After last week's screening of The Red Shoes, I found myself at an impasse as far as this column was concerned. While there was no shortage of movies seen between then and now – I watched The Expendables, Going the Distance, Escape from New York, And God Created Woman, Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, Tales From Earthsea, Gamera, Machete, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Not Quite Hollywood – I felt hard-pressed to choose any of them, because I either loved them regardless of their shortcomings, knew they weren't eligible (all films must be at least five years old), or felt like it would be redundant to point out how well they hold up. But then I saw Piranha 3D.

Although I did not review it for Cinematical this time around, it's truthfully one of the few I've seen I consider to be "critic-proof," meaning that it does precisely what it intends to do, in so doing defies all standards of quality or value, and yet somehow fully satisfies. It truly doesn't matter what critics say about it; if you're at all interested in what it has to offer, you'll love it. But this odd discovery also reminded me that (A) I haven't ever seen the original Piranha, and (B) I recently got a Blu-ray of the film from the good folks at Shout Factory. And all of this labyrinthine self-indulgence is why the original Piranha is the subject of this week's "Shelf Life."