UK DVD release date:
9th August 2010
Running time: 92 mins
Director: Eric Forsberg
Starring: Paul Logan, Tiffany, Barry Williams
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Genetically engineered piranha are growing at an alarming rate, when the United States Ambassador (Forsberg) to Venezuela is killed aboard a boat the covert Government organization I.S.B send it’s Special Ops Spartan Jason Fitch (Logan) to assess the situation and eliminate any threats.
Mega Piranha belongs to a long standing tradition of ‘killer aquatic’ films, Piranha 2 and Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus being two of the most ludicrous outings worth naming. When your film is directed by the man behind the excellently absurd Snakes on a Train and War of the Worlds 2 : The New Wave your expectations and thrills are in wonderfully safe hands. Those waiting for a higher level of cinematic experience than what you would find in Shane Van Dyke’s Titanic II should perhaps not bother getting involved.
The narrative of the film is for the most part under developed, the Special Forces one man army out on a limb is something that’s been done to death but never quite like this. The idea of giant piranha attacking their way towards the coastal
is not something that you can sell to an audience without relying on some degree of computer generated imagery and initially it adheres to the Jaws logic of less is more, though largely out of necessity than trying to create the atmosphere of the Spielberg blockbuster. Eventually the film does require there to be more, the advancement up river demands it and it’s here where the CGI hits rocky waters. At times it’s suspect at others, the nose diving piranha into the factory roofs for example, is laugh out loud brilliant and it’s that furiously enjoyable atmosphere that Forsberg courts to wonderful affect. United States
Forsberg as director is extremely strong. Say what you like about his script, say what you like about his acting, his direction shows a clear understanding of how to put together an action film that grabs and keeps your attention. There are moments when the direction lets the film down but these are more to do with budgetary restraints rather than poor technique or directional skill and for the most part Forsberg is understanding of his restraints. He has the ability to play to them rather than tipping his hand and trying to do too much with limited financial and CG resources and should be commended for achieving that many directors of greater reputation with greater budgets can not.
Many reviews have been unnecessarily harsh on Mega Piranha which might seem a little hypocritical if you’ve read many of the reviews on this site, most ratings linger around the two star mark but what they don’t have is what Mega Piranha has to spare. Yes the film has it’s shortcomings, there are plenty to speak of, but what it also has is a genuine love of film making that’s apparent from the moment the film starts until the closing credit. Every technique deployed whether it’s the freeze at the beginning to introduce the character or the use of split screen is there to further the narrative rather than there to be showy and a smart ass about it [looking directly at you Guy Ritchie]. This is a film that showcases the love of making film and it is infectous and for that should be appreciated for what it achieves rather than beaten for what it aspires to be. Thoroughly enjoyable, wonderful escapism, pure love.