Director Alexandre Aja on the Gore of Piranha 3D
08.19.10 by Ryan
Director Alexandre Aja has previously insisted that
Piranha 3-D is "not a remake" of Joe Dante's 1978 cult classic Piranha, despite similar-sounding plotlines. In a recent interview with New York Magazine, Aja again talked about the differences between his Piranha and that of Dante's original and the sequel (directed by a young James Cameron).
It’s a very strange franchise — so many talented people have been involved. Somehow, it keeps giving a chance to young people who are really, really inventive that can work with a very limited budget. I’m very lucky to put my name among those names. Joe Dante and James Cameron are major inspirations. But my Piranha is not inspired by the original Piranha, it’s more like a Gremlins [directed by Dante] for adults, with some Indiana Jones action-adventure.
So how did Aja get involved with reinvigorating the Piranha franchise? The French director says he was approached about it just after making his horror movie debut with High Tension.
After High Tension, I was looking for my first English-speaking movie, reading scripts. I received one script, about six years ago, that was called Piranha: Lake Havasu. [It had] a very fun story line: an earthquake released a deadly piranha during spring break in Arizona. The script was written as a comedy. I had so much fun reading it, I couldn’t help think about what I could do if I brought character development and suspense and tension and make it not a comedy, but a real suspenseful movie with some comedy moments. Time passed. But two years ago they re-approached me and asked how I was feeling about the project. I was really excited to write and make it as well.
Aja said he was asked to make the movie less of a "spoof" and more "in the vein of a more serious movie." The format of 3-D is one aspect which Aja says delivers "not only on the fish side, but on the bikini-girl side too," as well as a (possibly) record-breaking amount of fake blood.
I don’t want to give you a wrong number, but — did you say 7,000 [gallons]? Multiply by ten. It was somewhere around 80,000. We were using very dense blood and we had to put that in the water. The amount of blood we had to pour in the lake was around that number. It may be the most blood ever used, and it is violent and graphic somehow, but it’s never, I hope, disgusting or over-the-top. I didn’t make this movie to use that much blood. Because 20,000 kids getting attacked at spring break is a lot of blood in the water. I just respect the medical rules: one gallon equals one person.
The effect, Aja hopes, is that audiences watching Piranha 3D will be able to "laugh and be scared in the same movie."