Piranha 3DD (Blu-ray Review)

Piranha 3DD incorporates the classic elements of the teen horror/exploitation movies of the 1970s, packed with ferocious flesh-eaters, scantily-clad young victims, and bizarre and exciting twists and turns.  Whereas Piranha 3D took place on a lake, the 2012 sequel is set at a water park, complete with water slides and a lazy river – the perfect places for piranha mayhem!  Back for more outrageous fun, Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as the eccentric piranha expert.  After the terror unleashed on Lake Victoria in Piranha 3D, the prehistoric school of blood thirsty piranhas are back and this time, no one is safe from the flesh-eating fish as they sink their razor-sharp teeth into the visitors of summer’s best attraction, The Big Wet Water Park.  Now with double the action, double the horror, and double the D’s, Piranha 3DD stars Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Chris Zylka, Katrina Bowden, Gary Busey, Christopher Lloyd, and David Hasselhoff.


The sight of the original piranha attacks, Lake Victoria, is now a ghost town.  The piranha were supposedly exterminated.  Of course, if the extermination had been completely successful there would have been no need for a sequel.  When Gary Busey is startled and yells “holy flying baby s@&t” I thoight maybe this was going to be one of those really good bad movies.  I hoped that this was going to be another Sharktopus – a movie so bad it was completely awesome, but it went downhill quick!  After being attacked by the piranha in Cross Lake, Busey pulls a fish from the side of his face and bites its head off and it’s at that point I knew that this movie was just going to be bad with no redeeming qualities.

Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) is a marine biology grad student who returns home to find that her sleazy step father Chet (David Koechner) has turned the family water park into a strip bar/water park.  There is a “cooch cam” to watch naked girls leaving the pool and a condom machine next to the adult pool.  It appears even the life guards have been replaced by strippers.  Maddy is not happy about the Big Wet, which she co-owns but is glad to reunite with friends.  Her friend Barry, who has been in love with her for years works at the park and her ex-boyfriend Kyle is a crooked town cop.  After praying for forgiveness for the sex they are about to have, Ashley and her boyfriend Travis end up stuck in their van in the lake and become victims of the piranha.  Another friend Shelby has decided she is ready to lose her virginity to Josh and they have an encounter with baby piranha, unknown to them at the time.

When Ashley goes missing, Maddy consoles Shelby by the lake and they are attacked in and out of the water by the piranhas.  Maddy, Barry and Kyle do a you tube search and locate the only expert they can find, Mr. Goodman (Christopher Lloyd) (who also appeared in the first film).  He has kept a piranha alive and tells the group what it is they are dealing with.  He also explains that the fish would be attracted to chlorinated water, and Maddy is concerned for the water park.  The piranha do make their way into the water park and have themselves a nice little buffet lunch of swimmers.  The park has a guest life guard, David Hasselhoff, who is less than enthusiastic about helping out during the emergency.  It happens to be the same day Deputy Fallon (Ving Rhames) is attempting to enter the water again after losing both legs in the attacks at Lake Victoria.  Luckily for the swimmers, Deputy Fallon has shotgun-fitted titanium legs and he is more than willing to help.

Piranha 3D was a bit too over the top for me.  With stars like David Koechner and Danielle Panabaker in the movie, I had hoped Piranha 3DD would still be funny but a little more serious.  The DD in the title should have been my first clue.  There’s more of everything I didn’t like about the first movie, including genital mutilation.  I absolutely understand that this movie was not made with a 34 year old mother as it’s target demographic since it’s for young men that want to see naked chicks and some gore.  It’s made by men, for men.  So why do so many penises have to suffer and be destroyed by the piranhas?  Do the men who make these films think that the women watching them want to see that?  Or are they just trying anything to make the audience squirm and react?  Both Piranha 3D and Piranha 3DD missed the chance to make a really terrifying movie.  Instead they succeeded in just making really gross movies.  I know the body counts are always bigger in sequels but it’s more disgusting than I had imagined.  Simply put, this was not the movie for me or any one with good taste.


2D Video                   3D Video  

Piranha 3DD is presented in high definition Blu-ray 3D or 2D versions with wide-screen 1.78:1 ratio.  While I didn’t care for the film, the video quality was really good. In the daylight and at night the images are clear, and the underwater shots are easy to discern as well.  The CGI piranha look pretty good as well and would have been pretty menacing in a more serious movie.  As for the 3D aspects, I prefer it when the 3D enhances the film and is a seamless part of the film.  Piranha 3DD is one of those movies where you can watch it in 2D and pick out every cheap 3D gag used – in this case usually piranha flying at your face.  The 3D is very good with real depth to it although most of the time the effects are piranhas jumping out of the screen or in one case someone’s bloody stump.  There’s some slight ghosting but it’s not enough to complain about.  Both transfers look very good even if the movie is lame.


Piranha 3DD’s 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio was better than I expected.  The whoosh of the fish as they swim by is pretty cool in surround sound. Dialogue is clear and volume doesn’t require adjustment if you don’t mind the screams.  The dance music also sounds very good with its thumping bass that utilizes the LFE channel well.  This is a solid mix that serves the movie better than it deserves.

Special Features  

When you don’t like a movie it’s often painful to sit through the special features. In this case, the worst extra was the commentary. They tried to throw in some unique special features and they get a couple of stars for effort.

  • Feature Commentary – Director John Gulager, Producer Joel Soisson and Co-Writer Marcus Dunstan provide audio commentary.  Their dialogue is a little awkward and they seemed uncomfortable with the commentary process.  Here I learned that these are the men behind Feast, which explains a lot.
  • Deleted Scenes – Three brief deleted scenes that can be chosen individually or together with the play all selection.  None of the scenes needed to be in the movie or even add any real information.
  • The Story Behind the DD – A featurette with behind the scenes footage and cast and crew interviews.
  • The Hofftastic World of David Hasselhoff – A featurette about David Hasselhoff, with footage of his trailer and other behind the scenes information.
  • Busey’s Bloopers – Strange and silly footage of Gary Busey’s interviews.  Not actually bloopers from the film, as I would have expected.
  • Wet and Wild with David Koechner – David Koechner discusses the nudity in the film, and ironically the footage has black bars over the boobs.
  • “A Lesson with John McEnroe” – A Dimension short film about tennis lessons featuring a lot of trash talking.

Final Thoughts  

I feel pretty silly for expecting Piranha 3DD to be more serious.  The tag line promises double the action, double the terror and double the D’s.  It delivers on all three categories:  it’s bigger, badder, and more disgusting than the first one.  Double…is just too much for me.  It turned out to be 83 minutes of my life that I want back.  If you don’t mind the blood (which I usually don’t) and want to see a lot of naked women, this is the film for you.  The worst sin Piranha 3DD committed was not limiting the gory deaths to just adults as I really didn’t want to see little kids die tragically.

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4 Responses to “Piranha 3DD (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Kadija

    I just watched the original last weekend and it was kind of hard for me to take the movie seriously. I knew that this movie would be ridiculous but it made me laugh and my husband seemed to enjoy it. We’ve been looking at the preview for 3DD for a while now and we still hadn’t made the decision to see it. However, after your amazing review of how bad this movie really is, I added it to my queue and it will be in my mailbox in a few days. I’m glad to see that Ving Rhames is back in this one although having legs fitted with titanium shotguns isn’t the way I had imagines his return. Then again, that is very Ving as he is super comfortable with big guns. It just adds to the ridiculousness of the movie which I guess should have been obvious by Gary Busey’s cameo in this movie.

  2. Brian White

    THIS WAS ONE OF THE WORST MOVIES EVER MADE IMO. A disgrace to everything cinema and plastic.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, seriously – eff this movie.

  4. Eric Flapjack Ashley

    Movie is awful. The whole penis scene made zero sense and was a real chore to get through. I hope poor Christopher Lloyd is being paid a ton of money to appear in these.

    It’s interesting though that the original – which was released wide to theaters – was converted from 2D to 3D. And this one – which was dumped straight to Blu-ray (except for a very small handful of theaters) – was actually filmed in true 3D.