Horror Hysteria: “Piranha 3D”

"I'm sorry,  IMDB are still listing this on your filmography..."
“I’m sorry, IMDB are still listing this on your filmography…”

Alexandre Aja’s 2010 remake of the Joe Dante fishspoitation classic, “Piranha” is a wretched piece of crap.

“Piranha 3D” has but one concern –  the dismemberment of young, topless girls.  To say that this is crass and sickening  is almost too obvious, but the sheer, weapons-grade misogyny on display in Aja’s movie beggars belief.  I don’t know if I was more surprised by the film’s craven delight in finding ways to kill the female supporting cast or by the presence in it of actors like Elizabeth Shue and Christopher Lloyd.   I know times are tough, but you would like to think that Academy Award nominees could find a better use of their time than this rancid horror flick.

The film’s underlying ideas are as ugly as the technical side of it.  There’s scarcely a female role in the film which doesn’t call for the actress to go topless or to be bloodily devoured whilst topless – If you’re not a mother or pre-teen girl in the film, then you’re a drunk, bikini-clad spring break slut or potential slut who deserves to be killed because that’s just so edgy.  As a recruitment advert for feminist activism, “Piranha 3D” has few equals.

The previously alluded-to technical issues with the movie make it mostly unwatchable – as a 2D presentation, the film looks shoddy and absurdly cheap, with the 3D effects having no impact and the computer generated images looking like late 90s video game cut scenes.  The killer fish themselves are dreadful, utterly unconvincing things and the major shoreline massacre sequence only works  because the practical make-up work is  half-decent.

There’s no point in belabouring the point – this is an appalling, witless, pointless film.  Avoid it as you would do with a particularly virulent infection.

 

Putin’s New Noise

Pussy Riot – Russian Art Punk Superheroines.

Clearly, I’ve not kept abreast of world news – if I had, the treatment of Russian art-punk collective Pussy Riot by Darth Putin would have moved me to write this post previously.  Your usually scheduled daily helping of power metal, Christopher Nolan worship and complaints about video game storytelling will be along anon.

Anyone reading the Guardian‘s story on the issue – feminist art punk band play impromptu performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ The Saviour and things go south rapidly – with a long enough memory may recall the Riot Grrl movement of the early nineties, where similarly politicised indie kids used all kinds of situationist techniques to underscore their musical rage but didn’t face the prospect of seven years in jail, as far as I recall.

How things change.  Or don’t.

I don’t suppose I should feel any surprise that Vladimir Putin‘s zero tolerance response to criticism of his dictatorship presidency is to round-up the geeky art students responsible and sling them in the clink, but the brazenness of his actions is sufficient to raise an eyebrow in the West, where our freedom to yell slogans and strum two chords is mostly protected and unlikely to get us into any serious trouble with the law.

Seriously? A trial with a potential jail sentence of seven years for playing a few songs in a church?  It’s fair to say that those of us who have reasonable freedom of speech, assembly and dissent in our countries don’t realise just how fortunate we are when we see people protesting on TV and being arrested (or worse) as a matter of course.

I’m going to try to follow this case for future reference – now that the celebrated Twitter Trial in the UK has been sensibly settled in favour of the daft bugger whose off-the-cuff tweet mobilised South Yorkshire police and the head of the DPP against him, it behoves us all to keep an eye on those in power who would seek to use the full weight of the law against any and all criticism of their decisions.

Never trust a politician, kids.