Split Second – UK, 1992 – reviews

 
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‘He’s seen the future… Now he has to kill it.’

Split Second is a 1992 British science fiction horror feature film about a maverick detective hunting an inhuman serial killer in flooded London.

Directed by Tony Maylam (The Sins of Dorian Gray; The Burning) from a screenplay written by Gary Scott Thompson (Timecop: The Berlin Decision; Hollow Man – story), the movie stars Rutger Hauer (The Sonata; Dracula 3D; The Hitcher; et al), Kim Cattrall (Big Trouble in Little China; Good Against Evil), Alastair Duncan (The Batman TV series; The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1978) and Michael J. Pollard (House of 1000 Corpses; American Gothic).

Thompson’s original script was a standard serial killer hunted by mismatched cop buddies but was changed during production. As a result, several plot strands never go anywhere. Stephen Norrington (director of Blade) was a production designer.

Plot:

The year is 2008. Global warming has melted much of the polar ice caps, resulting in serious flooding around the world – including the city of London, much of which is now under several feet of water. In the ensuing chaos, a new killer has emerged. One that’s unnatural, unrelenting and unstoppable.

Maverick veteran policeman Harley Stone (Rutger Hauer) has a link with the killer – it murdered his partner.

As new rookie Detective Dick Durkin(Alistair Duncan) is assigned to him, Stone must find the killer, rescue his girlfriend Michelle (Kim Cattrall), and fight off his own inner demons as he gets closer to his mysterious adversary.

But when the killer is a vicious ten-foot-tall alien creature, even in the future, there aren’t guns big enough to stop the creature’s deadly reign.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“There are no big special effects, but this is something that actually helps the film a lot. Maylam and cinematographer Clive Tickner (Getting It Right) use a number of excellent locations and a variety of dark and cold colors and shadows to give the film what can best be described as an organic industrial look.” Blu-ray.com

Split Second is great – unintentionally hilarious, reasonably well-made and very, very wet […] utter rubbish, with possibly the worst final scenes ever. Even the name of the film doesn’t make sense…” British Horror Films

“Worth watching if you’re really bored, but I can’t really recommend it. The story’s not strong enough, the action scenes are pretty forgettable and the gritty story sprinkled with comedy moments made the whole thing feel uneven.” Happyotter

” …the film looks great, the monster is reasonably impressive (if somewhat familiar) and kept very mysterious for most of the film, there are some very funny moments (particularly what happens to his partner after their first encounter with the creature, and one line mostly stolen from Jaws), Rutger and Alastair Duncan both give excellent performances…” Rivets on the Poster

“Very fast-paced, Split Second is an example of the men-versus-monster genre, with a British setting providing a fresh twist. The film’s speed drowns any questions an audience may have about the presence of so many Americans in London or the apparent lack of interest by the whole police force in a creature that can crash through its mortuary’s steel door.” TV Guide

“Climax in a London subway is well directed by Ian Sharp, but the man-in-a-rubber-suit monster is a poor imitation of Alien with lots of dripping petroleum jelly. Hauer harrumphs his way through a role that merely parodies his previous fantasy films, while newcomer Neil Duncan fares better in a multidimensional assignment.” Variety

” …Split Second is a bit slow in the beginning, but it gets better as it goes along and by the end, it’s pretty kick ass. The plot is similar to Predator 2 in some ways and it would probably make a great double feature with that flick. The Giger-inspired monster is also rather boss and looks cooler than most Giger-inspired monsters you’d see in this sort of thing.” The Video Vacuum

 

Split Second is a film clearly influenced by Blade Runner. It’s aesthetically very similar, and the score reminds me somewhat of Vangelis’ work, but nonetheless, it manages to be different enough from Scott’s masterpiece that it can be said to be influenced by without being a copy.” Werewolves on the Moon

Main cast and characters:

  • Rutger Hauer … Harley Stone
  • Kim Cattrall … Michelle McLaine
  • Alastair Duncan … Detective Dick Durkin (as Neil Duncan)
  • Michael J. Pollard … The Rat Catcher
  • Alun Armstrong … Thrasher
  • Pete Postlethwaite … Paulsen
  • Ian Dury … Jay Jay
  • Roberta Eaton … Robin
  • Tony Steedman … Pat O’Donnell
  • Steven Hartley … Foster McLaine
  • Sara Stockbridge … Tiffany (as Sarah Stockbridge)
  • Colin Skeaping … Drunk
  • Ken Bones … Forensic Expert
  • Dave Duffy … Nick ‘The Barman’
  • Stewart Harvey-Wilson … The Killer
  • Paul Grayson … The Killer
  • Chris Chappell … Rat Catcher’s Assistant (as Chris Chappel)

Filming locations:

  • Hartley Jam Factory, Tower Bridge Road, Southwark, London, England
  • London, England
  • Tower Bridge, London, England
  • 17th June 1991 to 9th August 1991

Technical details:

  • 90 minutes | 96 minutes (extended)
  • Audio: Dolby SR
  • Kodak Eastman
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85: 1

Trivia:

Tube train and ‘additional sequences’ were directed by Ian Sharp after Tony Maylam left the production.

Watch a clip on YouTube

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