Does Mega Piranha Herald
a new Dawn of the C-Movie?

By Marek Steven

I like to think I have a pretty broad taste in cinema. I probably favour intelligence over zap-bang thrills, but I like the better action movies and I have some guilty pleasures in most genres. Despite this I have only recently started to appreciate the true value of a quality b-movie.

As a result of work I recently watched a preview DVD of The Asylum’s latest ‘mockbuster’ Mega Piranha alone at home. The trailer is pacy and funny so I thought it would be tolerable but weak little diversion. Actually, I wasn’t really in the mood. I found it to be painfully badly acted and the mindless narrative made no sense. It definitely seemed funny in parts and the FX were watchable by nature of their randomness. But in all honestly I had a busy evening and I didn’t even finish the film in one sitting.

But the following week I got a new perspective when I went to see the film at a free screening at a Bar (The Alibi) in Dalston. It was busy and they did a guess-the-number-of-deaths tally on the bar. Naturally drinks were flying around. As soon as the projector sparked up it was like watching a different film. Suddenly the drunk and vocal social context gave the Jaw’s style pre-credits scene stacks of life, and a little tension too (the tension didn’t last long when the huge and poorly animated piranha leapt out of the water shortly afterwards).

It quickly became apparent that terrible acting and bizarre plot twists are extremely enjoyable to watch in a beered up crowd. The dire-logue and awful acting from Tiffany and the hunky Paul Logan is hilarious because they are not winking at the camera at all. It’s likely they are in on the joke but they are simply incapable of acting to any level of believeability. The FX are terrible too and pretty much every third line of dialogue or piranha got a big laugh. It was literally the most fun I’ve had watching a film in years and as a result I didn’t want to miss a frame of action.

When they are done this well these movies work like a charm. They are fully aware they are making crap but they cast them right and direct them so they have authenticity like a real piece of low budget 80’s schlock. This isn’t the painfully self-aware ‘comedy’ of the Scary Movie variety, it’s a subtle comedy form of cinema for the modern audience (ideally that audience is also with some rowdy friends).

As a result of this revelation I’m kind of obsessed with The Asylum’s mock-buster output now (Titanic 2 anyone?), plus keen on finding the most super-entertaining but terrible movies that came out in the last 40 years. Drinks should to be full and the film’s quality should be kept as low as possible...

Metrodome release Mega Piranha on DVD on August 9th

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About The Author

Marek Stevens Marek Steven runs Skill Wizard’s heavy metal (and now film) nights, promotes movies and makes music videos. He also runs Live Evil Festival, writes about metal and suffers from lots of debt.







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 Mega Piranha: The New Dawn for the C-Movie