Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rift, The

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Rift, The



    Released by: Scorpion Releasing/Kino Lorber
    Released on: September 20th, 2016.
    Director: Juan Piquer Simon
    Cast: Jack Scalia, R. Lee Ermey, Ray Wise, Deborah Adair, Ely Pouget
    Year: 1985
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    There was a time in the late eighties/early nineties when underwater horror movies were pretty popular - think back to Deep Star Six or Leviathan (which was produced by Dino De Laurentiis, who just so happens to have partially bankrolled this film as well), for example. So what would a movie made in a similar vein with a quirky American cast and the director of Pieces behind the camera be like? Well, it's exactly what you think it is! Sorry. Maybe that was too obvious but sometimes these things can't be helped.

    The movie revolves around a man named Wick Hayes (Jack Scalia), the engineer responsible for the construction of an experimental submarine called the Siren I, an expensive piece of equipment that the Navy has somehow managed to lose at the bottom of the ocean. His aid is requested on a mission to retrieve the lost submarine led by salty Captain Phillips (R. Lee Ermey). Along for the ride in the Siren II are Wick's ex-girlfriend Nina (Deborah Adair), a biologist, and a navigation officer named Robbins (Ray Wise) as well as a few other 'red shirt' types: Joe Kane (John Toles-Bey), Ana Rivera (Ely Pouget), Philipe (Emilio Linder), Fleming (Tony Isbert) and some other characters you won't likely ever remember.

    They leave the shores of Norway and head deep into the icy depths but soon enough Wick and Captain Phillips come to blows over the fact that Wicks' original designs have been compromised by the military's decision to install nuclear weapons onboard. This was done without his input and the ship hasn't had proper diagnostics run. This doesn't stop Phillips from going full speed ahead with the mission, piloting the craft rather haphazardly through some dangerous ice flows. When the ship gets damaged and one of the diver's has to head out to check out the scene, he finds a corpse and some weird plants, bringing a sample of said plant back to Nina to investigate. Of course, this quickly goes awry and the crew of the Siren II are soon under attack from some strange undersea… things.

    The Rift isn't going to win any awards for originality as it's basically Aliens relocated underwater and with some undersea plant monster things replacing the Giger-esque bugs of Cameron's blockbuster. But you know what? It doesn't matter. This movie is a lot of fun, a quickly paced and energetic popcorn movie with some enjoyable characters played by some memorable actors, loads of awesome low-budget miniature and effects work and a dependably predictable script. Fine, it's cheap. It's obvious that the scenes where the Siren II navigates those dangerous waters are done with a tiny plastic model in a studio tank somewhere and it's clear that the interiors of that sub were shot on some sort of soundstage, but when you've got Juan Piquer Simon at the helm authenticity isn't even an afterthought so much as it is a complete non-issue. The monsters are kind of goofy looking but done in the endearingly pre-CGI way that horror fans always appreciate, and some of the set pieces are actually fairly eerie despite the fact that the said effects are never entirely convincing. Sometimes the concept counts more than the execution.

    The cast is also a big reason this is as entertaining as it is. R. Lee Ermey basically plays the same character here that he plays in every other movie you've ever seen him in. He has almost no range and is rightly stereotyped as the loudmouthed military type, but he does what he does so well that he's always a blast to watch in parts like this. Ray Wise never goes too over the top as he has in a few other genre efforts lucky enough to have had him in the cast, but he's got that patented Ray Wise intensity going on here that makes him amusing even when he's just sort of sitting behind a terminal trying to figure out coordinates and stuff. Deborah Adair makes a fine biologist and kinda-sorta love interest for our hero, and if Ely Pouget is kind of underused, well, at least she's a stone cold fox. Edmund Purdom, who also popped up in Pieces (and countless other films) also has a small role here. The real lead of the film is Scalia. He's kind of a weird choice to carry the film but he does it well enough - and with his mane of hair flowing behind him at all times - seriously, he has a lot of hair in this movie. He's heroic enough if not always super-charismatic.

    This one doesn't change the world or really even break any new ground, but it's clear that the filmmakers weren't going for that. They were cashing in on a trend that remains a fun concept in horror movie territory even today, and they did it well. Low budget and goofy as it might be, The Rift is a really entertaining film.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Scorpion, through Kino Lorber, brings The Rift to Blu-ray for the first time in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.668.1 widescreen and it looks excellent. Colors are reproduced beautifully and really shine through on this disc, while the image is nearly pristine, showing virtually no print damage at all while still retaining a nice, natural amount of film grain. Skin tones look good, black levels are nice and strong and the image appears free of any obvious noise reduction or edge enhancement. There are no problems to note with any compression artifacts and there's good texture evident here as well. This is a really strong picture, two thumbs up!

    Audio is presented in English language DTS-HD 2.0 with optional subtitles presented in English and Spanish. Sound quality is also very strong. Dialogue is easy to understand and the film's soundtrack has good presence and depth to it. Sound effects have some good punch behind them while the levels stay properly balanced from start to finish. There are no problems at all with any hiss or distortion - this sounds really good.

    Extras are primarily made up of three newly shot on-camera interviews, the first of which is with Ray Wise who speaks for just over twenty-four minutes about his work on this picture. There are some interesting and sometimes amusing anecdotes shared about working with a cast that spoke Spanish rather than English, budgetary restraints, and the creature effects featured in the film - he wasn't too impressed with that aspect of the production! Wise is always animated and interesting when interviewed about his work, this piece is no exception. Jack Scalia also shows up, he talks for thirty-one minutes about how he wound up getting the lead part in the first place, the difficulties of playing a character who smokes in a movie when, in real life, you've quit smoking, his thoughts on working with Simon, and the other cast members he worked with on the film. He also shares some fun stories about his time working in the television industry. The third interview gets R. Lee Ermey in front of the camera for a seven minute talk about his dislike for the film, his testy relationship with Ray Wise, and his thoughts on Simon as a director. As is his style, Ermey is pretty blunt about all of this and he doesn't hold back.

    The disc also includes a trailer for the feature under the Endless Descent alternate title, trailers for a few other Scorpion releases available through Kino like Killer Force and The Passage, menus and chapter selection. The disc also comes packaged with some very cool reversible cover artwork - always a nice touch!

    The Final Word:

    The Rift won't change your life but it'll entertain you for ninety minutes or so with a great cast, some low budget but enjoyable effects and a fast paced story. Scorpion's Blu-ray release looks great and sounds good too - add to that a nice selection of interviews from three of the main cast members and all in all this is a great release.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!





























      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Lux Aeterna (Yellow Veil) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Yellow Veil
      Released on: July 28th, 2022.
      Director: Gaspar Noé
      Cast: Béatrice Dalle, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Félix Maritaud, Clara Deshayes
      Year: 2019
      Purchase From Amazon

      Lux Aeterna – Movie Review:

      Meant as an expression of his thoughts on filmmaking and a tribute to both his two leading ladies and the filmmakers that inspired him, Gaspar Noé’s 2019 picture, Lux Aeterna, opens with clips opens with some clips from
      ...
      08-04-2022, 02:17 PM
    • L.A. Aids Jabber (Visual Vengeance) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Visual Vengeance
      Released on: August 9th, 2022.
      Director: Drew Godderis
      Cast: Jason Majik, Justin Godderis, Marcy Lynn
      Year: 1994
      Purchase From Amazon

      L.A. Aids Jabber – Movie Review:

      Drew Godderis acted in low budget movies like Blood Diner, Evil Spawn, Cannibal Hookers and Deep Space before he set out, in 1994, to direct his own independent feature. When shooting on 16mm didn’t work out, Godderis did the next
      ...
      08-04-2022, 02:14 PM
    • Shriek Of The Mutilated (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: January 26th, 2022.
      Director: Michael Findlay
      Cast: Alan Brock, Jennifer Stock, Tawm Ellis, Ed Adlum
      Year: 1974
      Purchase From Amazon

      Shriek Of The Mutilated – Movie Review:

      Directed by Michael Findlay (who has a quick cameo in the opening scene) from a screenplay co-written by Ed Adlum and Ed Kelleher (the duo that brought Invasion Of The Blood Farmers), 1974’s Shriek Of The Mutilated
      ...
      08-01-2022, 04:29 PM
    • Raw Nerve (Culture Shock Releasing) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Culture Shock Releasing
      Released on: January 26th, 2022.
      Director: David A. Prior
      Cast: Ted Prior, Sandahl Bergman, Traci Lords, Glenn Ford, Jan-Michael Vincent, Tex Cobb
      Year: 1991
      Purchase From Amazon

      Raw Nerve – Movie Review:

      The legendary David A. Prior’s 1991 film, Raw Nerve, is placed in Mobile, Alabama, a town being terrorized by a serial killer with a shotgun whose evidently got an axe to grind against beautiful
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:40 PM
    • Righting Wrongs (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: July 26th, 2022.
      Director: Cory Yuen
      Cast: Yuen Biao, Cynthia Rothrock, Melvin Wong, Karen Sheperd, Peter Cunningham, Corey Yuen
      Year: 1986
      Purchase From Vinegar Syndrome

      Righting Wrongs – Movie Review:

      Righting Wrongs, which was released by the Weinstein Corporation on DVD in 2007 as Above The Law (not to be confused with the Steven Seagal movie of the same name), was directed by Cory
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:37 PM
    • Two Undercover Angels / Kiss Me Monster (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on: July 26th, 2022.
      Director: Jess Franco
      Cast: Rosanna Yanni, Janine Reynaud, Adrian Hoven, Chris Howland, Michel Lemoine
      Year: 1969
      Purchase From Amazon

      Two Undercover Angels / Kiss Me Monster – Movie Review:

      Vinegar Syndrome reissues two of Jess Franco’s swingingest pictures from the late sixties with this two-disc special edition pairing up Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster.
      ...
      08-01-2022, 03:33 PM
    Working...
    X