Piranhaconda (2013)

What can I say about Piranhaconda? It’s 70% hilarious fun, 20% dull and 10% full of filler. Luckily it’s also 100% self-knowing, which saves this from being another po-faced, frustrating mess of a ‘horror’ film.

So what’s it about? Does it even matter?! Well, for those who care, the plot is this: Professor Lovegrove (a game Michael Madsen) is seeking proof of the elusive mythical beast colloquially know as Piranhaconda. As big as a house and incredibly hungry, it only emerges every few decades to feast on flesh…

… and it’s turned up in Hawaii!

After stealing a piranhaconda egg (and losing his transport in the process), Professor Lovegrove ends up being captured by some bad-ass jungle bandits looking for a pay-day. Their pay-day? A local low-budget horror film set. Their plan? Kidnap the ‘talent’ and ransom them back to the film company. But there’s only one problem.

What? Piranhaconda!

After chomping on some cleavages and random passers-by, our enigmatic beastie turns to the gangsters, professor and film-makers, setting about a battle of wits, stamina and explosives.

Yes, it’s eating a helicopter

Piranhaconda was never going to be ‘brilliant’ but it’s certainly better than the usual dross that has been pumped out in recent years. The plus points are Michael Madsen, the self-knowing quality of it, the theme tune and the crazy beginning. The negative points are not-enough-Michael-Madsen and the final third of the movie, which sags significantly.

The ‘tune’ I mentioned is the film’s genuinely great theme-song (titled “Piranhaconda”) by The Cheetah Whores, which is catchy and simply repeats the films name over and over. It’s a great addition that instantly lets you know the filmmakers aren’t taking this 100% seriously…

Written by Mike MacLean and based on a concept by J. Brad Wilke (by ‘concept’ please read ‘drug-fuelled nightmare’) there’s no surprise this turned out like it did. Between them, these guys have written the scripts for Dinocroc vs. Supergator, Sharktopus and Camel Spiders. They love their giant monsters! And if you’re worried they’re running out of steam, don’t worry – this year we’ll be seeing MacLean’s Attack of the 50ft Cheerleader

Yay?

Perhaps the reason why Piranhaconda turned out less-turdacular than most of these ‘giant mutated reptile’ movies is the inclusion of Jim Wynorski. Don’t recognise the name? Shame on you!

Wynorski has been in the industry for decades and is responsible for some hilariously insane (and utterly shameless) movies, including Ghoulies IV, Sorority House Massacre II, The Return of Swamp Thing and 1986’s fantastic Chopping Mall.

He’s also responsible for a slew of crude sexploitation horror flicks, including The Witches of Breastwick, The Bare Wench Project, The Breastford Wives and the hilariously-named The Devil Wears Nada… amongst many many other ridiculous titles. Check out his IMDB page here (you won’t regret it!).

Oh, and Roger Corman produced Piranhaconda. That probably explains why it isn’t total shite.

Unfortunately I think the filmmakers were aiming for the Piranha 3D crowd but significantly missed it. Strangely they made the film more complicated than Piranha 3D… if you can imagine such a thing. It also spends too much time killing random characters who never appear in the main plot, which swiftly becomes boring.

The final third of Piranhaconda is also incredibly dull, with some pointless river chases and bumbling about in the jungle. It’s all too random and undisciplined.

Michael Madsen is also criminally underused, appearing at the beginning and then spending the rest of the movie tied up or clutching onto an egg. When does appear he mumbles his way through his lines and avoids eye contact with everyone. It is such a shame, in more ways than one.

Hilarious fun in places, great if you enjoy cleavage and a must for diehard fans of Michael Madsen, Piranhaconda is an enjoyable but seriously flawed piece of self-knowing cinema.

And the theme tune is brilliant.

Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

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