Juan Piquer Simon, better known as J.P. Simon, attacked the net with a film called THE NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND SCREAMS (1982), better known to the rest of the world as PIECES (1982). Backed by a brilliant American ad campaign sporting the one of the best straightforward ad lines of all time, "You don't have to go to Texas... for a Chainsaw Massacre", PIECES reworked the Italian giallo into a masterstroke of graphic chainsaw gore and wonderful absurdities. Six years later he followed up PIECES with SLUGS (1988). Based on the Shaun Hutson novel of the same name, it may have actually upped the gross-out factor with gallons of blood, half-eaten faces, exploding heads and one of the most disturbing nude scenes in a mainstream horror film of the era (remember, this is back in a time where this kind of movie was actually shown in theaters). It, like PIECES, became an instant classic among a certain group. While most horror fans considered these movies to be beneath contempt, after the turn of the century, suddenly a new crowd of fans discovered them and they have become somewhat accepted.
The big question was, how could you follow up PIECES and SLUGS? A seemingly insurmountable task that came in an unexpected form, the sub-aquatic horror film. Released exactly one year after LEVIATHAN (1989) and in the same month as THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (1990), Simon fused the two movies into one: THE RIFT. Interestingly, the sub-aquatic horror films of the late '80s transmogrified into the submarine thrillers of the early '90s, and RED OCTOBER was big news long before it hit theaters. In the same way that The Asylum beats the blockbusters to the punch with their quick and dirty filmmaking, so did the Italians and Simon was cut from that cloth, though it was made into a different jersey (yes, I'm still torturing the hell out of that footie metaphor). Though I should point out that the similarity with The Asylum ends there. Even the dullest moment in THE RIFT (of which I honestly can't think of any) are 40,000 fathoms better than anything The Asylum has dumped on to the public at any point in its history.
|I guess those reports of Scalia's coke habit are true.|
ENDLESS DESCENT. EpixHD has given the world a gift in the remastered, widescreen transfer of this aquatic epic that restores it to it's original gory glory that makes it almost a new experience. Yeah, so that might be a bit hyperbolic, but this film echoes the oldies in ways that you just won't see anymore and updates it with plenty of late '80s style splatter. This is probably my favorite of the subgenre (oh I slay me).