Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3D is not a great film. It's ridiculous, obnoxious and sophomoric, filled with unlikable characters and some genuinely off-putting gore effects. But as anyone who's seen Aja's gleefully trashy 2010 film can attest, it's these very qualities that also make Piranha 3D so eminently watchable. It's a movie you won't feel very proud about having watched, but you'll have a damn good time doing it. Think: Wild Things.
The two have a lot in common, come to think of it. Both feature a sprawling cast of shady characters, some of which are played by actors one normally wouldn't associate with this sort of sleaze (whereas Wild Things had Bill Murray, Piranha 3D has Elisabeth Shue). Both films take place on or near the water. Both play to an audience's most prurient interests, inviting viewers to ogle a lot - and I mean a lot - of naked, sweaty flesh. And, most notably, both films may be best remembered for their dong shots. In Wild Things, it was Kevin Bacon stepping out of a shower. In Piranha 3D, it's mutant piranha eating Jerry O'Connell's severed dick.
If I remember correctly, Piranha 3D's big dick moment (no pun intended) arrives about two-thirds of the way through the film. O'Connell, playing a barely fictionalized version of Girls Gone Wild mastermind Joe Francis, crashes his yacht into a pile of rocks while cruising around Lake Havasu. The crash causes O'Connell to be thrown from his boat, where he is promptly set upon by several of the film's titular, oversized fish. They devour his bottom half as he frantically climbs back aboard the yacht, and when he finally makes it on-deck we see that basically everything below his waist has been gnawed down to nothing.
"They ate my penis!" O'Connell cries in despair. Then this happens:
That scene tells you everything you need to know about Piranha 3D. If you read/watched that and immediately clutched for your pearls, well, this isn't the film for you. This is a film for people who might cheer upon seeing the guy from Sliders get his dick gobbled by dodgily animated fish. This is a film for people interested in seeing Eli Roth host a raunchy wet T-shirt contest, a film for those who might swoon upon seeing Parks and Recreation's Adam Scott firing a shotgun while riding a jet ski (ahem, Meredith). This is a film for people who like a little trash in their diet. A film for Wild Things fans.
Interesting side note: I've never seen the film's direct-to-DVD sequel, Piranha 3DD (tee-hee!), but I understand that it ups the ante in the "dude getting his cock eaten by piranhas" department. Might I suggest another DTV sequel? We'll call it Piranha: Tha D, and it'll be nothing but wall-to-wall scenes of dudebros getting their wangs bitten off by prehistoric, carnivorous fish. Kevin Smith can direct, Johnny Depp can voice all of the dongs (he'll go uncredited, but you'll know it's him because all the dicks will be wearing tiny, whimsical hats). Trust me, it'll make hundreds.