The flying, exploding fish are coming! “Mega Piranha”

May 25, 2010

So, Mega Piranha…well, I guess it was inevitable. Apparently the giant-deadly-creature movie is a well SyFy can’t go to too many times. And really, how else do you follow up an act like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus? You follow it up with piranha the size of F-14 Tomcats launching themselves into seaside resorts and then exploding. Yes, you read that right. There are giant piranha. They fly (well, glide..well, launch). They eat real estate (amongst other things). And inexplicably they explode on impact. These last two features are really sort of a treat. I mean, in a movie called Mega Piranha you expect the piranha to be mega, but you don’t expect them to have the same properties as a Katyusha rocket.  Score!

Mega Piranha begins with the US Ambassador to Venezuela engaging in some high-level diplomatic maneuvering. And by that I mean cruising the Orinoco River on a yacht jammed full of champagne and topless Latina babes. In the parlance of diplomacy, this is known as a “representational event.” Anyway, they’re having fun—I mean, there are topless brown chicks and booze and a boat, why wouldn’t you have fun?—until the mega piranha attack. They’re not really mega yet, but they sure are mean and aggressive, and they manage to bite the boat enough that it sinks. Because I guess it was made out of cookie dough or something.

Well, DC naturally freaks out and sends out Broad Slabchest—er, Jason Fitch (Jason Logan)—a Special Forces dude to investigate the Ambassador’s death (his DC contact literally tells him, “We need you at the Orinoco River ASAP!” Okay, Magellan, any particular spot along its 1300 mile-length I should be?) He gets to Venezuela and is immediately accosted by Dr. Sarah Monroe (Tiffany…yeah, the one that used to sing in shopping malls) who barfs exposition all over him about how her team was researching making larger, hardier fish to combat hunger. Well, somehow they did that to piranha and now they’re facing Mega Piranha! Okay, so much for the slow reveal.

He also meets his Venezuelan contact Colonel Antonio Diaz who wastes no time establishing his douchebag credentials. Diaz shouts a lot, railing against the US and accuses the mega piranha-breeding scientists of being dangerous profiteers (well, he’s probably right on at least one of those counts…) He also stonewalls Fitch’s investigation. So Fitch goes alone to the site of the ill-fated S.S. Jiggleplex, where he is–not surprisingly when you think about it—attacked by mega piranha. Fitch manages to escape by killing one with his knife, causing the rest to swarm upon it in a feeding frenzy (pay attention, this is important later.) Fitch grabs a dead one and brings it back to Diaz (resulting in the movie’s best line deliver of “What the hell is this?” which may or may not have been scripted). He also calls DC and reports in. Lemme say this, Logan isn’t a great actor—he’s not even a good one—but no one can possibly be paid enough to deliver a line like: “Sir! It wasn’t terrorists! It was giant piranha!”

Fitch brings the fish back to Tiffany and Co. where they discover that the piranha are not only ridonkulously huge (about the size of a tuna at this point), but also growing exponentially. They figure the best way to deal with them is to dam up the river and drown them (huh?) Unfortunately, Diaz has other ideas and launches an air strike against them. Yep, an air strike. Now I wouldn’t have thought that the best way to kill a school of killer piranha is by going all Apocalypse Now on their fishy asses, but what do I know? Am I a Venezuelan Colonel?  Diaz has an impressive number of Black Hawk helicopters at his disposal (I wouldn’t have thought Venezuela would be real high on our list of potential clients for military hardware, but that’s just me)  and dumps a lot of ordinance into the river.

So, Diaz figures he has won the day and goes into full jackwad mode and storms the research facility. Fitch rescues…um, what was her name? Fuck it, Tiffany. He rescues Tiffany, but soon they realize that the piranhas have not only survived, but are mutating into the size of dolphins. So, while trying to evade Diaz’s troops, they lure into firing range of a US Destroyer (no, really). The Destroyer (captained by a dude who appears to be the only 1950s greaser ever to command a ship of the line) promptly opens fire and…well, how do you think this one shook out?

So, now Fitch and Tiffany grab a helo to the Destroyer, only to watch as the Destroyer is attacked and sunk by piranhas the size of semis (you know, between this and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, I gotta say our Navy is woefully unequipped to fight off giant marine life. I blame Rumsfeld.) Well, they chopper to a secret bunker-y type thing on the coast of Florida just in time to watch as the Secretary of State orders a nuclear strike on the piranhas. Seriously. A fucking nuclear strike. Against fish.

Well, that kills a couple of the piranhas but the rest are just shake it off (my high school gym teacher would be so proud). Then comes the money shot, the show-stopper; the big climax: the massive piranhas attack the Florida coastline. Yup, they leap out of the water into high-rise condos and resorts and explode. I don’t know why they explode. The movie doesn’t explain, and, quite frankly, there’s really no explanation they could throw out there that’d be even remotely believably anyway, so…

Fitch takes a team of divers against the piranhas in a last ditch-effort to kill them. Their plan? To kill a couple of them and cause a massive feeding frenzy in which they wipe themselves out (you know, maybe this option should have been moved up a few notches before the whole “let’s-nuke-shit” one. Just a suggestion).

So the divers go out and pretty much all get eaten, but then Diaz shows up, because he apparently has a super-dooper Black Hawk that has enough fuel to fly from Venezuela to Florida, and so Fitch fights him and the piranhas and then feeds him to the piranhas, and then causes the massive feeding frenzy that wipes them all out. Fin (no pun intended).

Geez, I’m tired. What a bad movie. I mean, this makes Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus look like Master and fucking Commander. I mean, sweet crap, did you read any of the past 1000 words? On top of that, the effects are so beyond bad it’s inconceivable that anyone at Syfy who’d seen this in its final form could look up from the pile of cocaine on their desk and say, “Uh, yeah…broadcast it this Saturday.” Jesus fuck, there are fan-made Star Trek movies on YouTube with better special effects than this.

Okay, and Tiffany, it has to be said (and I take no pleasure in saying is) is an atrocious actress. And she’s so not hot, she makes Debbie (sorry, Deborah) Gibson look like freaking Holly Weber.  I’m sorry. It makes me feel old, too, but Tiffany now looks like someone’s mom. Someone who lives in a trailer park. Let’s just pause a moment and mourn the death of adolescence:

(Ugh. That was worse than I remember. Okay, maybe adolescence is better off dead. And buried. And eaten by microbes, and…)

So, at the end of the day, is there anything to recommend about this movie? Ah…mmm…nope. No. Nothing. So, any bets on what Syfy’s next giant attacking marine-life movie will be? Ultra-Manta Ray? Super-Jellyfish? Hella-Sea Urchin? Big-Honkin Coral Reef…

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