Piranha 3D

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Piranha 3d poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlexandre Aja
Produced byAlexandre Aja
Mark Canton
Marc Toberoff
Grégory Levasseur
Written byPete Goldfinger
Josh Stolberg
Based onPiranha
by John Sayles
StarringElisabeth Shue
Adam Scott
Jerry O'Connell
Ving Rhames
Jessica Szohr
Steven R. McQueen
Christopher Lloyd
Richard Dreyfuss
Music byMichael Wandmacher
CinematographyJohn R. Leonetti
Edited byBaxter
The Weinstein Company
Atmosphere Entertainment
Chako Film Company
Intellectual Properties Worldwide
Distributed byDimension Films
Release date
  • August 20, 2010 (2010-08-20)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$24 million
Box office$83.1 million[1]

Piranha 3D is a 2010 American 3D comedy horror film that serves as a loose remake of the comedy horror film Piranha (1978) and an entry in the Piranha film series. It was directed by Alexandre Aja and has an ensemble cast featuring Elisabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O'Connell, Ving Rhames, Steven R. McQueen, Jessica Szohr, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss, Dina Meyer, Kelly Brook, Riley Steele and Eli Roth. A sequel, Piranha 3DD, was released in 2012.

Piranha 3D received generally positive reviews, with film critics praising it as a fun and entertaining B-movie.


Fisherman Matt Boyd is fishing in Lake Victoria when a small earthquake hits, splitting the lake floor and causing a whirlpool. Boyd falls in, and is ripped apart by a school of piranhas that emerge from the chasm.

Jake Forester is admiring attractive tourists as spring break begins. He reunites with his old crush Kelly and meets her arrogant boyfriend, Todd Dupree, who soaks Jake with a slush drink. Jake then meets Derrick Jones, a sleazy pornographer as well as Danni, one of his actresses. Derrick convinces Jake to show him good spots on the lake for filming a pornographic movie. That night, Jake's mother, Sheriff Julie Forester, searches for the missing Matt Boyd with Deputy Fallon. They find his mutilated body and contemplate closing the lake. However, this decision is made difficult with thousands of partying college students on spring break, which is important for bringing revenue to the small town. The next morning, a lone cliff diver is attacked and consumed by the vicious, marauding piranhas.

Jake bribes his sister, Laura and brother, Zane to stay home alone so that he can show Derrick around the lake. After Jake leaves, Zane convinces Laura to go fishing on a small sandbar island. They forget to tie the boat down and are stranded in the middle of the lake. Meanwhile, Jake goes to meet with Derrick and runs into Kelly, who accepted Derrick's invitation on board his boat, 'The Barracuda'. Jake meets Derrick's other actress Crystal and his cameraman Andrew.

Julie takes a team of seismologist divers: Novak, Sam and Paula to the fissure. Novak speculates that the rift leads to a buried prehistoric lake. Paula and Sam scuba dive to the bottom and discover a big cavern filled with large piranha egg stocks. Both are killed by the piranhas before they can alert the others to their discovery. Novak and Julie find Paula's corpse and pull it onto the boat, capturing a lone piranha, which they take to Carl Goodman, a retired marine biologist who runs a pet store and aquarium shop. He explains that it's a highly aggressive prehistoric species known as Pygocentrus nattereri, or the Original Piranha, long believed to be extinct for over 2 million years and that the piranhas have survived through cannibalism. The species is able to vigorously devour its prey in seconds.

Julie, Novak, Fallon and Deputy Taylor Roberts try to evacuate the lake but their warnings are ignored, until the piranhas begin to fiercely attack the tourists. Novak boards a jet-ski with a shotgun to help while Fallon drags people to shore and Julie and Taylor try to get swimmers into the police boat. Almost everyone in the lake is either wounded, dismembered or killed by the piranhas, including Todd. The remaining tourists escape as the party spot rapidly turns into a bloodbath.

Meanwhile, Jake spots Laura and Zane on the island and forces Derrick to rescue them. Derrick crashes the boat into some rocks, flooding the boat's lower deck and causing the boat to begin sinking. Kelly is trapped in the kitchen while Derrick, Crystal and Andrew fall overboard from the impact of the collision. Andrew escapes to the shore alive, Crystal is eaten, while Danni manages to get a partially eaten Derrick back on board, where he eventually dies.

Deputy Fallon makes a last stand, taking a boat motor and using its propeller to shred many piranhas, though he is presumed to be killed by the piranhas. After the chaos settles,Julie receives a call from Jake pleading for help. She and Novak steal a speedboat and head off towards the kids. They reach Jake and attach a rope to his boat. Julie, Danni, Laura and Zane start crossing the rope but the piranhas latch onto Danni's hair, causing her to lose her grip on the rope and fall into the water, where she is quickly devoured. The others make it across safely but the rope comes loose. Using Derrick's corpse as a distraction, Jake ties the line to himself and goes to save Kelly. He ties her to him and lights a flare after releasing the gas from a pair of stored propane tanks. Novak starts the boat and speeds away just as the piranhas surround Kelly and Jake. They are dragged to safety as the propane tanks explode, destroying the boat and killing most of the piranhas.

Mr. Goodman calls Julie on the radio and Julie tells him that they seem to have killed the majority of the piranhas. A horrified Goodman tells her that the reproductive glands on the piranha they obtained were not mature, which means the fish they have killed were only the babies. As Novak wonders aloud where the mature ones are, a human-sized piranha leaps out of the water and eats him.


Richard Dreyfuss said that he accepted the role after Bob Weinstein persuaded him by offering him a larger salary, which Dreyfuss later donated to charity. Dreyfuss also stated that the ill-fated character he plays is a parody and a near-reincarnation of Matt Hooper, the character he portrayed in the film Jaws (1975), with whom his character shares the same first name.[2] Jaws later served as inspiration for the parody film entitled Piranha. The song the character in Piranha 3D listens to on the radio on his boat is "Show Me the Way to Go Home", which Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw sing together aboard Quint's boat the Orca in Jaws.

Eli Roth, Ashlynn Brooke, Bonnie Morgan, Genevieve Alexandra and Gianna Michaels appear as spring breakers who meet gruesome demises, while Franck Khalfoun and Jason Spisak portray deputies.


Chuck Russell was originally scheduled to direct the film, and made uncredited rewrites to the script by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, as well as incorporating the original John Sayles script that Joe Dante directed the first time around.[3] Alexandre Aja was selected to direct the film instead.[4]

Production on the film was scheduled to begin late 2008, but was delayed until March 2009.[5] In October 2008, Aja stated filming would begin in the spring. He further stated "It's such a difficult movie, not only because of the technicality of it and the CGI fish, but also because it all happens in a lake. We were supposed to start shooting now, but the longer to leave it the colder the water gets. The movie takes place during Spring Break and, of course, the studio wanted it ready for the summer, but if you've got 1,000 people who need to get murdered in the water, you have to wait for the right temperature for the water, for the weather, for everything."[6]

Shooting took place in June 2009 at Bridgewater Channel in Lake Havasu, located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The water was also dyed red for the shooting.[7]

Citing constraints with 3D camera rigs, Aja shot Piranha in 2D and converted to 3D in post production using a 3D conversion process developed by Michael Roderick and used by the company, Inner-D.[8] Unlike some other 3D converted films released in 2010, Piranha's conversion was not done as an afterthought, and it was one of the first post-conversion processes to be well received by critics.[9][10][11]


Piranha 3D's theatrical release date had been set for April 16, 2010, but was delayed.[12] The film was planned to premiere on August 27, 2010,[13][14] but in June 2010 was moved to August 20, 2010.[15] The film's first trailer debuted with Avatar. A second trailer was shown in prints of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Inception. It was set to have a panel on 24 July 2010 as part of the San Diego Comic-Con International but was cancelled after convention organizers decided the footage that was planned to be shown was not appropriate.[16] Nine minutes of footage, with some unfinished effects, were leaked onto websites. The clip used in promotional TV ads and the trailer that shows Jessica Szohr's character, Kelly, face to face with a pack of piranhas was not used in the movie, and was used for promotion only.

The official poster was released June 22, 2010.[17]

Box office[edit]

Piranha 3D grossed $10,106,872 in its first 3 days, opening at #6 in the United States box office.[18] In the United Kingdom, Piranha 3D opened at #4 at the box office, earning £1,487,119. As of May 16, 2011, Piranha 3D has made $83,188,165 worldwide.[19]


Piranha 3D received generally positive reviews. It holds a "Certified Fresh" approval rating of 74% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and an average score of 6.2/10, based on 126 reviews. The consensus reads "Playing exactly to expectations for a movie about killer fish run amok, Piranha 3-D dishes out gore, guffaws and gratuitous nudity with equal glee."[20] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received a score of 53, based on 20 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews".[21] A tongue-in-cheek scholarly review of the movie was written for the journal Copeia (Chakrabarty & Fink 2011), which reviewed the movie as if it were a documentary film.[22]

Empire gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Remember the film you hoped Snakes on a Plane would be – this is it! By any sane cinematic standards, meretricious trash ... but thrown at you with such good-humoured glee that it's hard to resist. It's a bumper-sticker of a movie: honk if you love tits and gore! Honk honk honk."[23] Christy Lemire, film critic for the Associated Press, said "Run, don't walk: Piranha 3D is hilariously, cleverly gory. Mere words cannot describe how awesomely gnarly Piranha 3D is, how hugely entertaining, and how urgently you must get yourself to the theatre to see it. Like, now."[24] HollywoodLife.com called the film "a campy masterpiece of a movie", adding "If you have an ounce of fun in your body, you will love this movie about killer piranhas that overtake a town of hotties – in 3D!"[25] Peter Hall of Cinematical.com said "The gore, the nudity, the language, the gags, the characters – it's all always on the rise. Just when you think things could not possibly get more ridiculous, that the film has peaked, Aja and screenwriters Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg manage to ram another syringe of adrenaline into its heart."[26] The Hollywood Reporter referred to the film as "a pitch-perfect, guilty-pleasure serving of late-summer schlock that handily nails the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the Roger Corman original" while stating "Jaws it ain't – Aja exhibits little patience for such stuff as dramatic tension and tautly coiled suspense, and there are some undeniable choppy bits...but he never loses sight of the potential fun factor laid out in Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg's script."[27] The Orlando Sentinel gave the film one and a half stars out of four, stating that "Piranha 3D goes for the jugular. And generally misses, but generally in an amusing way."[28]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D formats on Tuesday, January 11, 2011. The "3D" part of the title was taken off the 2D releases to prevent confusion of the two formats. The film was released in Australia on Thursday, December 30, 2010. The film was shown on British television on Channel 5 on February 10, 2013 for the first time, and in 2D format.


Piranha 3D: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedAugust 31, 2010 (2010-08-31)
LabelLakeshore Records LKS 341872
ProducerSkip Williamson (exec.), Brian McNelis (exec.)

Lakeshore Records released the soundtrack album of Piranha 3D which included mostly rap, dance, hip-hop and R&B music. Artists include Shwayze, Envy, Flatheads, Amanda Blank, Public Enemy, Dub Pistols, and Hadouken!.[29]

Track listing[edit]

1."Get U Home"Cisco Adler and Aaron SmithShwayze3:14
2."Shake Shake"Emmanuel Duncan and LeviticusEnvy feat. Leviticus3:25
3."Here She Comes"Geoff Siegel and Nik FrostFlatheads3:34
4."Make It Take It"Amanda McGrath, Alex Epton, Mario Andreoni, Santi White and Tyler PopeAmanda Blank2:27
5."Bring the Noise (Remix Pump-kin Edit)"Carlten Ridenhour, Eric Sadler and Hank ShockleePublic Enemy vs. Benny Benassi3:39
6."She Moves"Jason O'Bryan, Barry Ashworth and Ter K. LawrenceDub Pistols3:12
7."Flower Duet from Lakmé"Léo DelibesAdriana Kohutkova and Denisa Slepkovska6:37
8."Nadas Por Free"Willy "Wil-Dog" Abers, Ulises Bella, Raul Pacheco, Justin Porée, Asdru Sierra and Jiro YamaguchiOzomatli2:57
9."Come and Get It"Eli Paperboy Reed, Ryan Spraker and Michael MontgomeryEli Paperboy Reed3:33
10."Now You See It (Benny Benassi and DJ Shimik Extended Mix)"Armando C. Perez, Justin Roman, Vince Garcia, Tony Arazadon and Richard BaileyHonorebel feat. Pitbull and Jump Smokers3:25
11."M.A.D."James Smith, Alice Spooner, Daniel Rice, Nick Rice and Chris PurcellHadouken!3:25
12."I'm in the House"Steve Aoki, William Adams and Justin BatesSteve Aoki feat. Zuper Blahq3:24

Songs not included on the soundtrack[edit]


  • A&r [Director] – Eric Craig
  • Cello [Electric Cello], Guitar, Percussion, Programmed By – Michael Wandmacher
  • Composed By – Susie Benchasil Seiter
  • Conductor – Michael Wandmacher
  • Edited By [Music] – Joshua Winget
  • Executive Producer [Executive Producer For Lakeshore Records] – Brian McNelis, Skip Williamson
  • Mixed By – Mark Curry (3)
  • Orchestrated By – Chad Seiter, Michael Wandmacher, Susie Benchasil Seiter
  • Producer – Michael Wandmacher


Dimension Films announced a sequel shortly after the first film was released.[30] The film is Piranha 3DD and is directed by John Gulager with Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan writing. It was released on June 1, 2012. It stars Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Chris Zylka, Katrina Bowden and Gary Busey, with Ving Rhames, Paul Scheer and Christopher Lloyd reprising their roles from Piranha 3D.[31] Piranha 3DD is set at a waterpark where the piranhas find a way through the pipes.[32]

Following its release, it failed to generate the positive critical reaction of its predecessor and grossed only $8,493,728.[33]


  1. ^ "Piranha 3D (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-05-10.
  2. ^ "Richard Dreyfuss reveals why he made 'Piranha 3-D:' "to get money";– Film.com". Film.com. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  3. ^ Fleming, Michael (June 6, 2005). "Chiller chomps Piranha". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  4. ^ "Attack of the 'Piranha'! Massive Richard Dreyfus Scoop, Tons of Meaty Images!". Bloody Disgusting. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  5. ^ "Aja Doesn't Start Piranha Until '09". ShockTillYouDrop.com. September 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  6. ^ Utichi, Joe (October 10, 2008). "Exclusive: Alexandre Aja talks Mirrors and Piranha 3D". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2017-11-05.
  7. ^ "'Piranha 3D' Test Screened, Bloodiest Movie Ever?". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  8. ^ "Inner-D". Inner-D. 2010-08-20. Archived from the original on 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  9. ^ "Death Fish, Piranha 3D Movie Review". Critics Notebook. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  10. ^ "Piranha 3D Movie Reivew". Cinematical. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  11. ^ "Kevin Carr's Weekly Report Card: August 20, 2010". Film School Rejects. 2010-08-20. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  12. ^ "Weinsteins Push Piranha 3D Back At Least Four Months". Dread Central. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  13. ^ "Weinstein Co.'s 'Piranha 3-D' isn't going to be biting anyone for a while". LA Times. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  14. ^ "'Piranha 3D' Has its Ass Kicked Out of April". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  15. ^ "Piranha 3D Spawns a New Release Date". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  16. ^ "SD Comic-Con '10 Schedules Updated; Piranha 3D Panel Disappears!". Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  17. ^ "First Poster for Piranha 3D". thefilmstage.com. June 22, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
  18. ^ "North American Box Office Chart for August 20–22, 2010". the-numbers.com. September 16, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  19. ^ "Pirahna 3D". boxofficemojo
  20. ^ "Piranha 3D Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  21. ^ "Piranha 3-D (2010): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  22. ^ Chakrabarty, P., and Fink, W.L. (2011) [Review of] Piranha 3D. Copeia 2011 (1): 181 "Pirahna 3D". asihcopeiaonline.org
  23. ^ "Piranha 3D". Empireonline.com. 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  24. ^ "Piranha 3D review". LA Times. Archived from the original on August 25, 2010.
  25. ^ "Piranha 3D Review". Hollywood Life. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  26. ^ Hall, Peter (2010-08-20). "Piranha 3D Review". Cinematical.com. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  27. ^ Rechtshaffen, Michael. "Piranha 3D – Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  28. ^ Moore, Roger (August 20, 2010). "Movie Review: Piranha 3D". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  29. ^ "Music from Piranha". MusicfromFilm.com. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  30. ^ "Dimension Films Announces Piranha 3D Sequel – ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. August 22, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  31. ^ "Ving Rhames to Swim With the Fishes Again in Piranha 3DD?". DreadCentral.com. December 16, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
  32. ^ "'Piranha 3 Double D' Meat Eaters Swim Into a Waterpark!". Bloody Disgusting. March 29, 2011.
  33. ^ "Pirahna 3DD". boxofficemojo.com

External links[edit]