‘Piranha 3D’ throws killer fish at audience face: Director

By Robin Bansal, IANS
Friday, October 22, 2010

NEW DELHI - If the audiences missed objects popping out of the screen in James Cameron’s Oscar-winning 3D flick “Avatar”, they should watch Alexandre Aja’s horror movie “Piranha 3D”. The French director says it throws killer fish right “in your face”!

“The 3D technology widened the tapestry of horror, allowing me not only to amplify the carnage I wanted to bring to the screen but to place my audience face-to-face with the film’s eponymous threat,” Aja told IANS in an e-mail interview from New York.

“You need to be sucked into that world and be under water with all of the fish coming at you. It is like small fish in your face and you can almost touch them. It is a ride.

” ‘Can you imagine watching a real horror movie in 3D?’ was the question I posed to my writing and producing partner Greg Lavasseur while in script development on ‘Piranha 3D’.

“At that time, James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ was still a highly secretive project but the looming spectacle played on my and Lavasseur’s curiosity.”

“Making ‘Piranha’ was exactly like drawing the blueprint of a theme park attraction or of a roller coaster. It was made to be the opposite of ‘Avatar’ in terms of 3D - everything is coming out of the screen, everything is flying at you because the story was made for that. We are making this over-the-top experience and the 3D is there to make it unforgettable,” he added.

A second remake of the 1978 film after Cameron’s directorial debut “Piranha II: The Spawning” in 1981, the series is remembered for unexpectedly putting a spin to Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” formula with a tongue-in-cheek twist.

Already released in the US Aug 20, “Piranha 3D” will hit Indian theatres Oct 29 in English and Hindi. Produced by Dimension Films, it is being distributed here by Multivision Multimedia India Pvt Ltd in association with Eagle Video and MGH Enterprises.

Aja is also hoping for a good response here.

“Our box office collections are pretty decent and it encouraged us to announce a sequel. Hope the same from every market,” he said.

The movie features an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Steven R. McQueen, Elisabeth Shue, Kelly Brook, Richard Dreyfuss, Ving Rhames, and Eli Roth among others.

Apparently, the movie also carries skin show in excess. Aja said: ” ‘Piranha’ is a desire to get back to the feeling of the 1980s. That kind of guilty pleasure movie that was so instantly cool. A movie which could be as scary as it is fun - where there is a lot of nudity and gore - just an amazing, entertaining ride.

A member of the ‘Splat Pack’ - a collection of filmmakers who have since 2002 directed a large number of horror films -, Aja, 32, rose to international stardom with his 2003 horror outing “High Tension”. He has since directed successful horror movies like “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Mirrors” and “P2″.

Asked if it has become a fascination, he said: “It’s not genre-specific. I see potential in these scripts more than the others and that is the only reason to opt for it.”

And, yes, he knows about Bollywood.

“Everyone knows about Bollywood, but I have not seen any of its films yet. There is a lot of buzz about Indian talent internationally these days,” he said.

Aja’s future projects include “The Contractor”, “The Gospel According to Jimmy” and “Cobra: The Space Pirate”, a live-action adaptation of the Japanese soap opera manga series “Space Adventure Cobra”.

(Robin Bansal can be contacted at robin.b@ians.in)

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