Piranha II: The Spawning

Piranha IIHe wasn’t always King of the World. Nearly 20 years before, a young FX slinger named James Cameron arrived in Jamaica at the behest of Italian schlockmeister Ovidio G. Assonitis to direct what’d be the REAL Titanic of his career. Legend tells how the fledgling auteur struggled to communicate with his nearly all-Italian crew. How he stayed up nights fashioning rubber piranhas. How he appropriated a waiter’s uniform to outfit CineSchlocker idol Lance Henriksen as a cop. But the biggest fish story of ’em all is how Jimbo, who was said to have been under constant fire from Ovidio for technical incompetence, broke into the lab where his maligned footage was being stored and cut the flick together himself. The loins of Cameron’s fans positively stir at the thought of such rebellious heroics regardless of whether or not Assonitis USED his version. Not that either fella could elevate the pedigree of what’s simply a deliciously absurd, oft ridiculed FLYING PIRANHA MOVIE!

As is the government’s way, they’ve continued their clandestine "Project Razorteeth" even after the tragic events of Piranha Number-o Uno when a swimming pool chock full of flesh-eating fishies escaped and hightailed it down a Texas river feasting on kiddie camper combos or anyone else unfortunate enough to dangle an appendage where they shouldn’t. Now, the feds have misplaced a whole barrel of NEW and IMPROVED piranha eggs that naturally HATCHED not long after a Navy supply ship went down off the coast of Jamaica. A pair of horn’d up divers are first to benefit from this blunder when the gal skinnys out of her scuba duds to engage in some deep-sea hanky-panky only to become piranha pate before the amorous couple can close the deal.

Meanwhile, Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O’Neil) begins her morning in bed by playing "hide the fish" with her teenage son (Ricky Paull Goldin) before taking her diving class out to the wreck where the hungry little devils pack on a few MORE pounds thanks to a dim-bulbed recreator who dog paddles from Anne’s side and into harm’s way. From then it’s a marital battle royal with her local lawman hubby, Steve (Mr. Henriksen), to see who’s gonna get to ape the Chief Brody role from Jaws and save the "Beach Festival" for the exceedingly eccentric guests of Club Elysium.

Thankfully, they’re not immediately successful, or we’d miss the midnight spawning party when hundreds of vacationers, expecting to feast on docile, land-loving grunion, march down to the beach chanting "WE WANT FISH! WE WANT FISH! WE WANT FISH!" That’s when Jimbo ties clotheslines all over the hotel grounds and slings phony piranhas down them while encouraging bloodied extras to look really, really scared as they pretend to fend off the winged critters being jabbed at them. If only Leo and that yip-yap girlfriend of his had met a similar fate!

Wanna recreate this seminal moment of fringe cinema? Book a room at the Renaissance Jamaica Grande Resort. Can’t promise the "Mr. Muscle Contest" will still be at 4:30 sharp, though. CineSchlockers will be pleased to note that the topless "sea bandits" scene left out of some incarnations of the flick is present in its highly gratuitous glory. Indeed, Penthouse Pet Tamara Kapitas turned songstress Carole Davis was BORN to shiver many a timber!

Eight breasts. 22 corpses. Dynamite fishing. Killer fish cam. Gratuitous stuttering chef. Gruesome forensic slideshow. Exploding helicopter. Gratuitous steel drum band. Teenage diddling. Alien-esque chest bursting. Nekkid navigating.

Steve doesn’t buy Anne’s tale of the ones that got away, "I don’t want to hear anymore of your cockamamy ideas! I want you to go home and sit on your hands!" Later, he dramatically changes his tune, "THE BASTARDS FLY!!!" The fussy hotel manager (Ted Richert) is consumed with bodily harm, "You’re sticking a red hot poker up my ass by cancelling now!" and "I can’t cut all my beach activities! Fiscally, I’d be cutting my nuts off!" Ancile Gloudon emotes as Gabby, "They killed my son. I’m gonna kill them fish."