It may seem like paradise, but just off shore, a new brand of terror has been unleashed …
While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O’Neil, Are You In The House Alone?) makes a horrific discovery: mutated piranhas, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death. As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he’s determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy. This exciting sequel to Joe Dante’s original Piranha also stars Lance Henriksen (Aliens, The Terminator) and is the directorial debut of James Cameron (Avatar, The Terminator, Aliens).
Piranha 2 was directed by James Cameron, as you can tell by all the underwater photography. The opening scene sets the tone for the entire movie, featuring full frontal nudity and a ridiculous underwater sex scene in the first couple of minutes. The story is set in a beach town in which a rare breed of salt water piranha are dropping devoured bodies, while a scuba instructor, her shady chemist boyfriend, and her ex husband who is the town’s sheriff, fight to prove that the influx of dead bodies is caused by flying salt water piranha. It’s not much of a story, honestly, but it’s more than a movie like Piranha II: The Spawning would normally offer.
Like all killer fish movies, we can’t close the beach or shut down the water activities, because of course piranha aren’t killing people in the ocean. Well, surprise, yes they are, and they’re doing so rather gorily, with magnificent practical gore effects. There is a lot of carnage in Piranha 2, and it’s all very gory. Very easily they could have shown a bit of blood and cut away from the real gore, but thankfully that’s not what happened. Anytime a director has the balls to hold a shot and show all the grizzly details, they have my respect. One scene even pays homage to the chest-burster scene in Alien, featuring a Piranha burrowing his way out of someone’s chest. Even the way it is photographed screams Alien homage. Also, if such a thing interests you, there’s also quite a bit of nudity in Piranha 2. Nothing too sordid, but if you like boobs and bush, this movie has you covered.
Lance Henriksen is great in the movie, but there’s one scene that really baffled me. He’s in a helicopter searching for his son, and when he finds him, he jumps out of the helicopter and allows it to crash, and oddly explode on the surface of the ocean. Why not take it to the shore, land, come back on a boat? It’s really nonsensical, but it’s so ridiculous that it adds to the charm of the movie. Overall, Piranha II is a highly entertaining movie, featuring loads of practical gore, plenty of boobs, and just the right level of campiness. Some of the acting is over the top, but never so much as to ruin the experience, as it easily could have done. I’m going to give Piranha 2 a high recommendation. It especially warrants a viewing since we’re in the tail-end of Summer.
Scream Factory’s Blu-ray release of the film is more than fine. The picture quality is crisp, newly scanned in 2K from the original camera negative, with no visible damage or dirt, and the audio is loud and clear. The disc features a full HD AVC-encoded transfer presented in 1.85:1, and a DTS-HD MA mono audio track. Extras is where the release lacks, featuring only two interview/retrospectives with Special Effects Artist Brian Wade, and actor Ricky Paull Goldin, and the theatrical trailer. If you’re a fan of this movie, or even if you’re just looking for some kind of classic “stay out of the water” monster movie, I highly recommend picking up Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray release. You may purchase your copy by visiting the Shout! Factory website.
- NEW 2K Scan From The Original Camera Negative
- NEW Interview With Actor Ricky Paull Goldin
- NEW Interview With Special Effects Artist Brian Wade
- Theatrical Trailer