SPLIT SECOND (1992) Reviews and overview

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

Split Second is a 1992 British science fiction horror 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.

New Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release:

“MVD Rewind Collection has teamed up with 101 Films to bring collectors a fully-loaded special edition. Starting with a brand new high definition presentation overseen by Joe Rubin, the main feature is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, newly scanned, restored and colour graded in 4K from the 35mm internegative, with uncompressed 2-channel stereo audio.

Split Second is packed with hours of bonus material produced by 101 Films exclusively for the US (and the UK) including brand new cast and crew interviews, new audio commentary, and rarely seen 1992 legacy features, an alternative cut of the film, deleted scenes, promos and more!” Order via Amazon.com

• High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, newly scanned, restored and color graded in 4K from the 35mm internegative
• Audio: 2.0 LPCM Stereo
• English Subtitles
• New! Audio Commentary by action film historian Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
• New! “Great Big Bloody Guns!” Producer Laura Gregory & Actor Alastair (Neil) Duncan on Split Second (HD, 27:25)
• New! “Call Me Mr Snips!” An Interview with Composer Stephen W. Parsons (HD, 22:21)
• New! “Stay In Line!” An Interview with Line Producer Laurie Borg (HD, 23:02)
• New! “More Blood!” An Interview with Creature Effects Designer Cliff Wallace (HD, 32:03)
• New! “Shoot Everything!” An Interview with Cinematographer Clive Tickner (HD, 18:57)
• Original 1992 Split Second “Making of” featurette that includes interviews with stars Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair (Neil) Duncan, Michael J. Pollard, Writer Gary Scott Thompson and more! (SD, 6:26)
• Original 1992 behind the scenes featurette with effects creator Stephen Norrington, cast and crew (SD, 3:41)
• Split Second Japanese Cut, full-frame with burnt-in Japanese subtitles (SD, 95:00)
• Deleted Scenes from the Japanese Cut (English, burnt-in Japanese subtitles) (SD, 4:42)
• Seven Promotional TV Clips (SD)
• U.S. VHS Home Video Promo (SD, 2:34)
• Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:15)
• MVD exclusive: Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Dude Designs created exclusively for this release
• Collectible Mini-Poster featuring original VHS style artwork


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.



“It is clunky, messy – the final showdown in the underground was shot by a different director for some reason – and so full of holes you could use the script as a net but there is a bit of charm to it, albeit a charm that eventually manifests itself as the knowledge that once you’ve watched it (and likely forgotten about it soon after) you can go back and rewatch Terminator 2…” Ancient Slumber

“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
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
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

Filming locations:

Hartley Jam Factory, Tower Bridge Road, Southwark, London, England
Tower Bridge, London, England

Filming dates:

17th June 1991 to 9th August 1991

Technical details:

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

Film Facts:

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


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