Theatrical release date: April 16 ... no wait, sometime in August (I hope)
Piranha 3-D has huge potential, but the release date has been pushed around like a skeletonized cow caught in a strong Amazon current. First April, then August -- I sure hope I can see this sometime in 2010. Another bloody red flag: original plans for gruesome 3-D may be shelved for regular D. Bad omens are piling up for my toothy little friends, but I remain optimistic. Before I explain why, here's little history lesson:
In 1975, Jaws broke all sorts of box-office records and set the blueprint for the American summer blockbuster. In the wake of such unprecedented success, studios scrambled to cash in on the "Mother Nature Strikes Back" craze. Notable imitators include: Tentacles, Orca, Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo, and the cult classic Kingdom of the Spiders, which stars William Shatner in the most restrained role of his career. My favorite Jaws knock-off, however, is 1978's Piranha, a tongue-in-cheek horror comedy made by filmmakers on the brink of huge success. Exhibit A: Gremlins maestro Joe Dante in the director's chair. Exhibit B: An FX team consisting of The Thing master artist Rob Bottin, Star Wars genius Peter Kuran, and "Mr. Cool-as-hell Imperial AT-AT Walkers from Empire Strikes Back" Phil Tippett. Exhibit C: A kick-ass screenplay by Lone Star director John Sayles (yes, you read that right).
Flash forward to the present day: Studio executives, desperate to raid the '70s B-movie graveyard, decide that Piranha needs a remake (I guess the rights to C.H.O.M.P.S. weren't available). Enter director Alexandre Aja, known for excruciating, shocking films like High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes remake. The FX boys from KNB join the party. These guys are responsible for nearly all the cool horror FX for the last 10 years (look them up on iMDB if you don't believe me). Will this new team bring Piranha into new dark and disturbing territory? Or will they embrace the fun and silliness of the original? This concept is so good, and so rarely used in horror, that this film has the potential to be one of the best splatterfests of the year. See you on opening night -- I'll save a blood-soaked seat for you.
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