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Popcorn Fall

Popcorn Pictures

Reviewing the best (and worst) of horror, sci-fi and fantasy since 2000

  • Andrew Smith

Mega Piranha (2009)

"They were created to save mankind. Something went wrong."


A mutant strain of giant piranha escape into the Amazon and head down river, eating everything in their path on their way towards Florida.


It's hard to review a film such as Mega Piranha. I mean come on, just look at what I'm up against here. Look at the photo above for a start! On one hand the film does it's job well in that it's ridiculously over-the-top, uber-cheesy, makes no sense whatsoever and just bombards the viewer with anything and everything in the hope that something sticks. On the other hand, it's ridiculously over-the-top, uber-cheesy, makes no sense whatsoever and just bombards the viewer with anything and everything in the hope that something sticks. It's a no win scenario for some, a winner takes all scenario for others. Mega Piranha follows hot in the heels of other such 'Mega' monster films and could well be the worst of the lot.....although that's like saying you'd rather die by electric chair than lethal injection.

Coincidentally made at the same time as Piranha 3-D, the Asylum deliver another of their truly atrocious ‘mockbusters’ slap bang with all of the usual nonsense and hokem. Don’t worry about the story. Or script. Logic? That doesn’t exist. Physics – yeah whatever. They’re all inconsequential as these films are on a completely different playing field. Not even daft drinking games can make these films enjoyable. I read it somewhere else that Mega Piranha can best be described as a 'hyperactive' film and that is true. As I sat down to watch it, I knew I was in for a wild ride. But even I wasn't prepared for the sheer audacity, the unapologetic absurdity, and the unadulterated chaos that unfolded on screen. It's a film that's so bad, it's terrible – a cinematic car crash of epic proportions.

There's not a moment's let up in anything and Mega Piranha has been edited to the point of nausea. There's no suspense building, slow build-up or gradual picking up of the pace - everything is light speed from the opening scene. Scenes are not dragged out for any more than basic necessity. Characters shout and rush their way through expository dialogue in order to move onto the next scene as quickly as possible. Images of mutant piranha, explosions, helicopters and military guys running around like headless chickens are there one minute, gone the next. There’s no point in even trying to sit back and enjoy everything because you won’t get chance. It’s just rapid fire filmmaking at its most basic. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that epileptics have been banned from watching this - if you're not prone to fits before watching, you're sure to be afterwards - the adrenaline-fueled frenzy was too much of an assault on my senses to compute what was going on.

The effects for the piranhas are feeble but it was to be expected. Funnily enough, these piranha don't have wings to fly (Piranha 2: The Spawning, I'm looking at you) but that doesn't stop them from gracing the air like eagles, soaring through the sky and then slamming down into their victims on dry land (which then begs the question of how they manage to return to the water). As the film goes on, the fish get bigger and bigger due to the incomprehensive science mumbo jumbo so that by the time the film nears its conclusion, there are piranha leaping into the side of buildings and taking down battleships. It has to be seen to be believed. Like the case with the majority of these cheap and cheerful monster flicks, the story spends most of its time with the human villains, this time a Venezuelan general and his army of guerrillas. As I always state in these type of film, human villains simply take up unnecessary screen time. If I want to see commandos and South American mercenaries fighting each other, I’d watch an 80s action fest. It turns out that I came here to see mega piranha fish and I’m being denied that chance.

Paul Logan is the muscle-bound hero of the piece and he must have strained his vocal cords when he was bench pressing in the gym because he sounds terrible. It’s like he’s trying to channel the spirit of Arnie but without any sort of charisma and less of the muscles (though the guy is still stacked). 80s pop singer Tiffany stars as the token female scientist and its hard trying to picture her as some sort of intellectual when she spends more time positioning her silicon-enhanced chest towards the camera. Truth be told, in such films like this, the low quality of acting talent is hardly the worst crime committed given what else is on display. A mute would have as much trouble with the script.


Final Verdict

Mega Piranha is a terrible film but trying to tear it apart is an impossible task since it's this very nature that the film embraces. It’s just ninety minutes of pure insanity, full of examples of bad filmmaking at its most explicit and does it care? It wears this like a badge of honour on its sleeve. It's a film that's almost impossible to review seriously.


Mega Piranha

Director(s): Eric Forsberg, Stuart Gillard

Writer(s): Eric Forsberg, Stuart Gillard, Jessica Scott

Actor(s): Paul Logan, Tiffany, Barry Williams, David Labiosa, Jude Gerard Prest, Jesse Daly, Cooper Harris, William Morse

Duration: 92 mins


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