'Piranha 3DD' Muddies the VOD Waters

'Piranha 3DD' Muddies the VOD Waters

Spending time in an ’80s era video store taught me the difference between theatrical film releases and straight to video fare. We’re not talking apples to oranges. It was more like grapes to watermelons.

Today, you can find some true gems in the straight-to-video marketplace. Consider movies like “Tenure,” a smart, sly comedy starring Luke Wilson that skipped theaters but still tells a compelling story.

Is the Video on Demand marketplace facing an ’80s style scenario?

Mel Gibson’s “Get the Gringo,” out earlier this month only on DirecTV services, offered consumers a theater-quality production at a price that could compel you to stay home – under $10.

This weekend, the sequel to the supremely entertaining “Piranha” hits both theaters and VOD services, and it feels like it’s the Reagan era all over again – but not in a good way.

We’ll reserve official judgment until we see it, but “Piranha 3DD” looks … awful, like something that would proudly wear the “Skinemax” label. The original “Piranha” was shrewdly made junk food, while what the “3DD” trailer shows is nothing but camp. Very, very low camp.

There’s a place for bikinis and bloodshed, but the VOD original market is in its infancy. And if movie goers plunk down good money to see movies they could just as easily peruse on Cinemax, they might think twice before checking out VOD again.

Just ask the folks who made the mistake of renting one of those ultra-low rent VHS action movies from me 20-plus year ago rather than waiting for “The Hunt for Red October” or “Predator” to get back in stock.