The film starts out great: A couple goes diving one night with the
express intention of having sex underwater. From here it goes downhill
already though, as the audience is introduced to all kinds of supporting
characters staying at a certain holiday for about half an hour.
finally, during a diving trip, someone gets eaten up by something (only
the audience knows it's piranha), and his diving teacher Annie (Tricia
O'Neil) wants to find what it was, so she and Tyler (Steve Marachuk), a
tourist she has taken a liking to, break into the morgue to examine the
body, but are chased away by the cleaning woman - who is then attacked and
killed by a piranha that had still be hiding inside the body of the
deceased. Oh, and did I tell you it was a flying piranha, too?
and fro ensues, during which nothing is accomplished - but it's revealed
that Tyler is actually a marine biologist who was partly responsible for
the flying salt water piranha, and now he's trying to avert disaster.
Annie all of a sudden feels disgusted by him and feels drawn back to her
ex husband Steve (Lance Henriksen), the local water cop.
resort Annie is working at has a big nighttime beachside celebration, and
of course the flying piranha attack.
Annie decides to blow up the piranha,
and Tyler insists on helping her, so they go down to where the piranha
live (?) with a time bomb, only to then notice they could have given
themselves a bit more time to get away ...
In the meantime, Annie and
Steve's son Chris (Ricky Paull Goldin) has gone missing on sea with a girl
(Leslie Graves), and dad has to find him and save him because of the
impending implosion of the piranha's home. He crashes his helicopter to do
so for no apparent reason.
In the end, everything ends happily for
Annie, Steve, Chris and Chris's girl, only Tyler was allowed (forced) to
die a hero's death.
Later super-director James Cameron's debut
feature and the only film he has ever as good as disowned - and it's
easy to see why, it's a piece of trash with no redeeming value based on a
silly story riddled with plotholes and made solely to cash in on the
success of the first Piranha (of
which it is at best a semi-sequel) and the outrageousness of its own
concept (flying piranha, now that's something).
However, a silly concept
doesn't necessarily make a bad film (at least not to bad movie lovers like
me), but the major letdown of this film is its directorial effort: For
some reason, Cameron doesn't seemt o be interested in the least to create
anything resembling an atmosphere, his handling of the one large scale
piranha attack is disappointingly pedestrian, he is unable to make the
least use of any of the eccentric characters that populate the film, and
he is ablt to bring the film's plot to a standstill only minutes of its
explosive opening scene. Furthermore, he, never a man big on irony, fails
to bring any much-needed humour (that pretty much saved the first Piranha)
to the proceedings.
What I want to say with all of this: If you watch
this expecting to see a hint of the talent Cameron has displayed in his
later films, you will be disappointed (actually, it's hard to believe that
this film was made by the same man who made Terminator a mere 3
years later) ... but if you want to watch this film for mere trashy
B-movie entertainment - you will still be disappointed. Heck, this one's
not even so-bad-it's-good.