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Entertaining Low-Budget Horror Film
Michael_Elliott20 December 2017
The Rift (1990)

** (out of 4)

The experimental submarine Siren I goes missing so the government sends the Siren II to find out what happened. A new crew led by Captain Phillips (R. Lee Ermey) heads into the waters and soon they find the killing creatures.

Juan Piquer Simón will always be known for his cult classic PIECES as well as the overly insane and gory SLUGS but this film here certainly has enough good moments to where fans of his will want to check it out. Obviously, the low-budget film borrows from the likes of ALIENS, THE ABYSS and even LEVIATHAN but this somewhat adds to the charm.

The best thing about this movie are the gory special effects that certainly push the R-rating. Obviously the effects aren't as graphic as what we saw in PIECES but they're still a lot of fun. I really thought the production team did a terrific job on the underwater scenes and especially the cave of the creatures. All of it looked extremely good and they certainly got everything that they could out of the budget.

Even better where the gory special effects. Once the violence breaks out there are all sorts of creatures that get blown apart and this adds to the gory fun. The look of the creature was also decent, although they do kind of take a Roger Corman approach and not show it that much. The cast is good for what they're asked to do but there's no doubt that the screenplay is really lacking any sort of originality and I'd argue that the film is missing any sort of suspense.

With that said, fans of the director will get a kick out of certain elements of THE RIFT and for the most part it's a decent low-budget film.
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Classic "Bad Scifi"/Horror
Tinmancr5 July 2017
Saw this as a kid 20 years later still like it. Not likely you will find this but if you do watch it. I've seen a 100 low budget flicks like this it is in the top few percentile. Has a weird cool 80s/90s movie feel mullets and all! Also full of above average gory special fx. If you like Carnosaur, critters or Leviathan you gotta see this.
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Fun schlock
Woodyanders24 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
An experimental submarine gets sent on a rescue mission to find out what happened to a previous similar sub. Things go nightmarishly awry when the rescue sub crew discover lethal genetic mutations deep under the ocean.

Director Juan Piquer Simon, working from a silly script by David Coleman, keeps the enjoyably inane story moving at a brisk pace, maintains an engaging earnest tone throughout, generates a reasonable amount of tension, and delivers a satisfying smattering of gooey gore. The sincere acting by the game cast keeps this picture humming: Jack Scalia as rugged maverick designer Wick Hayes, R. Lee Ermey as the hard-nosed Captain Phillips, Ray Wise as shifty navigator Robbins, Deborah Adair as Wick's feisty ex-wife Lt. Nina Crawley, Ely Pouget as the sassy Ana Rivera, John Tales as likable smartaleck Joe Kane, and Tony Isbert as no-nonsense pilot Fleming. The modest (not so) special effects possess a certain hokey charm. Joel Goldsmith's robust score does the rousing trick. Juan Marine's slick cinematography provides a fairly polished look. A tacky hoot.
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underwater chiller holds its own
johnc214111 January 2011
After James Cameron's the abyss,there were many imitations like deep star 6,leviathon,lords of the deep,this one is the best of them.with some good actors led by Jack Scalia,Ray Wise,R Lee Ermy,and Edmund Purdom.a submarine meets its fate and a rescue crew must find out why and what happened.i re watched this recently and found it quite enjoyable again.the use of miniature sets and special effects are handled very well.before cgi of course.R Lee Ermy steals the show as the gruff hard as nails captain of the siren 2.the sub assigned to the rescue.the monsters are plentiful and very realistic.hard to believe this was made by the same people who made the trashy awful slugs a year earlier.this is a Saturday matinée movie much like atomic submarine was in 1960,but flashier and with more holds its own,believe me.8 out of 10
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R. Lee Ermey ditches his Drill Seargent role for Navy Commander ......
merklekranz15 November 2010
R. Lee Ermey is the only reason to watch this soggy underwater submarine sci-fi film. He has a starring role, and his presence for the mercifully short 79 minute running time helps maintain some interest. "Endless Descent" is loaded with the usual crisis of the minute clichés, and races along with little character development, and really makes little sense. The crew explores an underwater cave system, while being attacked by a nice assortment of evolutionary accelerated critters. Meanwhile a toxic plant specimen is overrunning the submarine. Throw in a traitor on board, and you pretty much have the plot, or lack thereof. Except for the presence of R. Lee Ermey, this is entirely forgettable nonsense. - MERK
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Take the plunge.
mylimbo25 April 2010
Remember James Cameron's "The Abyss", well that started a short-lived craze for dangerous Sci-fi/ horror underwater features in the late 80s and branching from that came some monster efforts in the vein of "Deepstar Six" and "Leviathan". Director Juan Piquer Simón (known for the outrageous slasher "Pieces" and enjoyably nasty "Slugs") cash-in "Endless Descent aka The Rift" falls more in the latter crowd. It amusedly knows what it is and keeps to its strengths. Sometimes laughable, but it works.

A high tech experimental submarine Siren One has disappeared in a rift and Wick Hayes the creator of the design is asked to return to be part of a team in Siren II in the search of the missing sub. As they dive deeper they come across a black box transmission, but also encounter underwater life forms that might just be more to it than what they were prepared for.

After getting off to a slow start setting up the situation, it eventually builds itself up rapidly by rallying up some intense moments, bloody surprises and imaginatively elastic monster designs (largely underwater plant life and roaming tentacles) that really make an impression the further along the film goes. The comprised special effects are neatly realised, adding in some cheaply punishing jolts but still having creativity within them. Obviously a low-budget and quickly produced enterprise, and clunky story takes elements from other films (Galaxy of Terror comes to mind) which took away any sense of narration surprises, but clichés / and predictability aside Simon does a decent job putting them together in a fairly entertaining, if daft mixture. His tightly measured direction works in its favour creating a compact, but arrestingly threatening atmosphere, along with Joel Goldsmith's spine-tingling music score that complements the terrors waiting in the unknown.

The acting is far from great and a junky script doesn't help either, but having the likes of dependable stars as R. Lee Emery, Ray Wise, Jack Scalia, Deborah Adair and small parts from Edmund Purdom and Garrick Hagon give it a lot stability. John Toles-Bey plays the token wise-cracking character with the stunning Ely Pouget in a ripe, no-bull turn.

It might not match the professional gloss of the other mentioned underwater features, but it's definitely my favourite of its ilk. Generic, but fun.
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Co-production Spanish-US with international cast and submarine adventures
ma-cortes11 January 2010
The underwater sub called Syren 1 is disappeared at a depth of 30.000 feet , and his designer named Wick (Jack Scalia) is sent down by NATO (chief played by Edmund Purdom) to investigate it . The mission on board a sub called Syren 2 is commanded by a stiff captain (R. Lee Ermey) , the crew is formed by a misfit group (Ray Wise , John Toles Bey , Emilio Linder , Ely Pouget , Frank Braña) and a scientific (Deborah Adair) , former Wick's love interest . Tracking a black box signal , the submarine heads to the deep rift where they find several surprises and dangers .

This Sci-Fi/fantasy movie is a mingle of various films , as the deep rift with monsters (Leviathan , Deepstar six) , a crew saboteur (Alien) , a giant mother of creepy monster (Aliens) and abysmal underwater mystery with weird beings (Abyss) . Acceptable playing and good acting by Lee Ermey , as always , who brings nice performance as a commandant , his usual role . Secondary cast is full of Spanish actors , such as Frank Braña , Luis Lorenzo , Tony Isbert and even Pocholo Martinez Bordiú , grandson of dictator Francisco Franco . Cheesy but enjoyable special effects and creatures by Colin Arthur (The Neverending story) . Scale models and functional maquette work by Emilio Ruiz del Rio and Francisco Prosper . Passable cinematography by Juan Marine , Juan Piquer's ordinary cameraman . Atmospheric and adjusted musical score by Joel Goldsmith, Jerry Goldsmith's son . It's produced in middling produced by Francesca DeLaurentiis , daughter of the great Dino . Francesca hired David Coleman to rewrite a 250 pages draft by Colin Wilson . At the beginning the story was set in outer space in an earlier draft of the script but then was subsequently considered an underwater setting . After producing Leviathan (1989) for about $30 million , Dino De Laurentiis, albeit uncredited, decided to finance this low budget version of his own bigger budgeted movie .

The picture was professionally directed by Juan Piquer Simon (Slugs , Pieces , Extraterrestrials visitors , Supersonic Man), and also producer . The principal shooting for this film lasted eight weeks . Moreover , an additional fourteen weeks was spent shooting the special effects for this movie . Rating : Average but entertaining.
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Well acted/low budget sci-fi horror
danhyndman30 June 2006
This is a well-acted, low budget science-fiction/horror movie set in the deep ocean. It involves a submarine crew on a rescue mission and a secret government project which has gone terribly wrong. The crew are stereotypical, but likable, so the viewer is genuinely concerned about their fate. The stand-out performers are the great Lee Ermey (as the submarine commander) and Ray Wise (as a seemingly obsequious science officer). B-movie action hero, Jack Scalia, also gives a strong performance as the brilliant, but iconoclastic, lead.

The special effects, which include a wide variety of aquatic monsters, are certainly low-budget but never laughable or too fake looking. The obvious use of submarine miniatures are somewhat unconvincing.

The film is rated R for a considerable amount of gore and strong language. There is little or no sexual content.

This underwater thriller is reminiscent of sci-fi films of the late 1950's/early 1960's, such as It! The Terror from Beyond Space and Angry Red Planet (two other films which I would also recommend).

It is also somewhat similar to DeepStar Six, another underwater horror film which was released at about the same time.
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Aliens Rip-Off
bonesnbraids19 June 2006
An awful B movie at best with video quality similar to Dead Alive. I challenge anyone who is a "Aliens (James Cameron 1986)" Movie fan to count how many times either lines or almost entire sequences were ripped off from the first two Alien movies to make this classic piece of garbage.

Cast members such as R. Lee Ermey and Ray Wise were the only two actors with any talent and the lead "Jack Scalia" was really absolutely horrible. I think they cast him for his massive cleft chin. I was also annoyed with the stereotyping of the only black male on the set John Toles-Bey who must look at this movie and just wonder. Look him up sometime as he has done a lot of interesting movies.

But on this movie: The script as I said earlier was a rip-off of Aliens tweaked and turned into a submarine "thriller". It included such lines as "I got a bad feeling about this" and "Kill me" as one crew member is infected by one of the mutants and his belly starts doing the "alien hop" just before it pops out of his stomach. There is also a rip-off of the classic "get some!" via Bill Paxton. We also have a bunch of navy grunts running through caves with creepy crawlies popping out of walls. Even the explosions of the mutated creatures is very similar to the popping of aliens as they charge marines in the movie "Aliens". And the kicker is that some of the mutants spit acid (as opposed to having acid for blood). There are many more major examples. So if you want to see this script done well watch the first two classics Alien and Aliens (With Sigourney Weaver). You'll have a more enjoyable time.

The plot could have been interesting and done better if not for confusing sequences in the start of the movie and generally poor editing. Camera shots were pretty dull and honestly it wasn't very hard to stop watching it and walk around the room to get a snack or check email. Many of the interactions between characters made little or no sense and went nowhere more often than not. The whole command structure between crew and Capt. was poorly done. I'm not even sure if there are Captains in the military that have full control over nuclear subs. In general this just shows that there was little research done for background information to make the movie seem at least a little respectable and there are many other similar examples (like dive depth etc..).

If you like horrible movies or are a big fan of Alien and Aliens and want something to just laugh and shake your head at then this movie may be for you. As for me this one is going back on the shelf...permanently.
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cheap............but I liked it.
chrisjan15 December 2005
If you like poor SE, (some) bad acting and a total lack of credibility, this is a movie for you. So a really cheap looking movie, but I liked it anyway. Why? Because I like those kind of movies. I can't help but smile when I see these kind of movies....... What were the producers, actors, director and SE people thinking when they made this film? Don't expect an "Abyss" or "Alien", just a (very) low-budget horror/adventure movie.

There is one nice "splatter"moment when a guy's head is shot off, but for the most, the horror is pretty tame. The final monster is pretty cool too.

It's only 73 minutes long, so you can t go wrong there. Maybe you can pick it up at your local videostore or watch it on TV. I'm sure you will have a good time watching it.

But don't say you weren't warned.............
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Captain, yellow submarine is ready for rip-off!
Coventry29 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I love Juan Piquer-Simón! He's my absolute favorite bad-movie director and, throughout his whole career, he incompetently tried to cash in on simply every successful contemporary trend in the horror and fantasy genres. After the big hit that was "Superman", J.P made his own and hilarious "Supersonic Man", he picked in on the violent slasher-movie madness with the insane "Pieces" and he really over-trumped himself with "The Return of E.T.", the unofficial and downright laughable sequel to Spielberg's SF-blockbuster. "The Rift" is obviously inspired by the series of profitable underwater monster movies like "The Abyss" and "Deepstar Six". From start to finish, you can amuse yourself by spotting all the stolen ideas and shameless rip-offs of these (and other) classics. When a completely new and fancy type of submarine vanishes near the deep Dannekin rift, a second mission with U-boat designer Wick Hayes on board is sent out to investigate what really happened to Siren One. In the dark depths of the ocean, the rescue mission discovers an underwater cavern where the government secretly experiments with mutant sea-creatures. The monsters are quite aggressive but there's also the danger of a government enemy among the crew members... "The Rift" is a forgettable film, but it nevertheless has some ingenious – though very dodgy – monster models. Fans of blood and gore won't complain, neither, as the beastly attacks are quite gruesome and merciless. The acting is very wooden although many of the cast names can definitely do better. It's advisable that you simply enjoy the clichés and gory effects in the "The Rift" because, if you start contemplating about the screenplay, you'll find that it makes absolutely no sense.
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"You can't hold your breath and scream at the same time."
Backlash00721 August 2005
Endless Descent (aka The Rift) is the afterbirth of 1989's underwater explosion of The Abyss, Leviathan, and Deepstar Six. Just as you expect from an apparent bandwagon jumper, it's not as good as those prior flicks. It also takes some time to get going. It has the feel of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea for the most part of the film (and the sub effects are just as hokey). It doesn't turn into a true B monster movie until they finally get out of the damned submarine. Then we get some giant killer seaweed, rubber mutants, and a nice head explosion. I might add that the head explosion was the highlight of the movie. Jack Scalia leads a cast of mostly unknowns and no one here shines. Even R. Lee Ermey and my man Ray Wise seem to be phoning it in. The director's other films include the horrible Pieces and the unwatchable Cthulhu Mansion. So viewer beware.
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It really is bad
Karri Koivusalo29 April 2005
It's difficult to find anything worth of praise with this movie. It's not the worst picture ever made, but that's not saying a whole lot. The plot is quite incoherent and unbelievable; it seems that the producers wanted to make a space movie, but decided to make it underwater to cash in at the success of The Abyss. In some scenes it seems as if the story indeed was set to outer space initially; the sub has a landing gear, the technicians are worried of a rip in a rubber diving suit at the depths of several kilometers, where the pressure would crush the diver and the suit like an empty beer can.

The movie starts out okay, with planning of a recovery of a lost naval sub. After that the movie takes a plunge along with the Siren 2.

Effects are so-so. The navigational screens are all done on Commodore 64 (remember, this is 1990, not 1983), the sub is controlled like no other sub ever; instead of control consoles, the officers have keyboards with which they enter long number sequences to control various functions of the ship. The interior of the ship isn't too convincing either.

The final scenes leap from awkward to absurd. Welcome to the fifties, you can check your suspension of disbelief at the door.

I fail to see enjoyment factor here. The movie is neither good nor hilariously bad MST3k-style (until you get to the final scene), it's like eating a slightly bad apple.
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Good scary monsters
arcdanku12 September 2004
I liked the film overall. OK, I admit the acting (except for Lee Ermey at the end) was uniformly bad. The idea of a land ledge deep down in the ocean was pretty neat. Sure there were stupid mistakes, but hey this is a movie. Look, late at night I prefer mindless monster movies. Another good thing was they didn't try to make Jack Scalia too much of a macho hero. And they didn't make too much romance. When you're facing unheard-of-before monsters who has time to say silly romantic lines we see in so many other movies? There was some smartness in the plot, although I would have liked some more genetics mumbo-jumbo. The starfish monster was pretty good. I'd give it 5/10.
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It's One Part Good And Three Parts Bad.
ryon-212 September 2004
The Rift is a "high-art" concept that combines the movie Aliens with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and you get... well, you get a film that's worse than any old Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode, that's for sure.

There are some truly creepy moments in thismfilm, but those are buried by many shoddy special effects, badly stereotyped characters like the frightened Hispanic cook and the overly cocky, leering and jiving Black guy; and lastly a really weak ending that's supposed to be like the one at the end of Alien but doesn't quite measure up to anything like Alien.

And to add to this sorry mix, Ray Wise's character is supposed to be like the Ash character in Alien, but while his character is human in this film Wise's acting is no less robotic as he goes through the film with his little secret "sly" smiles to show that he's not who or what he's supposed to be.

But despite all of it's flaws, it's not too bad of a sci-fi/horror film. It just could have used one, maybe two more script revisions to have polished it up.
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Laughably stupid
obiwan2611 September 2004
Only good if you are in the mood for an idiotic laugh-fest on the order of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Here are a few of the more brilliant quotes from this movie that takes itself way too seriously:

"You're my kind of white boy, Wick"

"We're passing 45,000 feet!" -- the deepest trench on earth is the Marianas trench at 35,813 feet

"Reverse the polarity" and "Divert all power to the main engines" -- what is this, the USS Enterprise?

"Here we got nothing but darkness and goose bumps"

And some of the stupidest looking movie monsters you will ever see.
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Laughable,but quite entertaining piece of trash.
HumanoidOfFlesh28 April 2004
Juan Piquer Simon's "La Grieta"/"Endless Descent" is a pretty amusing piece of sci-fi/horror schlock.The film offers plenty of entertainment,if you like multiple monsters and gory death scenes.The plot is pretty silly,but the film has some tense and exciting moments.The creature effects are pretty good and occasionally quite imaginative and there is a nice amount of blood and gore.The acting is mediocre as we can expect,but it's nice to see veteran actors like Jack Scalia and R.Lee Ermey on screen.Overall,"Endless Descent" is not as good as "Pieces" or "Slugs",but it's much better than incredibly stupid "La Mansion de los Cthulhu".So if you are a fan of low-budget sci-fi/horror you can give this one a look.Recommended.My rating:5 out of 10.
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Pick this movie up, you won't regret.
Jason Dyer15 January 2003
I thought this was a fairly scary movie mainly because there was a lot to it that had you guessing. It was based on this virus or whatever and it spawned all of these different kinds of creatures and really messes up victims in countless different ways. I've seen alot of negative feedback, but I thought it was entertaining and on another positive note, I thought R. Lee Ermey was good in it as well. Pick it up.
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waste of film, waste of Lee Ermey's acting talents
tshower25 November 2001
Whew, thought it would be at least mildly entertaining. Following a check of Full Metal Jacket, I thought another of F. Lee Ermey's military roles would be as good. WRONG!!! Bad special effects, worse than any 50's Buck Rogers episode, mindless dialogue, cheesy love interest that gives away the ending as soon as it starts. Bottom line, this movie SUCKS. Don't bother renting.
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It's been awhile since I've seen a film this bad.
jiangliqings19 November 2000
ZERO stars out of ****

Endless Descent has absolutely no redeeming values, whether it's the ridiculously bad acting, the laughably awful special effects, the incompetent direction, the stupid script, or the gratingly annoying musical score. It's the kind of pitiful production that makes me wonder how a movie like this could even have the slightest consideration for being greenlighted by a studio in the first place.

I don't think I'm going to delve into the plot other than to say it's about a bunch of people who are trapped under the water and have to kill a lot of fake-looking creatures.

Let me go more into detail as to what is so awful about this flick. First of all, the acting is simply horrendous. Jack Scalia is ten times worse than Sylvester Stallone, a feat that is hard enough to accomplish as it is. The supporting performances aren't really any better. And what is with actor Luis Lorenzo, the guy who plays the cook, Francisco. He has a high-pitched voice and an accent that sounds appropriate for a comedy, not a sci-fi horror film.

The special effects are even worse. The creatures range from weird-looking eels to giant starfish and "mostquitoes." The effects look like something you would see in a muppet movie, and I don't believe I need to delve further in this issue.

Director J.P. Simon has slight cult status because of all the terrible films he's made. I'm sure some will enjoy Endless Descent in an Ed Wood type of way, but I don't even think it's that good. Everything he does is shoddy, especially the camerawork. The man cannot direct a movie, that's all there is to it.

This was the last of four films that took place underwater, and it sure does make Leviathan and Deep Star Six (Both bad films in their own right) start to look masterful in comparison. Either way, just stick with The Abyss.
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