Piranha 3DD Movie Poster Image

Piranha 3DD

Bloody, sexed-up sequel lacks predecessor's camp appeal.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Greed, corruption, and exploitation are punished in terrible ways, while good characters survive.

Positive role models

The female lead is an outspoken, fairly strong character, although in several scenes she requires rescuing by men.

Violence

Many scenes of bloody mayhem, with lots of scary piranha attacks and many gallons of blood, mostly shown swirling around in water. Viewers see severed limbs and heads, as well as bloody stumps and bloody skeletons, and even a bloody, severed penis. In a very disturbing scene, a piranha is shown sticking out of a fat man's naked bottom. One of the piranhas' victims is a young boy.

Sex

Many topless women are shown, mostly swimming or lounging around a pool. In one shot, a piranha attacks a topless woman's chest. There's a sex scene between a young man and a young woman, though very little is shown. The scene is fairly intense but is interrupted by a piranha attack. A man is shown pleasuring himself, involving a water jet, in a swimming pool (nothing explicit shown). Also heavy innuendo, flirting, foreplay, suggestive dancing, and gratuitous bikini shots.

Language

Language is strong but not constant, and includes several uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "p---y," "damn," "oh my God," "d--k," "hell," "vagina," "penis," "ass," "idiot," and "moron."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The young people in the movie -- who are presumably of legal drinking age -- are shown drinking beer and smoking pot in a few early scenes. A character takes a puff from a joint in a later scene as well (before using it to ignite an explosive).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Piranha 3DD is a sequel to 2010's surprisingly successful (and entertaining, in a very over-the-top way) Piranha 3D, which was itself a remake of a 1978 movie. While this one unfortunately lacks whatever made the previous movie work, it's just as packed with strong violence, including lots of blood, severed limbs, and even a severed penis. It also features heavy nudity, sexual innuendo, and some sex. Language is also very strong, with many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as beer drinking and pot smoking. Older teens may be drawn to the movie for the promise of nudity implied in the title -- and it's available on demand. Parents, beware.

What's the story?

The attacks of Piranha 3D left an entire vacation resort in ruins, and a news commentator asks, "can it happen again?" It can and does in PIRANHA 3DD at an Arizona water park. Marine biology student Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) returns home for the summer to find that her stepfather (David Koechner) has turned the family water park into a sex attraction, advertising busty lifeguards and an "adult pool" full of naked women. Unfortunately, he's also tapped into an underground lake and released more of the hungry carnivorous fish. With a tall, handsome, crooked cop (Chris Zylka) and a short nerd (Matt Bush) vying for her affections every step of the way, can Maddy save the day?

Is it any good?

QUALITY

While the previous Piranha movie had just the right blend of silliness, exploitation, and fun, Piranha 3DD seems totally lost. It comes across as forced, ugly, offensive, and lazy. The theme park idea could have been enjoyably ridiculous, but director John Gulager treats it with the same callousness as Koechner's character does. Likewise, the piranha attacks are lazy and dumb, using "close calls" to generate artificial suspense. And the movie stoops so low as to show a piranha killing a young boy.

Where the movie succeeds is in its choice of actors. Bush makes an unusual romantic hero, and Panabaker is an appealing and somewhat intelligent heroine. Ving Rhames and Christopher Lloyd, both veterans of the previous film, turn up in small parts, and David Hasselhoff is funny in a self-mocking role. Gary Busey and the director's father, Clu Gulager, appear in the prologue, which -- in a forecast of things to come -- uses cow farts as a plot device.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Piranha 3DD's violence. Is it intended to be entertaining or disturbing? Can it be both at once? Is that OK?

  • Is the movie scary? What's the difference between scary and bloody?

  • Many of the characters have perfect body types, except one young man who's teased for being too short. Can he still be a hero? What do the heroes of movies and TV shows typically look like? Why do you think that is?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 1, 2012
DVD/Streaming release date:September 4, 2012
Cast:Danielle Panabaker, David Koechner, Matt Bush
Director:John Gulager
Studio:Dimension
Genre:Horror
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sequences of strong bloody horror violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use

This review of Piranha 3DD was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Ratings

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate.

Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byShivom Oza June 16, 2012

Piranha 3DD (2012) – The DDs Stand For Dumb and Depressing - Shivom Oza

After unleashing terror at Lake Victoria in ‘Pirhana 3D’, the pre-historic shoal of blood-thirsty piranhas infest into a newly-built waterpark, suggestive titled ‘The Big Wet’. Brace yourself for lots of nudity, blood and gore! Young Maddy (Danielle Panabaker) returns home for the summer to find her sleazy stepfather Chet (David Koechner) give her mother’s water park a debauched make-over, replacing the lifeguards with strippers and building a separate adult pool where all the nude action is getting shot secretly. He’s even been illegally pumping water from an unused well that is also connected to the tragedy-struck and piranha-infested Lake Victoria. The piranhas obviously find their way into the vicinity and hence, begin the saga of relentless attacks resulting in blood and gore. The performances of the principal star-cast are poor. The dialogues are bland and unfunny, and are made to sound all the more abominable by the spiritless cast. There is a lot of sleaze in the film. Every ten minutes, you see close-ups of heaving breasts of scantily-clad women at the water park. Even after one of the characters gets beheaded owing to a sharp metal wire, the camera refuses to move away from the jumping assets and plunging cleavages. You have a scene in which one of the girls Ashley (Meagan Tandy) handcuffs her boyfriend to the seat of a van, which then plunges headlong into a nearby lake, and you see the wretched piranhas getting in the middle of their sexual act, with the boy unable to escape because he’s tied up. In multiple sequences, you have a piranha gnashing into the private parts of several female tourists, with one such incident even causing a boy to chop off his penis because he engaged in sexual activity with one such victimized girl. Such senseless stuff is on offer folks, relish it if you can! There’s even a cameo by David Hasselhoff spoofing his ‘Baywatch’ act, caricaturizing his character from the popular TV show. He looks out of sorts. Don’t blame him, coz the film itself is a bit out of sorts! Danielle Panabaker and Matt Bush (who plays Barry) are disappointing. Considering, there was not much for either of the youngsters to do in this film, they were miserable in whatever they did. David Koechner is an eye-sore. So, you get the gist, the only animated elements in this film are the piranhas and the assets! The 3D, backed up with dramatic background music (Elia Cmiral) did bring up a bit of hysteria in a handful number of scenes, involving the piranhas. The CGI is good, not great, and at no point does it look undercooked. The cinematography (Alexandre Lehmann) along with the editing (Martin Bernfeld and Devin C. Lussier) is a big let-down though. No qualms with nudity being shown on screen, but it should be tailored into the sequence and not thrown in for unanticipated titillation. And mind you, the scenes are not titillating, at all. The background music is good in parts, albeit for the violent sequences. The dialogues are senseless, some of the scenes defy logic and human sanity and the screenplay is bizarre! For a directionless film such as this one, hard to say anything about the man at the helm of it all, John Gulager. He has broken new ground in mediocrity with this film. The first film ‘Piranha’, directed by Alexandre Aja yet was funny in parts, and did manage to give the audiences decent fare. However, this one the 3D version, with the added D, manages to Dumbify the franchise altogether. The tagline of the film is ‘No BODY is Safe’. It’s short for ‘Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You’! Cashing in on two aspects – Sex and Violence, but manages to deliver in none! This one is not worth your time, money and energy. Even with the double Ds! Shivom Oza
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written byMusicRock668 June 3, 2012

Wate of Time And Money Too Much Nudity !

Please Don't let Teens see this Movie First one was Horrible is full of Nuidty and sex ! 3D is waste of money ! it not appropriate movie !
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 7 and 15 year old Written byParentReviewz July 15, 2012

Piranha 3DD is a DDisappointment.

I Loved the first Piranha 3D. Sure, it was stupid and over-the-top but that was the fun of it. With Piranha 3DD, it's over-the-top without the fun. Piranha 3DD or Piranha 2, is like a Sci-Fi channel direct-to-dvd sequel. The Sexual Content is even WORSE than in the original! This movie was disgusting! Piranhas goes into girls' V-----s, A piranha goes into a man's A--s, and a Piranha bites a man's P---s off. This movie was over-the-top in the bad way and is NOT meant for kids, even if they've seen the first.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex