Piranha II : The Spawning A sunken US supply ship off a Caribbean island resort is the focus for a series of mysterious piranha attacks. Investigating the death of one of her son’s companions after a scuba-diving trip, Anne Kimbrough breaks into the morgue with holidaymaker Tyler Sherman, only to discover that the fish have wings and can fly. But the hotel manager refuses to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, with inevitable consequences..
Beaches, bikinis, babes and flying killer piranha – what more can you ask for?
This really isn’t too bad a film, and is certainly a worthy sequel to the original. ‘Piranha’ worked because it was tongue-in-cheek, making fun of the films it was parodying. ‘Piranha II’ tries to be more serious, but is so cheesy that it manages, by default, to be just as effective.
This time round the Piranha have moved from the river and are in the sea, able to fly as a result of scientists crossing genes to make the ultimate killing machine. After the opening scene which is similar to the one in Jaws 2, (except here the two divers are lovers trying for some underwater coupling), the film introduces a variety of characters, most of which are surprisingly endearing in a ‘B’ movie kind of way; particularly two topless good-time girls who get provisions from a stuttering chef with the promise of a threesome.
Lance Henriksen, who continued a lucrative association with Cameron, plays the police chief, who is a hybrid of Brody from ‘Jaws’ and Colonel Kilgore from ‘Apocalypse Now’. He valiantly plays a straight role as all around him descends into chaotic fun. The flying piranha attack like vampire bats, going for the throats of their luckless victims; whilst they also have Alien-like trends, one bursting out of a dead body to attack a nurse.
As can be gathered, I found this film great fun – most production values are of a reasonable standard, particularly the underwater photography. The piranha themselves are a disappointment, but they play second fiddle to the characters and storyline.
People who slate the film need to watch the likes of ‘Barracuda’ or ‘Evil in the Deep’, both of which are fathoms below ‘Piranha II’. Any film with dialogue like “Do you dive on your first date?” gets the thumbs up from me.