It may not surprise people to know that I love a good monster movie… in fact, even a bad monster movie I’ll happily watch and enjoy after a beer. Piranha 2 however, much like its predecessor has stayed with me for about 25 years or so. However, whereas Joe Dante’s original is actually a well made Jaws rip-off which stands up remarkably well even now, I’m afraid James Cameron’s directorial debut which is Piranha 2 is little more than a crass cash in.
It had been a long time since I last watched my copy of Piranha 2, so as I settled down to watch blueyoda’s P2 fanedit, I was genuinely quite excited to see if the little changes would make a difference to the movie at all. The fact that my girlfriend was watching this for the first time with nothing to judge it against at all, it would be interesting to see what her reaction would be afterwards as well.
Now, normally I would watch a movie such as this with a couple of beers. However, as I had been feeling pretty unwell I decided against alcohol, so it kinda left me thinking that I’d just spend most of the movie picking it apart. However, whilst P2′s shortcomings are there for all to see, the film is nowhere near as bad as I remember it being. I’d forgotten for one, that the main performances here are actually pretty good – TV stalwart Tricia O’Neil, the always reliable Lance Henriksen and the eye candy for the girls, Steve Marachuk; all three of them put in good performances considering what they have to play with from a lacklustre script.
The changes which blueyoda makes here do improve the movie a little. Some of the stupid comedy is thankfully now missing and some scenes have been rearranged to try and make it as close to Cameron’s extremely rare so-called director’s cut as possible. There’s no doubt it makes for a better movie, but that’s not to say that suddenly P2 is a truly worthy sequel. Personally I would have gone a bit further and totally excised the two girls on the boat who get attacked by the flying killers (yes, I do mean Penthouse models Carole Davis and Connie Lynn Hadden), as they are by far the worst actresses of the film – but then, that’s not what they’re there for and as I say, I probably should have been drinking when watching this!
Indeed, to me, the recent remake of Piranha is more of a homage to P2 than it is to Dante’s original. Dante’s film has never felt anywhere near as exploitative or cheap as a movie like P2 (although some may argue it does), and as Alexandre Aja’s Piranha is an attempt to return to the trashy exploitative days of 80′s “B” movies, I’d say it makes a more natural fit with P2.
But, I’m getting off the beaten track here. Back to the edit itself…
A big plus are the unexpected amount of special features on show here. The “Making of Cameron” is a very interesting piece on Cameron’s early career, whilst the “Biographies” are not just written text on performers, but also include many clips from the various movies and TV episodes which they have appeared in. Then there’s the “Alternate Music Ending” which neatly ties in the finale of the film with James Horner’s fantastic Bishop’s Countdown from Aliens. It works really well, and there’s some seamless audio editing going on by blueyoda. On top of all this you also get a short piece pointing out the similarities between P2 and Aliens, and finally you also get Cameron’s 12 minute first short film “Xenogenis”. Excellent stuff!
Technically, this is a perfectly sound edit. Picture quality is about as good as it can be for a film from this age with a low budget, and all the edits, be they visual or audio, work seamlessly. Talking of audio however, do watch out for some unintentionally funny and clumsy sound effects looping throughout the film – this is the fault of the original production team and not blueyoda I might add!
So, recent years of watching countless Aslyum and Syfy “Z” grade monster flicks may have made me more forgiving of P2 than I may otherwise have been, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this edit. A well deserved 9/10 for me. Nice work blueyoda ;)
Oh, and before I forget… my girlfriend really enjoyed it too – particularly the main “flying” attack on the beach resort towards the end… although she was somewhat upset that Steve Marachuk didn’t make it all the way to end. Awww, bless her.
Simply put, this is a great FanEdit. BlueYoda has taken Piranha 2 and made it as watchable as it will ever be. It’s still a terrible movie, but the cringe-worthiness is toned down to a minimum. The editing on BY’s part is perfect.
The special features on the DVD are what set this apart for me. So much great info on the making of the movie and the actors. A cool documentary on James Cameron’s early career (including his first short film Xenogenesis); biographies on the stars are pretty interesting and some of them are quite revealing (*cough*Carole Davis*cough*).
It’s obvious that BlueYoda is a big fan of James Cameron and if you are too, definitely check this one out.
Now, of course this movie can’t be totaly saved.
You’d need interesting deleted scenes, clean voices and sound effects audio channels and all those faneditor’s dream items to really try to make this movie a very good one. And even with all of that, I would not know…
That said, this fanedit is real damn good for at least two reasons:
- Some may not agree, but I prefer this version of P2 than the original P1 movie.
The actors are all trying their best with what they have (Lance Henriksen even look like a young Roy Scheider) and this cut leaves almost no filler scenes. Well, there are still some useless scenes (story-wise) , but since those have boobs screen time I guess it’s part of the genre ;)
This movie can now be followed with a nice nostalgia feeling and if this was the original cut Cameron would not have to be ashame of it (too much…).
- The DVD presented by Blueyoda is filled with cool bonus.
You have informative biographies of the cast (damn that penthouse model named Carole Davis is both sexy and funny in her other roles).
You have “Xenogenis” the first short movie by Cameron. Featuring a vehicule’s design very close to what can be seen in the future war scene in Terminator
(with the budget of a first short movie… of course)
You have a nice comparison beetween a scene of P2 and a scene from Aliens.
and last but not least, you have a cool little documentary made by blueyoda about the conflictual relationship between the makers of the movie.
More informative than most of the over long official releases bonus, where everyone kiss everyone’s ass.
So, this edit is still far from being a masterpiece (nor is a very good movie for that matter)
but like I said, it is watchable. And that fact alone is a real improvement.
When I rate a fanedit I try to not rate the new cut only for wat it is, but also the work put in it by the faneditor.
If this edit was the original cut, concidering its date and its low budget I would rate it a 6/10 or maybe a 7/10 in a day of good mood with one or two beers.
But Blueydoa really did a good turd polishing work on this one. That plus the extra cool bonus add 2 more points.
Makes it a 9/10 for the overall product because I am in a good mood and I drank quite a bit not so long ago. :)
Wow BlueYoda. You took this movie and made it enjoyable. Enough said. 11/10.
Okay, I’ll say a couple more things. This is some very professional work here. You pretty much had me within the first 10 seconds with your BlueYoda Productions 3D graphic. That was slick. I think I re-watched it 8 times.
Next up we have the purty DVD menu & bonus features a-plenty. If his logo isn’t enough to make your jaw drop, his documentary video clips will. If that still isn’t enough to make your jaw drop, the naked ladies in the clips most definitely will. This is a must see for any James Cameron fan.
Oh, and did I mention the movie was edited extremely well? It is an insane mix of quality film making and insanely outrageous cheese. But seriously, who gives a #$@%. That is the least important reason why you have to watch this. My usual rating scale just doesn’t cut the mustard here. 10/10. Nuff said.