‘Piranha 3D’ Already Scaring the Stupids Away From Lake Havasu

I’ve seen the footage of Piranha 3-D deemed too hot for Comic-Con, and have to admit that the adolescent horror fan in me got revived like he hasn’t been in years. It’s so over-the-top gory that it very nearly registers as comedy, not unlike, say, Shaun of the Dead or its stateside equivalent, Zombieland. I can’t speak for the rest of the film, unfortunately (where was that screening invite?), but the several minute long segment had me in stitches. What it did not do was convince me that I’d better be more careful about where I swim.

The LA Times is reporting that some residents of Lake Havasu, the popular vacation destination where the film was shot, are worried about the film’s impact on tourism. To wit: they think dummies will actually believe there are piranha in the lake. City publicist Jeff Blumenfeld told the paper “We’re gritting our teeth — we’re just hoping that the reaction is a good one for the city.”

Gritting their teeth? To me, and I would imagine to any other sentient adult, this sounds patently absurd, a totally groundless fear because, like, no one’s that dumb, right? Except that, turns out, some are. A local hotel owner reports that he’s already been obliged to sooth some frayed nerves. “One woman was bringing up to me that the movie was coming out, and she asked – as serious as serious can be – ‘Oh, but are there still piranha in the lake?’ At first, I kind of took it as a joke. But then I let her know that that’s the computer-generated part of the movie. And she was very relieved, saying, ‘Oh, I’m so glad to hear that.’”

I, for one, would like to meet this panicky hotel patron, as I have many, many bridges to sell her. Piranha 3D opens tomorrow.

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