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Mega Piranha(TV) (2010)
A mutant strain of giant ferocious piranha escape from the Amazon and eat their way toward Florida.
For more about Mega Piranha and the Mega Piranha Blu-ray release, see Mega Piranha Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 28, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Paul Logan (I), Tiffany, Barry Williams, David Labiosa, Jude Gerard Prest, Jesse Daly
Director: Eric Forsberg
» See full cast & crew
Mega Piranha Blu-ray Review
One of the all-time greats of the "unintentionally hilarious" bad movies.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 28, 2011
This just got real.
The Asylum -- the studio known for making cheap knockoffs of blockbuster films -- generally churns out just plain old bad movies, but sometimes they get it right, creating a movie that's so terrible it's actually really good, so awful it's laugh-out-loud funny, so miserable it's actually a worthy companion to the real deal. Mega Piranha may very well be the studio's crowning achievement; it walks the line between a serious tone and total goofiness so well that it's hard not to love it on some awkward, almost perverse level. Yes, it has everything all of the other Asylum movies are built on -- awful special effects, laughable acting, a nonsensical plot, and inconsistencies galore -- but this particular movie is so bad and takes itself just seriously enough that the end result is something almost magical, a movie that's incredibly funny only because of how awful it really is. Whereas most of the studio's other pictures are simply downright boring in a shotgun-to-the-head-would-be-a-better-fate-than-this sort of way, Mega Piranha is the ultimate party movie, one that's guaranteed to be the life thereof.
Thousands of mutant Piranha are on the loose in Venezuela's Orinoco River. When a U.S. Ambassador is killed by the fish, the government suspects terrorism. Tensions between the nations are on the rise, and war seems imminent. A State Department operative, Jason Fitch (Paul Logan, 200 M.P.H.), is sent to investigate. Upon his arrival, he's confronted by an American scientist named Sarah Monroe (Tiffany, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid) who is insistent that the attacks were caused by genetically mutated Piranhas. All evidence points in that direction, and Fitch soon witnesses the beasts firsthand. He and Monroe have only hours before the Piranha further mutate into larger, more powerful creatures and reach the Florida coastline. The duo's efforts, however, are hindered by a power-hungry Venezuelan Colonel, Antonio Diaz (David Labiosa), who takes it upon himself to stop Fitch and Monroe at all costs.
Mega Piranha manages to get more and more ridiculous with every passing moment; this is a movie that thrives on stupidity both in front of and behind the camera. The film takes liberties with everything from basic physics to common sense all in the name of dumbing itself up to make everything the script calls for work. There's such a thing as "suspension of disbelief" and then there's Mega Piranha. The film seems hellbent on blowing off science and any semblance of realism -- the storyline requires that -- but watching Piranha jump in and out of water in-sync with one another like they were a school of dolphins is really pushing it. Then there's the Piranha that leap from the water and manage to fly like guided missiles into hardened land-based tagets, each and every one exploding on impact; who knew these Piranha had built-in warheads? Of course, all of this is in conjunction with laughably bad special effects; whether the flying Piranha or attack helicopters that would look out of place on a cheap cartoon, the film only reinforces its awfulness through the use of epically bad computer effects. Take a look at how the effects "artists" simply paint water blood red when someone's being eaten (oh, by the way, the movie isn't gory at all, but there is a little bit of language and a few bare-chested girls; it's nothing like the onslaught of sex and violence seen in the recent Piranha 3D remake) or how awkwardly dead Piranha "float" on the water; is the movie trying to sabotage itself, or is this really an incredibly smart picture made to appear this bad, knowing that the campiness of it all would really make it a pretty darn entertaining movie? Only the crew know for sure, but chances are they just got lucky that this one reaches a level of awful so epic that it can only be good.
Of course, it wouldn't be an Asylum movie if all it did wrong was bad special effects and if all it lacked was common sense. Nope, this one is the whole package, a complete experience of all things terrible that unravels into the darkest depths of awful with every syllable uttered by a collection of actors who turn in miserable performances that actually give the movie charm and serve only to reinforce its epic campiness. The Asylum veteran Paul Logan might work out every day, but one would think he'd never before bothered to train for a role in a movie. Logan makes John Cena look like Marlon Brando; his lines are delivered with some kind of odd texture that's at once both serious and monotone. Logan seems like he's trying hard to play the part with urgency while at the same time reading his lines for the first time off of note cards situated just off-camera. His physical performance isn't much better, either. Watch for a scene where he sneaks around a military compound; it's high comedy and easily one of the highlights of the film, and maybe the best moment not involving Piranhas. Former pop star Tiffany takes on the Denise Richards "unbelievable scientist" role; while on the subject of comparisons, Tiffany makes Richards look like Meryl Streep. Enough said in that department. Maybe worst of all, Mega Piranha just screams "lazy" when considered from a purely technical perspective. The special effects fiasco is a given, but the film also recycles shots several times, features truly awful editing, and quality of direction seems like an afterthought. No matter, anything good that comes out of a movie like this is a bonus; all of the negatives are expected, and that Mega Piranha manages to make itself into high camp -- intentionally or not -- is a plus that almost outweighs all of the film's many painful negatives.
Mega Piranha Blu-ray, Video Quality
Mega Piranha's 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not perfect, either. These Asylum titles generally look fairly good on Blu-ray, given, of course, the low-budget nature of the movies and all that, and Mega Piranha is no exception. Despite some heavy underwater banding, a touch of blockiness, and a few fuzzy/noisy shots, the transfer holds its own in most instances, offering up a stable and occasionally lively color palette that does often favor what appears to be a deliberately vomit-colored green/yellow tinting. Skin tones retain a neutral shading, but black crush is often evident in darker scenes. Fine detail is more than adequate, the transfer seemingly showing no qualms about revealing the intricacies of clothing and facial textures. The HD-video image can look a bit flat at times, but on the whole it is generally sharp and crisp. It's a step up from HD cable or satellite broadcasts; it won't knock anyone's socks off, but it's a fine transfer given the quality of the movie and the price point of the disc.
Mega Piranha Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Mega Piranha may feature a lossless soundtrack, but this DTS-HD MA 2.0 presentation is no great shakes. Dialogue randomly drops down to barely audible levels even at reference volume, but it never falls completely out, so that's something. Music is absent that supreme definition of better lossless tracks, likely due here to the innate limitations of the source. There's a cheap feel to it, playing as if there are certain elements flat-out missing from the source, not to mention the resultant lack of energy that manages to drag the movie down during what should be some of the more engaging action sequences. It's not like the music is the only factor bringing the movie down, though. Still, the track is something of a disappointment; the movie could have used something a bit more energetic, but as it is, it's a bland, uninspired listen.
Mega Piranha Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
No supplements available.
Mega Piranha Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Mega Piranha is the pinnacle of Asylum movies; that doesn't say much for the studio, and it doesn't say much for the movie for that matter. Mega Piranha is a disaster of a movie that fails in every category but one: sheer entertainment. It's good for plenty of laughs -- as unintentional as they may very well be -- but if a movie like this is designed to entertain, then this one can be labeled as nothing but a major success, whether the way it actually manages to entertain was the intended goal or not. Echo Bridge's Blu-ray release of Mega Piranha contains no extras, but the technical presentations are of a serviceable quality. What the heck, Mega Piranha comes enthusiastically recommended.
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