The second film dug out of the Junkyard is Mega Piranha, one of the more recent Asylum releases, from April 2010.
It seems a bit has changed in the development of Asylum movies over the years, as any slow pacing issues that their older movies may have had are not apparent here. No sir, this movie moves faster than the titular creatures do.
We go from meeting the Piranha in a stunning display of violence to a mad dash to save the world from the ever-growing fish menace.
“Wow” was a word heard multiple times while watching this both from my wife and myself. Going into this knowing the reputation The Asylum has, it was expected to be a B-grade movie, but there were so many moments of true disbelief and surprise that “Wow” was all that could be said.
I will allow the back of the DVD case to summarize the story:
“A mutant strain of giant ferocious piranha escape from the Amazon and eat their way toward Florida”
Well there you have it, 3/4 of the plot of the film. The rest is filled with excuses to keep the fish out of scene as much as possible to save on the budget. Those excuses are the typical horror movie cliches such as the antagonistic government that is against whatever the protagonists are doing at the moment. If the good guys want ice cream, instead the bad guys nuke them from orbit. (it’s the only way to be sure.)
Barry Williams, better known as Greg Brady, plays Secretary Bob Grady, our eternally-worried looking politician that has direct communication to the president, not to mention the power to order underwater nuclear strikes. Accompanying him in this movie is 80’s teen pop sensation Tiffany. I can’t think of a singlesong she wrote even though it would
take me less than a minute to look up her name on Google then pretend like I am a learned Tiffany fan. However, this is being written at 2:00am and I just don’t feel like putting that extra effort in, but rather use that energy to explain why I am not looking up what music Tiffany has contributed to pop culture. Pretty sad, no? Let us continue.
Mega Piranha features the now-standard Asylum trademark of our heroes running through nondescript wooded land, racing against the clock for some reason or another. I think this time they keep failing to stop the piranha from doing what they do (eat) and we get to see the team of heroes stare in disbelief (and get eaten) as more people and things get devoured (eaten) before their stunned eyes.
I had a few genuine, in the parlance of our times, “laugh out loud” moments, such as a giant fish getting impaled on a lighthouse, a very creative use for oxygen tanks in a dire low fuel situation, and my utter amazement and joy at the use of NERF weaponry as super fish-killing badass uber-guns.
The crazy thing about this movie is it goes so fast that neither you nor the cast have a chance to catch a breath. Mega Piranha opens with quick cuts that indicate extreme urgency, Paul Logan our manly man of a manly mannish hero (who I do believe is a man in real life as well) speaks in nothingbutrunonsentences whichtotallygetsannoying since everyone else seems to be on Valium throughout the film. Sadly, though Paul Logan played the required badass with enough badassery to fill a helicopter’s fuel reserve, there was a lack of bromancing and fistbumping. This hopefully will be remedied if there ever is a “Mega-er Piranha: Dudes doing dude stuff, bro”
(go ahead, use that one if you want, Asylum. I don’t mind, just plug the blog so I am not the only person reading my writing. Who am I kidding, I don’t even read my writing!)
Normally, as a fan of bad movies, I can overlook the obscenely terrible dialog, the ridiculous CGI and questionable casting choices, but this one just made me go “…Wow”. It isn’t exceedingly terrible, the pacing keeps you interested somewhat, and it makes the movie feel shorter than the almost exactly 90 minutes it is. There are a few fun scenes but nothing really surprising or exciting happens since every scene is shot as if it is the climax of the film. I think the cinematographer needs to learn how to put the camera down. Seriously, not every shot has to be a moving crane shot over the cast or spinning around the conference room. I started feeling nervous for my life during a few scenes, as I
started getting seasick, and feared I was on a boat about to be devoured by giant piranha. Thankfully it was just the camera work, and I was safe and sound in my 2nd floor apartment in the freezing Midwest with drafty as hell balcony doors. My feet are actually freezing as I write this, but I am too lazy/obsessed with talking about bad movies that I will attempt to ignore them as I close this review up.
Overall the movie is barely watchable, since it has has many flaws like the random changing of cars throughout the film and scuba divers who can have full conversations with scuba gear firmly in their mouths. (Again “….Wow”) Mega Piranha won’t leave you feeling satisfied, it just kind of ends eventually and I suppose with what we are working with, that is really the best we could have hoped for.
“Wow” is right. As in, “Wow, that was bad.”
I’ve sat through some bad B movies, but Mega Piranha… Just wow.
First of all, Tiffany needs to go back to singing about touching herself. It would be more entertaining than watching her stridently assert that the piranha would just keep growing, repeatedly. At some point, you just wish that one of those giant fish would flop on top of her to end the pain.
Paul Logan as the pre-requisite bad-ass of the firm just made me want to offer him a laxative. And seriously, for his character to be interested in Tiffany’s? That man must not have been getting any play, any where. Oh, and he’s exceptionally talented. He managed to have a complete conversation while utilizing an underwater breathing apparatus in his mouth.
Barry Williams was the most watchable member of the cast, and that’s not saying much. I just kept thinking, “My, the depths the mighty have fallen.” I mean, to go from the Brady Bunch to this? Those royalty checks must SUH-UCK.
The sheer amount of disbelief one is required to suspend to watch this film is unbelievable. I mean, for a fish to somehow attain sizes larger than whales, and not collapse under their own mass… Or that the United States would allow a senator to deploy S.E.A.L.s and give military directives to act in foreign shores. Or, hey, that somehow forcing these fish to eat each other doesn’t mean that, in the end, there has to be at least on that survived to eat the others? And these are fish that magically turned into hermaphrodites.
So, Watch it or Trash it?
Jypsy: Meh. That’s all I’ve got. You really aren’t missing anything by watching this one, nor are you gaining anything by trashing it. Or should that be the other way around? Whatever. I am going to bed.
Jeanne: Trash It. Save yourself the agony and the urge to pass out sedatives and laxative to the cast members. Go watch Titanic II.