HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unseen, The
Tonight She Comes
Chasing the Dragon
Into the Forest
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
   
 
Newest Articles
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agn├Ęs: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
   
 
  Piranha Part Two: The Spawning Couldn't Give A Flying FishBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: James Cameron, Ovidio G. Assonitis
Stars: Tricia O'Neill, Steve Marachuk, Lance Henriksen, Ricky Paull Goldin, Ted Richert, Leslie Graves, Carole Davis, Connie Lynn Hadden, Arnie Ross, Tracey Berg, Albert Sanders, Anne Pollack, Hildy Magnasun, Phil Colby, Lee Krug, Sally Ricca, Ancile Gloudon
Genre: Horror, Trash
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: A couple go scuba diving at night off the coast of a Jamaican island. Recently a government ship has sunk there, so it looks like a good opportunity to go exploring. They disappear beneath the waves and make their way to the wreck, eventually swimming inside. Then they begin to feel amorous and just as they embrace, a shoal of fish hurtles towards them and begins to take bites out of them. The ship had a deadly cargo, you see, an experimental strain of piranha that have now escaped from their containers - and there's a beach resort nearby that will be paid a visit by them soon...

Well, even big shot directors have to start somewhere, and the sequel to Piranha was where the future director of Titanic got his. It does feature a sunken ship, to be fair, but to be even fairer, it's worth pointing out that James Cameron was pretty much forced off this project by the producer, Ovidio G. Assonitis, who shot many of the scenes himself when he became dissatisfied with Cameron's progress. But even if he had been given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted, the fact remained this was a flying piranha movie.

And therefore utterly ridiculous. Unlike its predecessor, this wasn't meant to be a comedy, but like it, it was a rip-off of Jaws: this is very much the Jaws 2 of the piranha movie world. There are attempts at humour in the human interest angle, which takes up a higher, tension sapping percentage of the film than the thrills, as you can see when the story unfolding in the first twenty minutes concentrates on the characters who will soon be meeting their untimely demise nearer the end of the film. These characters are strictly from stock, closer to an eighties sex comedy than a horror movie.

If you're in an auteur theory frame of mind you could see the heroine, tourist entertainment co-ordinator and ex-marine biologist Anne (Tricia O'Neill), as the first of Cameron's tough, capable leading females. There's also Lance Henriksen (with his name spelled wrong in the credits) as her estranged husband and local police chief who is there for a rivalry with new man on the scene, holidaymaker Tyler (Steve Marachuk) who might know more than he's letting on about the dastardly grunions. But there's the expected scenes of Anne finding out what we have been aware of from the opening sequence, and trying to persuade the others of the danger.

Meanwhile the characters get themsleves into tricky situations, with, for example, a couple of girls getting food for the two-person party they're holding on their yacht at the expense of a stuttering chef (I wonder how they will end up?) and Anne's teenage son Chris (Ricky Paull Goldin) being hired as a cabin boy for a rich holidaymaker and delighted to see his teenage daughter onboard for... well, not much but to place themselves in peril at the end of the film. Needless to say, the effects hold more ambition than believability, with some painfully obvious plastic fish fluttering around ludicrously and attaching themselves to the necks of the cast in a spray of theatrical blood. Some unintentional humour can be gleaned from the underachieving nature of these setpieces, but Piranha Part Two is a chore to sit through otherwise. Music by Stelvio Cipriani.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2397 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

James Cameron  (1954 - )

Canadian director and writer responsible for some of the most successful - and expensive - films of all time. Cameron, like many before him, began his career working for Roger Corman, for whom he made his directing debut in 1981 with the throwaway Piranha 2: Flying Killers. It was his second film, The Terminator, that revealed his talents as a director of intensely exciting action, making Arnold Schwarzenegger a movie star along the way. Aliens was that rare thing, a sequel as good as the original, while if The Abyss was an overambitious flop, then 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a superbly realised action epic featuring groundbreaking use of CGI.

Cameron teamed up with Schwarzenegger for a third time for the Bond-esque thriller True Lies, before releasing Titanic on the world in 1997, which despite a decidedly mixed critical reaction quickly became the biggest grossing film of all time. His TV venture Dark Angel wasn't wildly successful, but ever keen to push back the envelope of film technology, 2003's Ghost of the Abyss is a spectacular 3D documentary exploring the wreck of the Titanic, made for I-Max cinemas. After over a decade away from fiction, his sci-fi epic Avatar was such a success that it gave him two films in the top ten highest-grossing of all time list.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Lee Lopez
Jennifer Thomas
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
   

 

Last Updated: