Written by Mr. Mouseburger 15th Apr 2008
The premise of this film is simple. Geared around the success of creature features like Jaws, the producers decided to think of another creature from the deep that can instill a similar sort of visceral reaction in the audience; the piranha.
They tick all the boxes you want for a terrifying bit of fish peril; they are ugly feckers and, it is purported, they can strip an animal to the bone in 30 seconds. However, these factoids were clearly not terrifying enough for the movie producers, and so they have concocted a genetic modification backstory where the piranha are injected with Mike Tyson's aggression, imbued with the malevolence of Freddy Krueger; and cross-bred until they have the intelligence of Steven Hawking.
The whole point of this experimentation was an attempt by the US military to win the unwinnable war in Vietnam by "poisoning" the rivers of Vietnam with the piranha who, they assume, would eat all the other fish in the rivers, thereby starving the Vietcong into submission. Yeah, right! Anyway, as with all films of this ilk, something invariably has to go horribly wrong. It duly does and the fish are unwittingly released into the US river system, where it is not long before people start getting their appendages gnawed.
One such person is Jack, who looks like a grizzled 19th century prospector (dagnabit!). Living by the river, he enjoys nothing more than dangling his rod over the water and catching a few fish for supper, all the while chatting to his best friend in the world, his dog. He leads a simple existence, but it is one that is about to come to an end prematurely, as Jack has his feet dangling in the water, presumably to cool them off. At first, he feels a little nibble on his line and then the Piranha swarm and start biting chunks out of his legs. Now, most sensible people would remove their legs from the water at this point thereby removing the threat, but Jack is clearly not that bright, and so he just thrashes about screaming with his legs still in the water.
The scene cuts at this point and we don't get to find out his fate until a bit later in the film when the main protagonist and his bit of fluff turn up and see Jack lying on the ground not far from his jeep. In a last deperate attempt to get help, Jack managed to crawl towards his jeep, but, as the hero explains, he died of blood loss.
With a bit of camera work we can see why, the legs from the knee down have been picked clean of flesh, tendons, ligament, all that remains are a set of immaculately white leg and feet bones. This is somewhat perplexing as despite there being nothing to hold the bones together, they are laid out perfectly on the ground in the correct order.