Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Paul Logan 
MEGA PIRANHA (2010 telefilm). Writer/director: Eric Forsberg.

Down in Venezuela genetics scientist Sarah Monroe (Tiffany), for utterly unaccountable reasons, has helped create a species of "sturdier" piranha fish. Naturally, these fish escape from the lab and begin to wreak havoc along the Amazon. Worse, the fish keep getting bigger and bigger -- at one point they're large enough to take down a battleship! -- and it develops that they can live in fresh water as well, letting them rampage in the ocean and attack Miami. Secretary of State Bob Grady (Barry Williams) assigns Jason Fitch (Paul Logan) to track down and destroy the piranha which, understandably, takes some doing. Although mostly played straight, Mega Piranha is a zany, somewhat amusing monster flick with competent acting, cheesy FX, and a degree of suspense, and you have to see a host of giant piranha literally leaping out of the water to believe it. On the other hand, there's a little too much running around by the principles, mostly consisting of scenes of Monroe and Fitch being chased by angry Venezuelan authorities, and the pace -- which is generally pretty fast -- begins to drag. David Labiosa is fine as Colonel Antonio Diaz, however, and the movie is fun in a limited way. While gruesome at times, it is never as vomitous as its obvious inspiration, Piranha 3D. There is no real attempt at characterization in the movie -- no surprise given the Syfy Channel's usual offerings.

Verdict: You can't keep a good piranha down! **1/2.

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