How could I review the classic Piranha without also reviewing it's retarded little brother, Piranha part Two: The Spawning? I couldn't. I will start off with the film's most notable factoid, that it was future Titanic director James Cameron's directorial debut. Other than that, the only thing most people know about this film is that the piranha can now fly...and that it sucks. Now I'm not saying I agree with that last thing, but when this film comes up it's usually to bash it. I actually saw this film shortly after the first Piranha at least 10 years ago, mainly because it was a horror film directed by James Cameron and I liked the first Piranha. I remember thinking it was pretty crappy at the time.
Piranha part Two: The Spawning starts off very similarly to the first Piranha film...SKINNY DIPPING. As with the first, this horny couple succumb to the horror that are piranha. Soon after, at a nearby hotel resort, a diving student is found all munched up and his diving instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) goes searching for what may have caused it. One of her other students, Tyler (Steve Marachuk) accompanies her and Anne's ex-husband Steve (Lance Henriksen), the local sheriff, begins his own investigation too. It is soon discovered to be a mutant strain of flying piranha that are causing the deaths and they must convince the resort's owner Raoul (Ted Richert) that his guests are all in danger.
Piranha part Two is an interesting movie, to say the least. Let's start with the bad. Like the first one, the film makers try to add comedic touches to the film, including a stuttering chef, a gold digging lady vacationer and a horny old lady trying to seduce a life guard. Sounds pretty bad, huh? It is. But you know what, and here's the surprise...I LOVED the rest of the movie. Really loved it. It was silly of course (flying piranha? C'mon!), but in a really fun, b movie way. The piranha actually looked really cool and fuck me could they rip a person apart. The scenes of the piranha flying looked a little cheesy but the gory makeup effects (courtesy of Lucio Fulci's Zombie/City of the Living Dead/The Beyond FX mastermind Giannetto De Rossi) were stomach-churningly brilliant. Totally viscious and disgusting and awesome. People just get ripped apart and holes bitten out of them. It's great. One of my favorite Italian composers, Stelvio Cipriani, does the score for the film too (under the obviously Americanized pseudonym Steve Powder) building tension in all the right places. All of the lead actors are great and Cameron's direction is well done too. I actually read that Cameron filmed all of the scenes but was not allowed to edit or see any of the footage by producer Ovidio G. Assonitis (is it me or does his last name sound like a medical term for butt cancer?). I will always hold Cameron close to my heart for directing one of my favorite films (The Terminator of course) so I keep telling myself that some unnamed director shot all of the (un)funny parts and Cameron filmed the rest. Anyway, I really liked this movie and will definitely watch it again.