Sunday, October 25, 2015

31 Days of Horror 2015 Franchise review Piranha

A few years ago I did short reviews of every film in various horror franchises. And to me a film has to have at least 4 films to be a franchise. So I was thinking "What is a franchise I don't hear lots of talk about?" And after realizing not only I don't want to re-watch all 13 entries in the Witchcraft franchise,I also only own about half of them. Then a few days ago I got ahold of a film that I had forgotten about. Yep got the mid 90s remake of Piranha.

Starting in 1978 with the Roger Corman produced Jaws rip off. Piranha now has a total of 5 films in the series.

The first one I saw years ago late at night on one of the local UHF channels. Where genetically engineered WAR piranhas get released.And they end up in a water resort where carnage happens.

Going back a few years ago when Shout Factory released a great DVD of this film I found it really fun and entertaining. It is very much a 70s low budget horror. But I love that type of film.

3 years later in 81 a sequel hit the silver screen. Directed by James Cameron,in what was his first theatrically released film.Besides some flying piranhas,yeah they can fly in this one. The FX work is decent.But truthfully this is the worst film in the franchise. Just proving to me once again unless he is ripping off old episodes of Outer Limits,that Cameron is a hack and one of the most over rated directors of the past 100 years.

And now we are up to the film I just finally got a copy of. Back in the mid to late 90s Showtime had a weekly Roger Corman Presents show. Where each Saturday you got a new Corman produced film. Really this is pretty much a straight remake of the late 70s original. But it has a neat cast. You got William "Greatest American Hero" Katt,Alexandra"Christine" Paul,Soleil Moon Frye AKA Punky Brewster and in her debut role Mila Kunis. Yeah I was surprised when I saw her. Doing some research it seems this did get a DVD release that is out of print.
In 2010 Piranha was remade for a second time. This time in 3D. And what a fun film this is. You get right at 1 1/2 hours of hot women,gore and a dash of comedy. This time it is set during Spring break in a town on the edge of a huge lake. The cast is pretty fun. You got the almost always good Elizabeth Shue. Christopher Lloyd pretty much playing his Doc Brown role from Back to the Future.And Jerry O'Connell as a sleazy as fuck Girls Gone Wild director.
Then in 2012 we got what as of this post the last film in the franchise. Piranha 3dd,which from what I can find got a very limited theatrical release. And I can see why. This movie is kind of a mess. It uses any excuse to show boobs or blood. And besides David Hasselhoff playing himself the rest of the cast is crap. This and the Flash TV show are what proved to me that Danielle Panabaker lost all her acting talent once she grew up.

31 Days of Horror 2015 Day 25 Dance of the Dead

Masters of Horror Season 1 Episode Dance of the Dead
Source-Anchor Bay Blu Ray

When this first aired I missed it. I recorded it and didn't see it for at least a month. All the reviews I read were calling it horrible and "another dud from one hit wonder Tobe Hooper". Now I believe Mr Hooper has had way more than one good film. So when I did sit down to watch it I was ready for it to be horrible or be great.

Set in the near future. After some kind of biological war. Our lead is a teenage girl. She works at her mother's diner. And one day meets some older boys. Who invite her to come out partying with them that night. They want her to come with them to the city and goto a club. But of course her mother doesn't want her to go.

She ends up going. The club they goto is ran by Robert Englund. Who using electric shocks causes zombie like people to "dance" on the stage. We find out these "zombies" need blood to live. And the two boys that brought our lead to the club have been providing that blood to Robert. Then a dancer comes out who our lead girl knows. It is her older sister. The one her mother had told her had died.

Our lead ends up confronting Englund about this right around the time her mother shows up to drag her back home. We find out that the sister got hooked on hard drugs,they are everywhere in this near future. So the mother pretty much killed her then sold her undead body to Robert Englund. The film then skips ahead some time. We are back in the club. Our lead is a scumbag like the two boys that took her. And now her mother has become the new lead dancer at the club.

I have always enjoy post apocalyptic fiction. And this film is kind of a new spin on that.Pretty sure this is based on a short story. I need to track it down and see how much is cut or changed in the episode. I do understand why people might not have liked this episode. Coming after 2 or 3 really good episodes it is a a very different type of horror. And lots of the online horror fans seem to either parrot what certain horror podcasts say or for some reason legit believe the only good film Tobe Hooper has done was Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Dance of the Dead gets a C.