Though the film takes place in a fictional Lake Victoria, Piranha 3-D was actually shot on Lake Havasu, a body of water on the border between Arizona and California. Therefore, it's safe to assume Lake Havasu must be overrun with deadly, prehistoric piranha awakened from their slumber by a recent earthquake, right? So you'd think. But if the tourist bureau of Lake Havasu City is to be believed, perhaps not? Says the LA Times:
... [C]ity officials in the region where the film was shot, Lake Havasu -- which borders Arizona and California – are fearful that moviegoers might recognize the vacation spot in the horror film and be led to believe piranhas actually exist in local waters.
At least that was the sentiment conveyed by the city's publicist, Jeff Blumenfeld, who called us somewhat frantically Wednesday morning to express concern over the movie.
“We’re gritting our teeth -- we’re just hoping that the reaction is a good one for the city,” he said.
While it might seem preposterous that tourists could truly believe that there are piranhas swimming around Lake Havasu, some local hotel owners say they've already encountered a few nervous patrons.
“One woman was bringing up to me that the movie was coming out, and she asked – as serious as serious can be – ‘Oh, but are there still piranha in the lake?’ ” recalled Cal Sheehy, general manager of the London Bridge Resort, which is right on Lake Havasu. “At first, I kind of took it as a joke. But then I let her know that that’s the computer-generated part of the movie. And she was very relieved, saying, ‘Oh, I’m so glad to hear that.’ ”
Alright, Lake Havasu city officials, I'll believe you on this one. But it's still a bit curious how quiet you're being about whether or not Ving Rhames is permanently at the lake wielding an outboard motor as a weapon.