Schlock Shelf – Mega Piranha
Mega Piranha begins with an American senator being killed in Venezuela in a suspicious manner, and Fitch (played by Paul Logan) is sent there (somehow, in just a few short hours) to figure out what happened. There are American scientists (including 80’s pop star Tiffany—who’s now a beefed up soccer mom) genetically altering animals in the jungle to increase food production, and one of the experiments got out of hand. Fitch also has to worry about this crazy military general doing some sort of operation in the jungle that he doesn’t want people to know about.
The fish are being held back by a log dam so they can’t go up river and attack a bunch of other people. Apparently, these fish reproduce in six hours instead of months, and will spread like rabbits across the world. They have two hearts, triple-thick skin, and they’re hermaphrodites, so they breed on their own and are damn near indestructible.
The general tries to take matters into his own hands by unleashing a hail of bullets and missiles at the fish, even though Fitch had offered to send a destroyer to take care of the process the RIGHT way. How they would get up the two-feet deep and 20-feet wide streams is beside the point. However, all they succeed in doing is blowing up the dam and letting more of the killer fish roam free. Fitch ends up punching and karate-kicking various piranha in the face while standing on the beach—it’s pretty comical. The scientist predicts the piranha will grow to be rhino-sized, elephant-sized, and then whale-sized. The fish are swimming up the river, jumping out of the water like house-sized dolphins. House-sized CGI dolphins.
The battleship shows up at the mouth of the stream prepared to shoot random shots into the water, but sadly, the cell phone Fitch is using dies when he’s trying to send the “fire” signal to the ship. Tiffany suggests he suck on the battery since his saliva will give the battery 10% extra juice. Really? Is this true? Did I accidentally learn something from this movie?
The house-sized CGI piranhas attack the destroyer and take it down. It tips upright and sinks like the Titanic, while people are jumping off the ship (into the piranha-filled water). This involves some of the most painful CGI I’ve seen in a long time.
The piranha head to Florida and keep growing. Along the way, they’re eating helicopters as snacks. Best quote from the movie: “Screw science. You guys should be working for NASCAR,” after the pilots give a turbo boost to the helicopter Fitch is riding in. Then, the Navy Seals send in divers to shoot underwater guns into the piranha’s gills—to no effect. To REALLY take care of things once and for all, the president has authorized a nuclear assault on the Gulf of Mexico the size of which has never been seen, but Fitch keeps on working his own one-man army plan. I’d say it gets interesting after that, but it really doesn’t.
The special effects in this movie are terrible. Sadly, even more terrible than one might expect. There are all kinds of piranha jumping out of the water a hundred feet through the air and attacking people’s throats. I’m not saying that couldn’t happen, I’m just saying it DOESN’T happen. The acting in the movie doesn’t help things either. It’s sub-community-theater-grade script-work and delivery. Finally, be grateful Tiffany didn’t sing some song—I totally expected that to happen. This one could, however work for a bad movie night. Maybe.
(2 out of 5 fus)