The Rig
Director: Peter Atencio
Staring: William Forsythe, Stacey Hinnen, Serah D’Laine
Review by Brian M. Sammons

Does this title sound kind of generic? Well that’s because the movie is kind of generic too. Basically a thinly veiled rip off of Alien that substitutes the cold vastness of the ocean for the cold vastness of space and swaps the grimy, dripping, gloomy space ship for a grimy, dripping, gloomy oil rig.

There’s the black, spike-tailed, alien thing, the crawling through dark, claustrophobic tunnels with makeshift weapons, and a blue collar crew getting picked off one by one. Oh and did I mention that the company that owns the oil rig is called Weyland? Is it charming and endearing when the filmmakers know that their movie is such a complete rip off that they include in jokes like this, or is that just a big middle finger at the audience dumb enough to have purchased the DVD? In this case, I’m kind of leaning towards the latter.

The story, such as it is, involves the titular rig drilling for oil and releasing something from the ocean floor. Now while you might expect such a long lost ocean predator to be a big fish, mega shark, a weird eel-like thing, or some Lovecraftian tentacled horror, you instead get a guy in a black rubber suit that looks like he never had any business in a kiddy pool let along the deep sea. Further, the creature is never once shown clearly. Not in a “we want to build suspense and wait to the final act to reveal the monster in all it’s horrible detail” kind of way, but in a ” boy does this rubber suit look like crap” kind of way.

Anyway, said creature soon comes up to the oil platform during a storm and one by one starts killing off all the clichés. Oh, sorry, I mean characters. But really, in this movie they are one in the same. There’s the tough Hispanic chick, the funny black comedy relief, the tough but caring crew chief, the hapless guy who’s in love with the chief’s daughter … did this suddenly become the movie Armageddon?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love good cheesy rip off movies. The majority of Roger Corman films would fall into that category, but the majority of those movies have style, a sense of silly, campy fun and I love them for that. The Rig has none of that going for it. It commits the worst crime any B-movie can make; it’s dull and oh so boring.

The characters are cardboard and completely forgettable, the story plods and drags, the special effects are amateurish, even the usual Cormanesq saving grace of gratuitous nudity is only used once and quickly. All these things combined mean that there is no reason to watch this film. Not even for the top billed star, William Forsythe. Yes, Forsythe does the old “I need a quick paycheck but this movie really sucks” bait and switch. He gives the B-movie some star power but don’t expect him to stick around after the first reel.

Anchor Bay brings out this DVD with only two extras: a commentary track with the director and producer and a short behind the scenes featurette. But really, for this movie that seems more at home on the SyFy channel, that’s more than enough love for this thoroughly forgettable film.

I really can’t recommend this movie. It might be good late at night, with a couple of beers and friends who like to give movies the MST3K treatment, but other than that there’s no reason to watch The Rig.

About Brian M. Sammons

Brian M. Sammons has penned stories that have appeared in the anthologies: Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Deepest, Darkest Eden and others. He has edited the books; Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu and Flesh Like Smoke. He is also the managing editor of Dark Regions Press’ Weird Fiction line. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his infrequently updated webpage here: and follow him on Twitter @BrianMSammons.

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