The Rift, also known as Endless Descent, is a 1990 science-fiction horror action film directed by Juan Piquer Simón and starring Jack Scalia and R. Lee Ermey. The story involves a submarine rescue that goes awry. It is one of many underwater-themed movies that were released around 1990 like The Abyss, DeepStar Six and Leviathan.
The submarine Siren 1, specialized for deep water expeditions, has suffered a disaster inside a submarine rift. Siren 2, the only other submarine with the same ability, is sent to rescue it. The designer Wick Hayes, who has been blamed for the disaster, is on board in order to prove his innocence and save a good friend of his, which was on board the Siren 1.
Things begin to go awry, when things appear in the rift that shouldn´t be there. Additionally they discover through a black box signal, the submarine has been in a deep water cave, where air is unexplainably toxic. In their investigation of that place they discover horrific creatures everywhere, which are decimating the crew. When they enter the centre of that place, which appears to be a laboratory, they discover that the government has been creating new life forms made out of an experimental DNA accelerator as part of a plan to develop biological weapons. It evolved creatures and created completely new life forms, but then it went completely out of control.
They are able, under great losses, to stop the accelerator from producing more horrific creatures by destroying it. However, it also turns out one of the crew is a killer hired by government circles around the company ConTech, who built the submarines and made the accelerator experiment, to cover up the disaster of the illegal experiment and kill everyone who knows about it to save themselves from scandal. It also comes out they made sure Wick Hayes would be on board to kill him, too, because, apart from the fact that the experiment indirectly damaged Siren 1, they were also partly responsible for its destruction by changing its design for military purposes behind his back, which stole them from the opportunity to adapt to the damage on the submarine because of this and wanted to cover that up, too. They also find out that everyone, including Wick´s friend Mark Macy, have died at the laboratory and in the submarine. They also realise the signal was created by the killer as part of a plan to lure them into the cave, make sure they would limit the damage they had done with the experiment and then use Siren 2 to seal the deep water cave to make sure nothing reaches the surface, kill the surviving crew, frame Wick for both losses and get away with everything.
They are able to stop him, but the captain gets infected, when he touched mutated tissue created by the accelerator and has to stay behind. Only Wick and his wife, who also happened to be aboard, survive. Siren 2 is blown up to seal the cave anyway by the captain, but he gives them the opportunity to catch the escape pod, gather the evidence they need to expose these circles about what they have done, which they intend to do, and go away in the nick of time.
- Jack Scalia as Wick Hayes
- R. Lee Ermey as Captain Phillips
- Ray Wise as Robbins
- Deborah Adair as Lieutenant Nina Crowley
- John Toles-Bey as Joe Kane
- Ely Pouget as Ana Rivera
- Emilio Linder as Philippe
- Tony Isbert as Fleming
- Álvaro Labra as Carlo
The principal shooting of the film lasted 8 weeks, while fourteen weeks were needed for the shooting of the special effects.
The Rift is considered to be a B-movie because of the lack of originality of the plot. Still it is praised for the action scenes that were done taking into consideration the limited budget the movie had.