Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Rift (1990)

Juan Piquer Simón has died in lung cancer, another fantastic artist who has left us during the last twelve months. Simón became a fan favourite because of his fantastic mix of commercial ideas, in almost a Hollywood-like style, but filled with gore, cool actors and just a lot of love and passion for the genre he was working in.

In The Rift, a slightly late competitor to the eighties trend of underwater-movies, we meet the one and only Jack Scalia (with an amazing haircut), the grumpy and cool Wick Hayes, designer of an super-advanced deep-sea submarine, When his last sub disappears and he looses a friend in the accident, he’s more or less forced to go down once again together with a new crew, among them his buddy Ray Wise and captain R. Lee Ermey, to solve the mystery. What they find down there is… something very monstrous!

I can proudly say that this is THE best movie in its genre, underwater-monster-missions. It has almost perfect pacing, more monsters than you can bargain for and even some nice graphic gore-shots which splatters the screen with plasma! Like every movie by Simón the monsters isn’t realistic in a way that some fancy schmancy critics might like, but right from some Kevin Connor-movie or one of his own earlier movies, for example the excellent Fabulous Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The Rift looks better than most of the other low budget incarnations in the genre, which nice sets and props, lots of cool actors and more action than to expect. Jack Scalia is as usual a perfect hero, and Ray Wise a great sidekick. R. Lee Ermey do what he does best, looking evil with a heart and even Edmund Purdom shows up in a quite pointless cameo (but I guess it paid his bills that month).

Way better than some people claim, and one of those amazing VHS-tapes that I watched too many times as a teenager. Juan Piquer Simón was a true master of unpretentious genre cinema, something he probably knew himself and this quote tells the truth: "I am an adamant fan of fantasy, thriller and horror films. They are a great purgative and one of the most visual or cinematographic of all the genres." – This is so damn visible when you watch his movies. Maybe the stories themselves lacked depth (not the characters), but he gave us everything we wanted to see in a horror movie: gore, monsters, nudity and more monsters!

Rest in Pieces, Juan Piquer Simón.


José Viruete said...

I agree, this is my fav submarine movie from the 90s. The monsters are awesome. Piquer Simon always did his best to stretch his budgets. RIP.

Ninja Dixon said...

RIP, he will be missed...