It isn't everyday that "disgusting," "gratuitous," and "over the top" are used as cinematic superlatives, but they qualify as the top three reasons to see Piranha 3D. Alexandre Aja, the fellow largely responsible for bringing French horror stateside (with High Tension) and subsequently reimagining both domestic (The Hills Have Eyes) and international (Mirrors) horror for America, makes what may literally be his biggest commercial splash to date with the 3D opus, a spectacle of nudity, gore and all-around excess for which the term grand guignol was practically invented. And though the film is undoubtedly best appreciated as camp, Aja has been head counselor since it was first conceived, and wants audiences to have as much fun watching it as he obviously had making it.

Cinematical spoke to Aja earlier this week via telephone to discuss Piranha 3D, which opens nationwide Friday, August 20. In addition to talking about the comedic tone of the film, Aja discussed his personal preferences for the sorts of sex and violence he likes to see on screen, and examined the challenges (and opportunities) of building a career for oneself in a Hollywood that's more interested in remakes, adaptations and sequels than something original.