Sep 21, 2010

Piranha 3D


I watch horror films for two reasons, both harkening back to childhood.  One reason is to get in touch with the primal, sleepless night-inducing fear of, say, watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time (the day before Halloween, 1995, aired on a local television station. Being nine and naïve the opening ‘based on a true story’ crawl narrated by John Laurequette had me convinced I wasn’t watching a ‘scary movie’ but true crime along the lines of Helter Skelter.  By the end of the scene where they pick up the hitchhiker I was nearly in tears).  On the other hand, there is the “Do you like see-food?” appeal of films that, while not particularly scary, appeal to the twelve year old in all of us who lived for nothing more than throwing bricks at the dead cat behind the cafeteria dumpster after school to see if we could dislodge some maggots before skulking over to a friend’s house to thumb through his older brother’s worn copies of Hustler. Flicks that are big, dumb, gross, and awkward as we were when stuck in the painful expanse between our childhood perception of what constitutes cool (roadkill, fighting robots, armpit farts) and our young adult perception of what constitutes cool (girls) and all that entails (mostly masturbation, humiliation, and acne scars). Flicks that one must put away with the childish things if one ever wants to know the love of a woman (Corinthians 13, I think), but can indulge in every once in awhile to satisfy the adolescent weirdo with the peach fuzz ‘stache that resides at the base of our brain.


Of course, you can always indulge and wear Fulci Lives shirts and argue on message boards about how the laserdisc of a Blind Dead movie omits a second-and-a-half transitional scene and blare Cannibal Corpse on your way to your graveyard shift retail job, but this will ensure that in the odd event your penis ever lands in a vagina and you aren’t paying for it that said vagina will belong to a woman that outweighs you considerably and is every bit the nerd you are and you’ll despise her for it and feel like you’re slumming and she’ll feel the exact same about you but you’ll stay together because no one else could possibly be interested in fucking either of you because you prattle on for hours like a couple of fucking Aspies about meathooks going through breasts and Goblin soundtracks but never bother to expand the scope of your interests beyond something someone that rides a bike with a baseball card in the fucking spokes would think is “pretty siiick.” A more successful approach? Watch movies with substance, subtitles, and/or subtlety. Watch stuff that you could imagine girls you’ve always wanted to cum in might enjoy or at the very least tolerate, but which won’t make their vagina's arid at the mere mention of.  Respect cinema as an art form and appreciate the nuances of a particular director or camera movement or something, anything beyond “dude, he removes their kneecaps and then sews her mouth to the one girl’s butt and then that girl’s mouth to the guy’s butt and…”  I guess what I’m trying to say is it is more than okay to like something puerile and disgusting, but don’t let that be the sum of your interest in movies because (a) you aren’t twelve years old and (b) being a movie nerd, or nerd of any kind really, stacks the odds pretty high against you in terms of getting laid by anything remotely human in appearance, but being a nerd whose development peaked at twelve years old, i.e. horror geek, comic book guy, etc, you are pretty much guaranteeing yourself a life of quiet desolation, disappointment, and actually attending conventions and shit.  Grow the fuck up.  It is okay to like comic books or horror movies, but if you are 35-going-on-12, no one wants to fuck you.  Did girls want to fuck you when you were twelve?  Of course not, and they certainly won’t want to now that you wear a hockey jersey as “going out” wear and use a goatee to disguise how fat you’ve gotten since you dropped out of community college eight years ago.  The only people that want to fuck twelve year old boys are creepy old men, and even they don’t want to fuck you because while you are emotionally stunted at an age when things made sense and you didn’t have to slave away all night cleaning chili dispensers and selling smokes to tweakers to afford your Fangoria subscription you don’t possess an untapped butthole and pimples and puppy tails or whatever the fuck it is pedophiles are into because you are an adult man, you fucking fuck.  I don’t know who to pity more, the washed up “horror icons” who have to stand arm in arm with you for a photo op at the convention center or you for having to part with twenty-five bucks for such a unique privilege.  Ultimately I pity your parents, anything with self-esteem low enough to allow you to wiggle around your puny pecker inside of it, society as a whole, but mostly yours truly for having had to endure so many terrible conversations with so many of you fucking losers over the years. 


Okay, so perhaps this (maybe) misguided rant is the result of my (definitely) misguided attempt to discuss movies with a guy at work wearing a Friday the 13th shirt whose eyes glossed over whenever I’d mention a movie that didn’t feature disembowelings and grotesquely augmented breasts, the guy who thinks Argento is a hack because Fulci “brought it” in terms of gore and who looked completely dumbfounded when I mentioned anything remotely outside that of which could constitute Necro lyrics.  We did, however, find some brief common ground in my most recent adventure to the multiplex, Piranha 3D.  My friend had just been fired from her job under the worst possible circumstances.  Said friend needed some cheering up, and nothing cheers one up better, if you ask me, than putting adult notions of good taste and responsibility to the side and enjoying some disembowlings and grotesquely augmented breasts for about an hour and a half, even better if it’s in 3D.  Of course, like Lifetime movies or greasy post-hangover grub, this is the kind of empty calorie awesomeness that is best enjoyed sparingly, but taken in the right frame of mind (drunk, high) really hits the spot. 


Piranha 3D, like the Joe Dante flick on which it is based, is essentially Jaws helmed by someone who doesn’t want to fuck twelve year old boys (or be Peter Pan or whatever the fuck Spielberg’s deal is) but rather by someone who understands what twelve year old boys want to see, in this case Alexandre Aja (director of the overrated Haute Tension and The Hills Have Eyes, maybe the gold standard against which all other horror remakes should be measured).  As was the case with The Hills Have Eyes, Aja recognizes what worked in the original film but is able to improve on it both stylistically and in terms of gore.  With The Hills Have Eyes, Aja was able to translate the Vietnam-era anger of Craven’s first films into a political parable that was less preachy than just really lean, mean, and jarringly brutal.  With Piranha 3D, Aja knows as well as you and I do that there is nothing intelligent to mine from a flick that existed solely to improve on Jaws by way of blood and titties, so he goes the exact opposite route of Hills and injects Piranha 3D’s scant running time with wall-to-wall ass, titties, gore, moronic humor, and a couple of great cameos, all of this again, in three glorious dimensions.  Steve McQueen’s grandson is the Pixies-shirt clad good guy, who blah blah likes this girl yadda yadda his mom is the sheriff and an earthquake dislodges prehistoric cannibalistic demon fish from an underwater lake just in time for Spring Break and Jerry O’ Connell plays a thinly veiled Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild infamy (here called, if I remember correctly, Wild Wild Girls) so Steve McQueen’s grandson gets on board with the girl he likes as a tour guide and the fish eat everyone you’d expect them to eat and a “twist” ending sets it up for a sequel but don’t stick around for the end credits because all that happens is a skull floats by so fuck that. 


There are two things I really took away from Piranha 3D, or rather, two things I still remember about it (aside from that we had a great time and laughed and guffawed and made “bo-o-o-i-i-ing” sound effects to represent our boners throughout). One is the genius of casting Jerry O’Connell as Joe Francis. Spoilers abound, but when O’Connell’s coked out, obnoxious character bites the dust, we are treated to the spectacular sight of his severed penis floating past our face, being swallowed by a piranha, and then coughed out over our heads before being bitten in half.  As the fat kid from Stand By Me and Joe Francis should be at the top of anyone’s list of people who should never be allowed to procreate, this is crowd-pleasing at its finest, plus it is refreshing to know that we live in an age where hundreds upon thousands of dollars will be spent to realistically thrust severed cocks in the faces of moviegoers. The other thing I can recall about this movie was the big climactic massacre scene where Spring Break is interrupted by bloodthirsty piranhas but because the 3D process kinda makes a lot of the underwater stuff a bit murky, the best deaths are caused by humor error, including one death-by-hair-caught-in-boat-motor that is so great it belongs in a hastily-edited, grindcore-scored Youtube video along with clips from Dead Alive and Guinea Pig films or something.  I’m sure the guy from my work is hard-at-work compiling it as you read this. Did I mention that he declared this the best film he’d seen all year?  Like, really?  I mean, it was fun. The nude underwater ballet scene where two chicks with tits bigger than, well, the guy from my work’s tits, is pretty amazing, and the Spring Break massacre, O’Connell cock- it all added up to a very satisfying, imminently forgettable timewaster.  It will satiate your inner-adolescent appetite for mayhem and female nudity (also 3D vomit), but it isn’t something you’ll ever really consider watching more than once, or sober, or at home even (at least I wouldn’t - if Jerry O Connell’s meat isn’t plastered to your forehead, it really isn’t the optimal Piranha 3D experience).  


That said, Aja continues to be a capable director, my friend seemed sufficiently cheered, and the lack of anything substantive to say about the flick itself has allowed me to tackle one of my least favorite archetypes at length, so if it is still in theaters, check it out, and if the DVD comes with little 3D glasses or something check it out or if you find a torrent and can skip to the above mentioned scenes, by all means, but don’t buy it or think it is some kind of masterpiece or invite an attractive co-worker to dinner and breathlessly recount your favorite parts of the movie with your fucking mouth open (see? food! haha) while she recoils in (actual) horror and wishes someone, anyone would text her so she can make an excuse to get away from you but you’re so convinced you’re getting laid tonight that you are already plotting how to get through the hallway and past mom and dad’s room without waking them and are forming a mental picture of a post-coital snuggle sesh in which she’s wearing your favorite death metal shirt watching Nekromantik but really this will be like every other night of your life since you were a pre-teen and you’ll masturbate furiously, cluelessly into a tubesock and feel curiously empty and fill the void by clicking Buy It Now and now you’ve gotta make room on your wall for another autographed Bruce Campbell poster - fuck. 


-Jon-Christian

1 comment:

otis rampaging heterosexuality said...

You mean you didn`t get to see Marilyn Burns until over 20 years after everybody else was jerking off to her !!!, that surprises me. Are you also saying that you were only 18 months old when Heather snuffed it?, thats kinda` scary. By the way, with with regards to all the pansy queer bull-shit you were talking about, "DEATH TO ALL PANSY QUEER PEDO'S, LONG LIVE ALL HETEROSEXUAL PEDO'S AND THE HETEROSEXUAL BUGGERY OF HEATHER O`ROURKE LOOKALIKES EVERYWHERE".