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Split Second (1992)

  Tags: 90's, Alun Armstrong, blood, creature, demon, detective, future, gore, hidden gem, Kim Cattrall, Michael J. Pollard, Neil Duncan, Pete Postlethwaite, Rutger Hauer, sci-fi, Tony Maylam, underrated

Your rating: None Average: 7.4 (8 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

splitsecond.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Tony Maylam
Runtime: 
90 minutes
Cast: 
Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Neil Duncan, Michael J. Pollard, Alun Armstrong, Pete Postlethwaite


Ten years after Tony Maylam directed a scissored-maniac to slice up a bunch of young punks on a raft (The Burning) he went behind the camera for a little known sci-fi-horror pic entitled Split Second. I remember first viewing this film shortly after it was released on VHS and boy did I enjoy it. I ended up purchasing it on VHS in my teens and found myself still having a blast. Now, my third viewing and 10-or-so-years later, does it still hold up? For the most part, it does. Although clearly dated and boosting a hilarious alternate 2008 flooded and polluted London, the cool characters, cheesy one-liners, and practical effects still manage to hold its own 10-plus-years after its release.

So, the story is set in London 2008, where global warming and constant rain has caused the city to become flooded and in a constant state of near darkness. Amidst this backdrop, we follow a tough smart-mouthed detective named "Harley" (Rutger Hauer), who after losing his partner to a mysterious killer, has become a loose cannon and is forced to team up a new by-the-book partner. The duo comes across a slew of dead bodies with their hearts torn out and eaten and other obvious clues that determine that the killer has returned and is playing a cat-and-mouse game with Harley. Now, determined more than ever to stop the beast, the two grab much-needed "bigger guns" and set off, but can they stop something that may be Lucifer himself?

One of the most memorable things I remember from the flick all these years is the gore. Sure, it's tame compared to today's standards, but it still offers a pretty good amount of blood and numerous open chest cavities. A young (and still ripe) Kim Catrall is in the flick as the widow of the deceased partner and semi-love interest for Rutger Hauer, but luckily the romance is kept to a minimum. As for Hauer's character "Harvey," he's pretty much your stereotypical wise-crackin' badass in a trench coat. Waving around a modified "futuristic" revolver, the man takes crap from no one and is the perfect candidate to take on the foul creature. Speaking of which, despite getting a near-full shot of the monster on the cover, we actually don't see it until the end of the film.

The rest of the movie only shows him in bits and pieces. It's better off that way since it's pretty much a more humanoid version of the creatures from the Alien series, but it still doesn't make it any less cool-looking, in my opinion. My only real gripe about the movie would have to be the final showdown with the creature, which seemed to end a little too hastily. When it's all said and done, Split Second is cliché and fairly predictable, but who cares when you have a beast tearing out people's hearts and a pissed off gun-toting Rutger Hauer on his ass! Since the flick never really got the exposure it should have, it has received somewhat of a cult following over the years by collectors and genre fans, with the DVD going for ridiculous amounts on auction sites. However, if you're like me and own an all-region DVD player, you'll do the smart thing and pick up the Australian DVD instead.

Although cliché and clearly dated, the movie still manages to deliver a fun ride thanks to Rutger Hauer as the tough, loose-cannon detective and the vicious razer-clawed creature that's playing games with him. Still holding its own in the gore and make-up effects department, Split Second is an under-the-radar film that must be seen at least once by horror and sci-fi fans alike. Check this one out!

Posted on July 3, 2009 - 5:49pm | FrighT MasteR

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