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The Rift (1990) Review

Wick Hayes. Now there’s a name for our submarine designer that conjures up images of some 1960s Fall Guy or Macgyver type character. The indomitable Wick Hayes, builder of submarines, rescuer of trapped mariners, all round hero and nice guy. He’s even got that big haired, John Travolta Grease thang going on, the monsters don’t stand a chance.

So, Wick Hayes has worked on an experimental military submarine, which has now sunk to the bottom of the ocean – not just the bottom but into a rift if you will – taking its crew with it. Wick is called in to join the crew of another sub on an investigation and rescue mission. Things go awry when they start encountering submarine problems, and running into all kinds of weird and wonderful underwater monsters. Never fear though, Wick is here – he can battle a beasty or order a submarine recalibration with that same big haired, nonchalant air, and don’t you just know that those scientist type ladies will both hate him and swoon all over him?

Disaster soon strikes our rescue mission as one of the divers – and couldn’t ya just guess it would be the other, muscly big haired Grease type on board who might have been competition for Wicks knicker elastic loosening skills – get’s munched while off grabbing some plant samples. Nevermind, Wick is on hand to offer condolences to all concerned. What a guy!

From there things start rolling pretty fast, underwater beasties emerging from the murk of the ocean – or out of some convenient air filled tunnels – faster than rats out of a sewer. The beasties look pretty good, there’s a nice and diverse selection of different foes for Wick and the crew to overcome. Time after time Wick saves the day, though not efficiently or often enough to prevent some of the crew meeting suitably grisly ends. He’s a hero, but he’s only a man.

In the tradition of better known films like Leviathan, this is an enjoyable little puddle of underwater action. And it has Wick Hayes, hero, scientist, all round nice guy. What a smashing bloke, everyone loves him. Give this film a whirl if you can find it and if ya like your underwater antics and mutant monster type shenanigans, you won’t be disappointed. A DVD release for this small treasure is long overdue, we can only hope some enterprising distributor will pick it up.

If they need a new title for re-distribution, might I suggest “Wick Hayes, Hero of the Deep”


The Rift (1990) is an American science fiction horror film directed by Juan Piquer Simón. The film stars Jack Scalia, Kate Vernon, and Bo Hopkins.

The film opens with a group of scientists working in a laboratory in Los Angeles. They are studying a strange phenomenon that is causing objects to disappear. One of the scientists, Dr. Nathan McPherson (Scalia), is convinced that the phenomenon is caused by a rift in the space-time continuum.

Despite the skepticism of his colleagues, McPherson continues to work on his theory. He eventually discovers that the phenomenon is caused by a rift that has opened up in the Earth’s crust.

As the rift begins to widen, it causes strange things to happen. Animals and people begin to disappear. Los Angeles is plunged into chaos.

McPherson races against time to close the rift before it destroys the city. He is aided by his ex-wife, Dr. Amy Harper (Vernon), and a government agent, John Hodge (Hopkins).

The Rift is a fast-paced, action-packed film that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Movie Details

Director: Juan Piquer Simon
Writer: Juan Piquer Simon, Mark Klein, David Coleman
Actors: Jack Scalia, John Toles-Bey, R Lee Ermey, Deborah Adair
Release Year: 1990
AKA: La Grieta, Endless Descent