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Split Second – 7

Director – Tony Maylam

Cast – Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan, Michael J. Pollard, Alun Armstrong, Pete Postlethwaite

Release Year – 1992

Reviewed by John of the Dead

It was one of THOSE nights where I crave something good but with plenty of cheese on the side, and my search brought me to this early 90s film starring The Hitcher himself, Rutger Hauer. Part cop drama and part creature feature, Split Second gives us a solid 87 minutes of futuristic enjoyment aided by typical movie-cop behavior and heavy firepower. It is 2008 and global warming has caused 40 straight days of torrential rain to pound London and leave the severely polluted city largely submerged. Still recovering from the sudden death of his partner at the hands of a mysterious creature, Det. Harley Stone (Rutger Hauer) finds himself brought back into the game when the creature returns to finish what it started…and finish Det. Stone as well.

What can I say? I oftentimes need some horror cheese in my life and I am so glad that I came across this piece. The story comes written by The Fast and The Furious writer Gary Scott Thompson and it kicks off quickly right from the get-go. We follow the troubled Det. Stone as he finds himself harassed by a criminal who has caused him much personal pain, and because he is the best one to deal with the new murders he is brought back from suspension to capture this murderer. Little to his cohorts know, this is not their typical murderer, AKA a human being, but a mysterious and gigantic creature that is devouring the hearts of its victims to gain their souls, DNA, and stay alive. Because of the seriousness of the case he is assigned a new partner, a brainiac with numerous credentials in criminal psychology, Det. Dick Durkin. The two are nothing alike and Durkin’s presence is a constant annoyance to Stone, but by the end of the film they are one hell of a duo. It takes about 45 minutes before the first decent creature action kicks in, and after that we are provided another solid 45 minutes of good horror. Things especially kick into high gear when they get a good look at the creature and realize they are going to need MUCH bigger guns, and bigger guns they acquire. If you want a story with lots of one-liners, movie cop baddasery, creature action, kills, and lots of firepower, Split Second brings the goods to the table.

The film comes directed by Tony Maylan, who horror fans, and especially slasher fans, should know of and respect given he provided us with one of the most notable horror films of all time back in 1981…The Burning. Maylan secures our attention right away by 1. employing the awesome Rutger Hauer to full potential and 2. giving us great gore and shock during the film’s opening sequence. From then on out Maylan does a great job of setting up the film’s gloomy atmosphere with excellent sets and superb locations to serve as the futuristic London that is even gloomier than it is today (2013). The character play between Stone and Durkin is expertly executed by the under-appreciated director, and his direction only improves when the creature action hits the screen. The look of the creature somewhat resembles H.R. Giger’s alien from the face but towers over its victims in a Pumpkinhead-esque body…and I dug the look. The creature effects come to us via live action SFX and so does the gore, giving us a taste of what good horror used to be and seldom resembles these days. The action scenes are awesome, cheesy, and as I mentioned earlier…consist of heavy firepower. We are exposed to guns that have never existed in real life, and THAT is how you know you are in for a damn good time with Split Second.

Overall, Split Second is a highly enjoyable creature feature that offers more than the usual cliches by giving us cop drama cliches as well! The cheese is heavy but respectable thanks to Maylan’s respectable direction that also results in great atmosphere, good creature action, sweet kills, and action scenes fitting for Arnold Shwarzenegger. I recommend this for fans of such films/cheese.

Rating: 7/10

…Additional Stills…

That moment when you realize you’re screwed…

  1. June 19, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    We need to get bigger guns. BIG F*IN GUNS 🙂 Cool movie. I’ve watched it for the first time some 15-16 years ago, and again recently. Still kickin’ ass 😀

    • July 1, 2013 at 12:07 am

      Yup. The cheese reigns high in this one. I need to purchase it.

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