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Piranha 3D is a remake of the original Joe Dante B-movie, directed by Alexandre Aja.

Set at Lake Victoria, a minor earthquake opens up a chasm that connects the lake to a larger subterranean one. The local sheriff (Elizabeth Shue) escorts a trio of scientists (Adam Scott, Ricardo Chavira, and Dina Meyer) to explore the underwater cave, while her chief deputy (Ving Rhames) is left to oversee the chaos of Spring Break. However, thousands of prehistoric piranha that have outlived their species' extinction by millions of years are now able to escape to the surface, eating two of the scientists, and then making their way towards the town's very active beach.

Also filling out the adult cast are Jerry O'Connell (a Girls Gone Wild-esque producer/director), Christopher Lloyd (a marine biologist), Kelly Brook as a porn star, and Richard Dreyfus ( a local fisherman who is the first to get eaten ). As increulous as it may seem, the film actually got mostly positive reviews, for being realistically scary, but also knowing when to indulge in it's B-Movie roots. One year later, a sequel was announced. At the 2011 Spike TV Scream Awards, the trailer for Piranha 3DD premiered. Lloyd, Rhames, and Paul Scheer (O'Connell's cameraman) will reprise their roles. Danielle Panabaker will play the lead.

The 2010 3D film provides examples of:

  • Action Mom: The sheriff. She shows no hesitation to go help her kids when they're in danger.
  • Actor Allusion: Richard Dreyfus appears in a film about an aquatic threat, plays a character called Matt and sings along to "Show Me The Way To Go Home". The credits make it clear that he is playing a different character though, with the surname Boyd rather than Hooper.
  • Asshole Victim: The spring-break jerks. Every. One. Of. Them.
    • Jerry O'Connell's character deserves special mention, though.
  • Attack of the Killer Whatever
  • Attack of the Town Festival: Actually spring break, but close enough.
  • Badass: Ving Rhames as Deputy Fallon
  • B-Movie
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Ramps this up to ridiculous levels, and it's obviously intentional.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Some of the deaths, such as the Diagonal Cut scene and the girl who, while being carried to shore by two guys, turns out to be more injured than they thought, as the one holding her legs accidentally rips the bottom half of her torso off.
  • Cassandra Truth: The police warn the partygoers to get out of the water, but nobody listens until the blood starts spilling.
  • Celebrity Survivor: Porn stars and a sleazy Joe Francis clone are among the red shirts.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The propane tanks
  • Conspicuous CGI: Joe Dante's advice to Alexandra Aja, the director of the 2010 version, was "even if you're doing the fish in CGI, use puppets". It's very easy to tell which piranha is CG and which fish is a physical prop.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Lots and lots of this, including non-piranha caused deaths: a girl gets sliced in half by a high tension wire and watches her bikini top fall off before the rest of her upper torso follows suit. Another girl's hair gets tangled in the propellers of a speedboat, ripping off her scalp and face. The host of a Wet T-shirt contest is decapitated. In more piranha-related news, a piranha eats a woman from the inside out, emerging from her mouth. Two piranhas fight over the severed penis of a pornographer.
    • The piranhas didn't like it.
  • Dead Star Walking: Richard Dreyfuss.
  • Death by Sex: promiscuous spring-breakers, a pornographer, and wet t-shirt contest host (played by Eli Roth) are on the receiving end of the piranhas' teeth.
  • Diabolus Ex Machina: Although the ending wasn't really candy and rainbows, it was revealed that the piranhas throughout the movie were actually babies, and an adult piranha eats one of the protagonists.
  • Distracted by the Sexy
  • Distressed Damsel: Kelly.
  • Fan Disservice: Many very beautiful people are killed in ways that combine sex and gory violence. For example, the girl who gets sliced in half by a high-tension wire as mentioned earlier: first the bikini top falls off, exposing her breasts... then the rest of her upper torso follows suit.
    • Jerry O'Connell's severed penis. That is all.
  • Fan Service: Lots, particularly the underwater nude ballet between Kelly Brooke and Riley Steele. Yum.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The plot revolves around a Wild Wild Girls production/event, an obvious parody of Girls Gone Wild.
  • Flying Seafood Special
  • Gorn
  • Hazardous Water
  • Heroic Sacrifice: See Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Spring Break.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: A porn actress rather than a hooker, but Kelly Brook's character is otherwise this to a tee. She quickly becomes a sort of surrogate Cool Big Sis to the teenage hero, tries to get him to kiss the girl he has a crush on and is the only character to show grief when the Jerkass porn producer dies. Not that any of this stops her becoming fish food of course.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Lots of nudity, including the aforementioned nude ballet.
  • Improvised Weapon: Ving Rhames' character runs out of ammo, so he takes the motor off of a boat and uses it to chop piranhas up like a blender.
  • Infant Immortality: Curiously played straight, unlike the original.
  • Large Ham: Christopher Lloyd, of course. Jerry O'Connell also gets really into his role, to hilarious effect.
  • Made of Plasticine: Some of the results of the attacks look like this, particularly the girl who's accidentally pulled in half while being carried to shore.
  • Mood Whiplash: Goes from goofy 'teens on a porn set' scene, to standard horror movie stuff that could still pass for goofy/comedic, to a several-minute scene of unusually realistic gore. This troper was unnerved not by the gore, but by the sudden shift in tone.
    • Especially the aftermath of the lake massacre where the survivors are being pulled out of the river.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Averted. Jerry O'Connell said that his character was explicitly based on Girls Gone Wild found Joe Francis, and insisted on giving him the goriest death in the movie.
  • Nude Nature Dance: The underwater ballet scene.
  • Oh Crap: They're the babies.
  • Piranha Problem
  • Refuge in Audacity: Good lord.
  • Smug Snake: Not really a villain, but audiences just love to hate Derrick Jones' manic douchiness.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Almost everybody.
  • Third Is 3D: The marketing title Piranha 3D is somewhat confusing, making it look like the film might be a second sequel rather than another reworking.
    • It is the second remake, making it technically the third Piranha, just not a sequel to Piranha 2.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: An annoying example. That scene in the trailers where a giant piranha leaps out of the water, and snatches a character off the boat? That's the ending.
  • Underwater Kiss: It's an underwater nude ballet, as mentioned several times above.
  • What Could Have Been: The Bluray reveals two abandoned sequences storyboarded that are even more over the top than some of the Piranha attack sequences in the movie.
    • One of the sequences was filmed for the sequel.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Cameraman Andrew vanishes without trace three quarters of the way through the movie. It can be safely assumed he was eaten by piranha but it's weird we never see his fate considering all the other victims on the same boat get very graphic and obvious deaths.
    • Word of God says he was to fall off the boat and swim towards shore only to have his nose bitten off by a piranha. The scene apparently ended up being cut due to being a special effects headache and all that remains in the finished film is a *very* brief shot of Andrew falling overboard when the boat hits the rocks.
    • Seemingly the above was retconned as Andrew subsequently turns up alive and well (complete with intact nose) in Piranha 3DD. His disappearance (and survival) in the first film remain unexplained.
  • You Fail Geology Forever: The fish are released after a tectonic plate shift exposes their breeding ground to the rest of Lake Victoria. Dubious at best.
  • You Fail Biology Forever: A lot of the gore is exaggerated for the sake of, well, exaggeration. Also, piranha, even prehistoric piranha, probably wouldn't have behaved or looked as vicious. In fact, normal piranha look a lot like normal fish when their mouths are closed.
    • They've spent millions of years in an isolated cave with nothing to eat but each other. That most likely affected their evolution making them extremely more aggressive and efficient killers. Now, the realistic science of a self-contained environment centered on cannibalism is another thing entirely. But hey, Rule of Cool.
      • Considering how scary a lot of prehistoric fish looked (Dunkleosteus as a good example, and the various prehistoric sharks like Helicoprion), prehistoric piranhas may have looked rather fearsome... if piranha weren't a more recently-evolved line of fish.
      • Although the prehistoric aspect is pure fail, the effects of food scarcity on piranha is based on what happens to populations of piranha trapped in isolated lakes during the dry season. These piranha trapped in impoverished environments devour everything in the lake, then begin to attack each other at the slightest sign of weakness. Even large animals like humans that the fish would not dare attack become fair game as they starve. This is the source of the legends of "killer" piranha. [1]
    • In such a cave, completely cut off from the surface, how exactly did the fish get access to oxygen?
      • An underwater aquifer could supply an ongoing source of fresh oxygenated water.

The sequel Piranha 3DD contains examples of:

  • Adam Westing: David Hasselhoff as a jaded, womanizing Jerkass version of himself.
  • As Himself: Guess who.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Averted. While the film has quite a bit of blood and gore, it is nowhere near as violent as the first.
  • Cassandra Truth: Chet refuses to believe his step-daughter Maddy about the piranha, at least as far as them getting into the park. He does at least know they're real.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Chet.
  • Death by Sex: Ashley and Travis.
  • Denser and Wackier: The sequel is much more comical compared to the first.
  • Dirty Cop: Kyle, who receives bribes from Chet to look the other way regarding the illegal activities and safety code violations at his park. He later shows himself to be a Dirty Coward as well.
  • Double Entendre: The very name of the film. 3DD?
  • Eye Scream: Kyle gets impaled through his eye by Barry's trident used for picking up trash.
  • Final Girl: Maddy.
  • Foreshadowing: "It's not like the fish are going to follow them home."
  • Hotter and Sexier: The T&A is greatly ramped up compared to the original. In-universe, this also applies to the water park after Chet's renovations, with reduced admission costs for hot women, pole-dancing female lifeguards, and an "adult pool" which has an underwater video camera hooked up to a giant screen (for better viewing of the bottom-less ladies) and guests permitted to skinny-dip and even have sex in the water. Maddy is not amused by any of this.

 Maddy: Please tell me you didn't just fire our old lifeguards and replace them with strippers!

Chet: Water-certified strippers.

  • Infant Immortality: Averted...quite brutally.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Deputy Fallon is still alive, and still as Badass as ever. Not only is this a spoiler for the first film (where he supposedly died), it's one of the main money shots in the trailer.
  • Made of Plasticine: Like in the first film. Particularly notable is Chet's death. He gets his head cut clean off by a flag string while driving a golf cart. It'd have be monomolecular wire to have that kind of cutting power at such speeds. A land-walking piranha also bites a boy's head clean off, despite the size difference between it and the head in question.
  • The Reveal: The piranha can now walk on land.
  • The Social Darwinist: David Hasselhoff displays these tendencies in his refusal to help those in the water.
  • The Stinger: David Hasselhoff as... Fishhunter!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lampshaded by the Hoff when he sees the people getting eaten by piranha. If they'd just get out of the pool, they wouldn't be facing this problem.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Deputy Fallon, who presumably died making a Heroic Sacrifice, is at the grand opening of the water park in a wheelchair. However, once the piranha show up...
    • Disability Superpower, Handicapped Badass: His titanium prosthetic legs are immune to piranha bites, allowing him to wade into the water and rescue people. He also attaches sawed-off shotguns to said legs.
  • Vagina Dentata: A baby piranha swims into Shelby's vagina while she and Josh are skinny-dipping. The next day, when the two go to have sex...
  • You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You?: Inverted; it's Shelby who doesn't want to die a virgin. If only she had better timing.