Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crap For TV: Piranha (1995)

I have to ask yet again- what was the point?  The 1995 Made-For-TV Remake of Piranha is a bit different.  For example, the cast is different.  That's pretty much it.  You think I'm exagerrating, but I'm really not.  The film's plot is nearly identical.  Granted- it is a Remake, but they don't always have to be shot-for-shot.  Usually when they are, people get upset.  Isn't that right, Gus Van Sant?  There is one kind of interesting thing to discuss here, but it's otherwise me just trying to pad this out.  A great way to do that is to explain that I'm doing it.  Neat, huh?  In all seriousness, I'll give you the basic rundown on this hard-to-find film and let you know whether you need to make the effort or not.  To find out, read on...
As mentioned above, the story is nearly identical.  The leads have been recast, which is not too surprising given the 17 year time-gap.  You've got Alexandra Paul and William Katt, two actors who can't do a lot better these days.
I'm not surprised to see that Kevin McCarthy (RIP) is absent, but I am a little surprised to see them change the gender of the character.  Weird.
* The film does change the role of Dick Miller as a Park Owner to some other guy playing a Film Director.  Yea?

The only other casting news of note is that Katt's daughter is played by a young Mila Kunas.  You have to start somewhere!
* The biggest problem-the film reuses the Special Effects shots of the titular Fish.  No, really.  You cheap bastards!

The finale plays out exactly the same, but this one does end with the 'It's Not Over' Trope.  News Flash: It is. The End.
This is just a blatant attempt to make more money.  Granted, most sequels or Remakes are...but most are less transparent about it.  At least the Humanoids from the Deep remake did some NEW shots to mix in with the Stock Footage that they used.  It also mixed the plot up a bit, excising the 'Fishermen vs. Indians' sub-plot for one of 'Hippies vs. Industrialists.'  Granted, it's still a silly plot idea, but it is about something more modern.  Speaking of which, it is just a coincidence that both Remakes were made 17 years after the Originals?  Probably, but it is a bit odd to me.  Ultimately, this movie doesn't do anything new.  The only changes are in casting or slightly-tweaking the plot to excise the elements that were overtly ripping-off/parodying Jaws.  When in doubt, cut the humor and remove the film's sense of identity!  So, unless you thought that the Scientist just HAD to be a Woman instead of a Man, you can freely skip this one.  Although, it does have these...
Up next, a week full of Asylum films...since I clearly hate myself.  First up, another Dracula film that is sure to be less interesting than Dracula's Curse.  Stay tuned...

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