Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Summer Break

Ahhhhh, summer. To be more specific summer break. That's the topic chosen for this week's Thursday Movie Picks by our host, Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. You know, the kids are out of school, high school and college. And they need somewhere to go so they can be brutally murdered. Wait, did that come out right?

(Checking notes)

(Double-checking notes)

(Gets distracted after picking up phone, reading a text from my sister then a quick look at Twitter and Instagram for like a minute...or 45)

(Triple-checking notes after forgetting what they said)

It did!



Things start off as they must, with a couple of horny teens going for a skinny dip only to be eaten by something in the water the audience can't see. I mean, why use your own ideas when you Steven Spielberg has already done the work, am I right? Insert scientists, bad movie science, complete lapses in logic, and our school of man-eating piranha are heading right toward a not-too-distant summer camp full of kids. When I say kids, I don't mean the normal 30 year old playing a high schooler variety. No, I mean legit 10 to 12 year olds. I only saw this for the first time a couple years ago. Let me tell you, I was delightfully shocked by what happens when the piranha get to camp. There might be something wrong with me.

In 1995, there was a made-for-TV which I haven't seen yet. More famously, it was remade for the big screen in 2010 as Piranha 3D. That one is a gloriously gory, boob-filled masterpiece. Alas, that one is set during spring break. Therefore, we return to land with...

Sleepaway Camp


We meet Angela, who is attending a summer camp. We find out she lost her parents when she was really small, and that none of her fellow campers seems to like her. Sure enough, counselors and campers alike start dying, one by one. If you've seen this movie, then you KNOW why the ending is one of the most infamous in movie history. If you haven't, just know that there's no way on this spinning blue ball of increasing temperatures this movie would get greenlit in 2021.

Welp, hanging out (mostly) on land was fun, we gotta check in on the fish. I think it's feeding time again.

Piranha 3DD


First off, the correct pronunciation of the title is Piranha 3-Double D, as in cup size. Yeah, that's what kind of movie we're dealing with here. A water park owner is having trouble making ends meet, as the last few summers before this one didn't exactly make him rich. This year, he decides to do what every other water park is doing and making it an adult-themed park, clothing optional and all. Oh wait, that's NOT what other parks do? Who knew? Anyhoo, since he's a notorious corner cutter, that means he's pumping in water from the surrounding sources. Yup, piranha in all the cracks and crevices. Literally. Even more fun, bad movie science, delivered by Doc Brown himself no less, tells us there's a chance that these particular piranha have a chance to develop legs, lungs, and survive on land. By "a chance" I mean that it will most definitely happen before the movie ends. Thank goodness Ving Rhames has machine guns for legs. And, uh, David Hasselhoff hoffs.

Click here for more Thursday Movie Picks.


  1. I haven't seen the first 2 films though I think I remember filmmaker John Sayles talking about writing one of the Piranha films and it was one of his first gigs as he admitted that it was kind of lame but he had to start somewhere. I just re-watched a bit of Piranha 3DD as there's some bits in that film that is funny as fuck.

    1. Yes, he had to start somewhere, lol. Piranha 3DD is purposely ridiculous, and it does it pretty well.

  2. I haven't seen the original Prianha but I've seen your other two picks! They're campy fun. I like that you went the horror route.

  3. I love the original Piranha which did scare me at that time...poor Keenan Wynn. I have not seen the other 2 but the last one looked like the campy version of Piranha (what am I saying?! They are all campy) but the. It goes into a whole new realm with David Hasselhoff, a man with machine gun legs, piranhas acting like Alien and the big boobies from Silicon Valley..I have to see the last one for sure.

    1. I'd probably watch Piranha 3D before 3DD if I were you, but you don't have to. Both are nuts, though.

  4. I have no idea why but I have seen the first Piranha, but I'm guessing it was under duress! As I recall it was craptastic. I've avoided Sleepaway Camp for years, I still have young nieces and nephews who go to them and I need no horrifying exploits to put bad thoughts about them in my head. Considering my feelings about the first is it any wonder I've not seen Piranha 3DD, though I'm sure it's probably laughably absurd.

    Mine are not so concentrated on one genre (though I do know you love your horror) more on how summer can be so different for various people.

    Last Summer (1969)-Spending the summer unsupervised on Fire Island Sandy (Barbara Hershey), wealthy, spoiled and bored meets fellow teens Dan (Bruce Davison) and Peter (Richard Thomas) on the beach where the three quickly form a tight circle. One day they become acquainted with the awkward and naive Rhoda (Catherine Burns-Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actress). At first friendly the trio close ranks and Rhoda becomes a figure of sport, teased and humiliated by the group. Distressing and disturbing story of maliciousness, sexual domination and cruelty with a pitch-black ending.

    The Flamingo Kid (1984)-Just out of high school Brooklyn teenager Jeffrey Willis (Matt Dillon) unhappy with his modest home, chances into a summer job at the posh Flamingo Club during summer break. Enticed by the heady atmosphere he is taken under the wing of smooth-talking club member Phil Brody (Richard Crenna) who extolls the pursue of the easy buck over the hard work of college much to Jeffrey’s father Arthur (H├ęctor Elizondo) chagrin. There are some late-summer hard lessons ahead for Jeff though.

    The River Wild (1994)-Troubled married couple Gail and Tom Hartman (Meryl Streep & David Strathairn) are taking their son, Roarke (Joseph Mazzello), on a birthday rafting trip down Idaho’s Salmon River during their summer vacation. Misfortune and danger come their way when they are taken hostage by fugitives Wade (Kevin Bacon) and Terry (John C. Reilly) who force Gail, a former raft guide, to help them attempt escape down the treacherous rapids.

    1. The original Piranha, craptastic indeed. As for 3DD, laughably absurd is very accurate.

      The only pick of yours I've seen is The Flamingo Kid, but it's probably been since '84 or '85 that I last layed eyes on it. I've seen bits a pieces of The River Wild, but again, so many years ago and none of it has stuck. I need to give both a proper watch.

    2. I'm not surprised in the least that you haven't seen Last Summer. I'd been searching for it for decades (since the 80's) to see Catherine Burns nominated performance and hadn't been able to find it anywhere. But last week I happened upon it online and watched it instantly for fear that it would disappear before I had another chance. Burns was fantastic (all the performances were good but she excelled) but it was so dark I don't have any desire to see it again. It did unexpectedly come in handy this week though!

  5. Ahhh! Sleepaway Camp is such a great pick. I can't believe I didn't think of that one. I haven't seen the other two but they sound terrible in a fun way?

  6. I haven't seen any of these and I will probably never watch them as I'm sure I won't even find them funny.

  7. Wait... you didn't go for all Piranha movies? Anyway, I haven't seen any of them...not much for B-movies.