You have got to be kidding!
There are moments which leave you wondering “what diseased mind came up with this?”
And then there are moments like this one.
Let’s face it: the moment it appeared on the screen, everyone in the room started laughing hysterically. And for a very long time. One of those laughs which keep restarting again and again.
And I know this was true in every room Piranha Women was ever shown in. It has to be.
I’m tempted to post a screenshot of it because it is so outrageous, but, sadly, I have a certain professional responsibility here to avoid spoiling the movies I discuss.
But I suppose I can safely say that it has a lot to with one of the familiar trademarks of its director, Fred Olen Ray.
Ray started out making low budget B horror and science fiction; moved to making the type of softcore movies with punning titles like Bikini Jones and the Temple of Eros or The Girl with the Sex Ray Eyes that Cinemax used to run after all the grownups were asleep; and lately has been making mostly…
Hallmark Christmas Movies?
Now a lot of the films he’s made are pretty bad, but the best have a sort of B-Movie perfection to them, as if all the unnecessary things have been pared away, leaving the Platonic ideal of a B-Movie.
And yes, regardless of what he’s making, they all seem to involve women with oversized boobs, both covered and uncovered.
However, you can’t blame Fred for everything here: after all he’s working from a script by Charles Band, the man behind Full Moon Features and its predecessor, Empire Films.
If you’ve followed Band’s career, then you probably know that he has either written scripts or original story outlines for pretty much every film Full Moon in either guise ever made. It’s a daunting accomplishment, and it is hard to miss the fact that he’s come up with some of the darnedest ideas you’ve ever seen, like, say, aliens taking over a radio station so they could use its signal to shrink our women and carry them away. Or a giant construction robot big as a house fighting a human-sized terminator robot mano e mano, or a giant, ugly space clam with an Italian accent.
As far as I can figure out, Fred never worked for Full Moon before, even if they would seem a natural team.
And it is great to see him back in the horror game after nearly two decades of Hallmark movies.
But the biggest surprise here is one I am completely behind. Piranha Women is only Fifty-five minutes long.
Mind you, with Fred at the helm there is a lot going on here, with a main plot about a man searching for his missing girlfriend, a secondary plot involving a police detective, and a lot of mostly random murders and equally random boobs.
As always, he handles the material briskly, and with a lot of professionalism. After all, as he’s been explaining to disappointed fans for years, he’s a professional, he’s in the movie business to make money.
Which does seem like a sort of novel idea these days.
I’ve got to say, he’s definitely on form here — and I think it does help that he kept this one short. This would seem to be because of some marketing decision at Full Moon, as they have been putting out a lot of shorter films lately, like the Miskatonic U series (and, in fact, Amazon has this one up on Prime as two half-hour parts). But a goofy little horror/mystery comedy from a talented exploitation director like Fred is an inspired choice to add to their lineup. I’d love to see him do more movies with them, and considering the word of mouth on Piranha Women I’ve heard so far, they would be fools not to.
After all, no matter how goofy Charles Band’s ideas may be, he has just as firm a focus on making money as Fred does.
So if you are looking for a wild eyed and gloriously cheesy B-grade monster movie, you will definitely have a great time with Piranha Women.
Although you will probably find it very hard to stop laughing when that moment finally comes…