s just as intensely self-aware than its predecessor.  Almost falling into parody, this installment features over-the-top nudity, a self-referential David Hasselhoff, easy shocks (the grossest moment of the film can be seen coming fifteen minutes prior to its occurrence) and deaths so mean-spirited that they almost makes you wish for the annihilation of our species.  The plot mechanics are familiar to the point of tediousness; even more so given that the film barely tries to make sense of its dramatic progression.  Much of Piranha 3DD feels like self-imposed hardship as it moves from one obligatory death to another –but that may just be me, pondering why I chose to watch the film despite not expecting much from it.  (The deluded answer is along the lines of “it’s barely 75 minutes long, it won’t require any hard thinking and –who knows- it may even be mildly interesting.”)  As ridiculous as this film can be, it straddles an uncomfortable middle between fun parody and disgusting horror –less so than its predecessor, granted, but still along the same lines.  I’m not sure there’s even an ideal audience for this kind of film.  Maybe I hope there isn’t.

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