What I Did on Spring Break

Well, it’s been years since spring break has been relevant to me. The few times it was I went to New Orleans. No, I didn’t show my Scarina-boobs for 99 cents of shiny plastic baubles. I went to some museums, ate at some good restaurants, went on some tours, did some seriously awesome vintage shopping. Went to Cafe du Monde and had some beignets, read by the riverfront. So typical spring break culture is kind of foreign to me. And by “foreign” I mean all levels of squicky. That’s why Piranha-3D was so delightful.

I even left my crypt and went to the actual movies to see this.


It was like seeing every douchebag I hated in college get eaten by an unending horde of ravenous tiny creatures.
Now I’m normally skeptical of remakes but I can get behind one that’s respectful of its source material. Check out this poster for Piranha-3D.

Now compare it with the original Piranha poster.

This isn’t a rip-off, it’s a loving tribute. Plus, Joe Dante of the original gave his thumbs-up. According to his interview in Rue Morgue magazine they wanted him to do a cameo but their schedules didn’t mesh. Richard Dreyfuss has a cameo as a local fisherman singing “Show Me the Way to Go Home” and Eli Roth hosts a wet t-shirt contest. There’s just a little bit of Christopher Lloyd which is just the right amount. Ving Rhames is the resident badass who kills piranhas with a shotgun and a motorboat propeller and Elisabeth Shue is the tough-as-nails sheriff who has to make the decision to close the lake down. During tourist season!
Basic plot; Spring break has come to Lake Victoria. But an earthquake has linked a lake under the lake to Lake Victoria, unleashing the prehistoric piranhas. And then hilarious, fleshy mayhem ensues. The director, Alexandre Aja, sure knows how to have fun. That’s really the point of this movie. There is an insane amount of gore and creative deaths. My favorite evokes the dance-floor scene of Ghost Ship. There’s even an underwater lesbian scene in 3D.
Boy, 3D has changed since the last 3D movie I saw, which was Captain Eo.

The movie is good in 3D but not annoying. There aren’t people waving hamburgers at you, it’s more things poking at you from underwater, which makes me wonder what Zombies would have been like in 3D.
The ending pissed me off, though, since it was so clearly a set-up for the sequel. Now was it worth you seeing it? I don’t know. I go to the movies so rarely that it was a treat to see it. But I can see how people would be annoyed by the lack of seriousness. Plus, the spring break thing got kind of grating. I was kind of embarrassed. Do women really act like that? People who know me in real life know that I’m basically a big dork who’d rather spend the night in drinking with friends than going to an expensive club or a cool place. The movie did make one interesting point although I’m not sure if it was intentional or not. There are lots of women in the movie who are beautiful by conventional standards. They’re busty, scantilly-clad, and the guys are really into them. But if they make a mistake or do something the guys don’t want to do they instantly become whores, as in the guys start calling them whores. Jerry O’Connell plays a Joe Francis-esque guy in charge of “Wild Wild Girls,” a “Girls Gone Wild” knock-off. I always wonder what the cost-benefit analysis is to these women. And I can’t help but compare them with Elisabeth Shue who manages to not be eaten, but she also saves her own children, is hot, and she still kicks ass. So I guess my feel-good message from this is that it’s not a crime to be beautiful but you best have something to back that up.

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About scarina

I like scary movies a little too much. I thought I'd share my obsession with you.
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15 Responses to What I Did on Spring Break

  1. Sadako says:

    Is 3D OK for people who wear glasses? I always wonder about that b/c then you have to put the little glasses over your regular glasses…

    • scarina says:

      I have glasses so I was worried about this. I don’t know about other theaters, but the ones they gave me at this one looked like sunglasses and fit fine over my regular glasses. They were plastic and tinted kind of gray, no blue and red lenses set in cardboard for Regal Cinemas. My head did feel kind of wonky throughout. Not necessarily bad, just weird.

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  3. Crypticpsych says:

    So, let me see if I’ve got this straight:

    You went to New Orleans on Spring Break for completely non-stereotypical reasons and did fun things most people don’t know about, had a ravenous distaste for douchey idiots in college, prefer to stay in than go out to a bar, are not a fan of the kind of spring break that airs on MTV, and, while you did LIKE Piranha 3D, the Spring Breaky-atmosphere of the movie did become annoying and distracting.

    Huh….okay….Hi….I’m a New Orleans suburb-born transplant to New Jersey by way of Maryland who been around the area for 5-10 years now and sticks around because there’s just so much horror stuff to do. My family, a few generations down the line, is legitimately Cajun on my father’s side. I’ve never understood the “Spring Break” culture nor the “Girls Gone Wild Culture” and have always resented both of them for causing so many people to have the wrong idea of what New Orleans and Mardi Gras are all about (having grown up going to parades for 15 years). In college, I would not be caught within 500 feet of a frat party and spent most of my time hanging out with friends. While I DON’T like Piranha 3D, I do think it had great gore and loved Christopher Lloyd, Elizabeth Shue, and Ving Rhames. However, the spring break-iness and the girls gone wild-knockoff just overtook everything for me.

    Remind me again why I never found this blog or started following you on Twitter until a few days ago? I’m kinda at a loss…..lol

    • scarina says:

      Yeah, I’m kind of a mess of contradictions. Mostly, I enjoyed seeing the people I disliked in high school getting eaten. But I really could have done with less of the GGW atmosphere. I really don’t understand why people get up in arms about a movie like A Serbian Film, which is unspeakably gory and violent but has a point, but say nothing about a movie like Piranha 3D. I think I’m willing to let it slide a bit b/c I like animals run amok movies so much. Movies like the original Piranha or Frogs or Orka. I don’t think I’ll see the sequel in theaters.
      Wow, I had some of the happiest, most peaceful times in my life in New Orleans. Heh, I basically did nerd stuff on my two trips, which were pre-Katrina. I’m kind of scared to go back, I don’t want the city to be changed for the worse. I guess that’s pretty cowardly. I did a lot of shopping there, the vintage shopping was amazing! I hate vintage shopping in NYC/Nj b/c everything here is so expensive. I went to the zoo and did a plantation tour and had some really good meals for pretty cheap. I’m a huge history nerd so New Orleans was perfect for me. Ok, I was an Anne Rice nerd a long time ago so that was part of the appeal too.
      I’m a little late to the game but welcome to NJ. Do you read “Weird New Jersey?” That’s one of my favorite magazines.
      Hmmm, I blame it on my poor self-promotion. I keep meaning to submit my blog to the horror blogger’s alliance but then I feel really stupid. I don’t really have a mission statement, I just like to categorize what I read and what I watch and I also want to preserve the memory of certain kinds of scary movies.

      • Crypticpsych says:

        Well, regarding being a mess of contradictions, I’ve always considered myself to be sanely insane and happily abnormal because “normalcy” is overrated. So I can definitely understand that.
        I think people’s issue with A Serbian Film is the child’s involvement in the shocks to be honest. I mean, people were up in arms about The Human Centipede too (which I love and can appreciate its lesser sequel for far different reasons) but never to the degree they were about Serbian Film. I’ve not seen it, but I’ve read so much about it and seen so many reviews that it almost feels like I have. I know all the shocks and all the visuals. At some point I will watch it down the line though.
        When I saw Piranha 3D that was exactly how I felt about it not having a point. I left the theater thinking “Okay, that’s fine…but it just kinda seemed like gore (good gore of course) for gore’s sake? What was really the point of that movie?”. I haven’t decided on seeing the sequel or not yet. The original film seems to flesh out its characters more and give you a reason to care. It almost felt like the remake was “See these two kids? You’re going to like them because we say so”. Animal films are great fun though…movies like Alligator and Grizzly and Squirm…
        I haven’t really been back down to New Orleans much since Katrina either other than for a few short family matters (though I’m looking at June…). From what I hear, there are changes and not all good but a lot of what made the city great is still there. I wasn’t able to hang around the city too much growing up because I was so young and lived in the suburbs, but I used to go to the zoo and the aquarium. It’s definitely a great place to visit with tons to do and I do miss it…the food and the parades mostly. I firmly believe the people who spend Mardi Gras season on Bourbon Street are missing out on the true fun.
        While I do have a fair few issues with Jersey and NYC (mostly, as you mentioned, the cost of living), I love being in a place with tons of horror conventions and events with relatively easy access and basically stuck around after college. This weekend I’m looking into Silence of the Lambs the musical, next week’s Chiller in Parsippany, next month’s Tromadance, a 35mm screening of Gates of Hell, and, in Poughkeepsie, a 12 hour 35mm marathon of things like Phantasm, Day of the Dead, and Friday the 13th Uncut. I’d never have access to this much stuff (for better or worse financially) without living here. I have seen Weird New Jersey, but I’ve never read it. I’ve always loved the concept though.
        I wouldn’t blame poor promotion or anything like that…I really don’t think you even need a mission statement, you do fantastic doing just what you just said! I was more commenting on the fact that I’m reading your posts and thinking “this person is referencing Harry Potter, is funny and honest, and is smart enough to refer to Dadaism correctly. What’s wrong with me that I didn’t find this blogger who seems so similar to me before now?, lol”.

      • scarina says:

        Oh, normal is boring. I think. I’ve never been quite normal.
        The whole uproar over A Serbian Film reminded me of the uproar over Cannibal Holocaust, except I think that ASF’s filmmakers are way more credible than Ruggero Deodato. At least they didn’t kill anything.
        Animal movies from the seventies were so great, I miss them.
        The zoo was so greta, I had loads of fun there and the area around it was very nice, if I recall properly. It seemed like a nice park where you could go running or just hang out. Omg, the food there was so amazing. Ok, I did get a hurricane in one of those plastic cups, just for funsies. I loved that I could eat really well there but on the cheap, at least compared to NYC/NJ prices.
        Oh, I’ve been meaning to check out Silence!. I’m trying to save up to get seats in the well, I heard you get a gift basket if you do that. I really had no clue there were so many horror conventions in/around NJ. Although, honestly, I’m quite reclusive. It’s a big deal if I leave the house for something other than work, so I never really looked. You should check out Weird NJ, they promote a bit of horror culture. The photographs can be quite good and some of the stories are really creepy, even if I don’t believe them the way I did when I was 14.
        Ha, well thank you, again. :) I enjoy the Fear Street blog a lot, it brings back a lot of memories. I spent so much young adult time reading R.L. Stine & Christopher Pike. I’m so glad I wasn’t young when Twilight came out and got to experience real horror writing.

  4. Crypticpsych says:

    My thing with A Serbian Film is that I know the filmmakers had a point with what they were trying to do and an underlying meaning but, in practice, it’s very telling that the big debate when it was released in the US was whether it was really “uncut” or not. But that’s not the filmmakers fault. And I actually love Cannibal Holocaust…buuuut fully realize there was absolutely no reason at all for Deodato to actually kill animals which is the major thing in the movie I have issues with. Still packs a punch though…I saw it for the first time ever in 35mm last year. An entirely different thing when you can’t stop the movie without actually leaving the theater.
    Yeah, the area around Audobon is really nice and peaceful. I think it’s a combination of a park and also sort of the college town “area” for one of the colleges…Tulane if I remember correctly, but I’m not sure. And trust me, just because I never got into the “Spring Break” thing does not mean I don’t drink or understand the need to get a Hurricane in New Orleans…it’s an institution!
    I did not know that about The Well at Silence the Musical! Huh….I was considering tickets in the FBI Headquarters…I might change my mind now. Incidentally, I thought it was closing, but maybe it’s been extended again because it’s playing all throughout the summer too so I might not go until next month around my birthday (I originally thought it was closing at the end of the month). And, to be honest, I’m pretty reclusive too other than work. I do enjoy doing these events, but I’m always alone at them or at the advance screenings (usually in NYC) I sometimes get for the site I write for, “Best Horror Movies.com”. If you wanna know about any of the events, let me know and I can give you some web addresses for them. And I might buy a copy of Weird NJ soon and check it out!
    Stine and Pike were what I grew up with as well…all the way up the chain from Goosebumps (One Day at Horrorland was my first) to Ghosts of Fear Street to Fear Street and Pike…then to King and Koontz and others, fiction and nonfiction). I love to read, though I never seem to have enough time.

    • Crypticpsych says:

      (Dangit, that was supposed to go under yours…whoopsy.)

    • scarina says:

      That is true, the worries about the gore totally overshadowed the meaning of the film. I actually haven’t seen Cannibal Holocaust–I’m too scared to, I hate seeing animals get hurt. I know it was fairly standard in the seventies, in movies like Kingdom of the Spiders and Gnaw, but animals really don’t have to die to entertain me.
      Ha, it was definitely a novelty walking around with liquor in the open, not wrapped in a brown paper bag.
      The show keeps getting extended, maybe I’ll get lucky.
      That sounds pretty much like me, if I go to anything it’s usually alone. That would be swell, thanks! I’ll definitely check out the site you write for too. You should, the new issue comes out in May.
      When I read One Day At Horrorland, I really wanted to visit Horrorland. It sounded terrifying and amazing. Yeah, they led me to King and Anne Rice. I mostly read fiction now but not nearly as much as I want to. I mostly focus on morbid and weird history and evolutionary science. I’ve been reading a lot of Dawkins and once I finish The Ancestor’s Tale, I plan on reading the recomendations and the primary sources.

      • Crypticpsych says:

        *looks at copy I bought today*…huh. Misread the years and thought there wasn’t a new issue for months. Eh, it’s only five bucks, I can get the next one when it comes out. After all, five bucks is cheaper than the horror magazines I pick up!
        You’re absolutely right with Cannibal Holocaust. A lot of the movie is the “horrors” of what these filmmakers did in the rainforest to get their footage and how the natives rose up in response. That stuff is interesting, dark, and compelling on its own…WITHOUT the animal deaths (that’s why a lot of the DVDs now also offer the “animal-cruelty free cut”). And I need to get hold of a copy of Kingdom of the Spiders. I liked what I saw of it when I watched a bit of it a few weeks ago.
        I’ll be glad to let you know about anything coming up. Of what I mentioned, The Devil’s Carnival is the new short film from the Repo! folks that plays in NYC next Thursday night. Chiller’s in Parsippany (chillertheatre.com) but they’re usually INSANELY crowded and a bit more expensive than most other area conventions. Tromadance (Tromadance.com) is a free film festival in Asbury Park…mostly shorts, they haven’t announced the features yet. The Gates of Hell (aka City of the Living Dead) screening with mystery bonus film is at the Forum in Metuchen…they’ll be doing another with The Deadly Spawn in June and they did an “April Fools” screening at the beginning of this month where they advertised 35mm “April Fools Day” and then actually showed 35mm “The Gate”. Lastly, the big 12 hour 35mm marathon thingy is in Poughkeepsie and called Hudson Horror Show (www.hudsonhorrorshow.com). The year kind of goes in chunks in this regard. March-May is pretty crazy, then it picks up again August-to-October.
        I always thought Horrorland was great-sounding…I wish the TV adaptation of that book had been better, but it was fine in general.
        Right now, bookwise, I’m working on “Twilight Eyes” by Dean Koontz and I have a book on pre-code Horror comics after that. I really do want to get into Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and the like at some point (though I have a ton unread to get through already). They’ve always seemed to be exceedingly smart from what little bits I’ve read or seen quoted.

      • scarina says:

        Oh, did you get the one with the statue on the cover that kind of looks like a crazed Bruce Campbell? I think it’s supposed to be Davy Crocket or Paul Bunyan.
        Meh, I think I’d still see the original version just because that’s the way the film-maker wanted the movie. I haven’t actually seen Kingdom of the Spiders. I want to, though. William Shatner plus rampaging spiders is an automatic win.
        Wow, thanks for all that info. I just read about The Devil’s Carnival, I didn’t realize it was coming her so soon. I’ll definitely have to pick and choose what I want to see, depending on my cash-flow situation.
        I remember my favorite Goosebumps book was the one where the kid went to camp and bad stuff starts to happen. It’s pretty much the least safe summer camp ever. It turns out his parents were trying to prepare him for thei rupcoming space mission…to Earth. Dun dun dunnnnnh.
        I definitely recommend God is not Great or Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens. The first book made me an atheist and the second one is his memoirs. He had such an amazing life. Pretty much all of Dawkins’ books are good. My unread pile is always much larger than my read pile, I fear it will stay that way forever.

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