Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Piranha Piranha (1972)

First things first: this movie sometimes chops the repetition in its title, but it should definitely not be confused with the 1978 Piranha.  The latter film is a fine little monster movie I'll be reviewing here soon enough (and probably also the 2010 remake of the same name at some point).

This movie on the other hand, isn't really about killer fish at all.  One does make an appearance in the opening credits, and they have a small cameo near the end, but the title actually refers to the name of one of the human characters.

The plot here is pretty thin.  A trio of westerners go to Venezuela to do a photo-article on the diamond trade.  There are two guys and a woman.  The woman's vehemently anti-guns, to the point where she harangues one of the guys when he uses a pistol to shoot a snake that's dangerously close to her.  Her attitude to firearms will be brought up often enough by the script that you'll quickly realise it is a Plot Point.

The three travellers meet Caribe, a local hunter, who offers to show them around.  He proves pretty knowledgeable about the area, though there's definitely some testosterone issues between him and one of the original two men.  And he's a tab too fond of killing things to be entirely balanced.  But the group either don't notice that or persuade themselves that this is just his way and nothing to worry about.

Hint as to whether they're right: Caribe is what Piranha are called in Venezuela.

So eventually Caribe flips out, rapes the woman (off screen, thankfully), and hunts the men.  He kills one and has the other at his mercy, but in the fight he happens to have dropped his gun.

If you have been paying attention to this review, you can probably work out who kills him and how.

This film is let down by the clumsiness of the script and the mediocre acting (especially from the guy playing Caribe, even though he gets top billing).  Well really, 'let down' is probably the wrong expression since that implies that there were other elements that were better.  There really aren't.

A very pedestrian affair.  Not worth your time.

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