An above average Rutger Hauer vehicle from 1992 that mixes future
shock--make that schlock--and splatter.
The British made SPLIT SECOND initially got lost in the
multitude of early nineties sci fi splatterthons (TOTAL RECALL,
CLASS OF 1999,
DARK ANGEL, PREDATOR 2,
HARDWARE, EVE OF DESTRUCTION, ROBOCOP 2, FORTRESS, UNIVERSAL
SOLDIER, NEMESIS), but in the ensuing years has gained a following that
dwarfs those of most of the others.
Several years from now Britain is crippled by global
warming, resulting in mass flooding and a mini-plague spread by diseased
rodents. Residing in this world gone mad is Stone, a dedicated cop on
the hunt for a serial killer who murdered his wife. Said killer is an
extraterrestrial freak who rips out peoplesí hearts, with the thingís
latest mutilation occurring in a sleazy nightclub; afterward the excised
heart, bearing a massive bite mark, is mailed to Stoneís police station.
Stone hooks up with Michelle, an old flame who may or
may not have some connection to the killer--but before he can find out
for sure the creature claims another victim, a middle aged woman living
in the same apartment building as Michelle. Stone unloads a full clip of
ammunition at the thing but it escapes.
Stone refuses to be deterred. After yet another bloody
killing he and his partner track the creature to an underground subway
tunnel, where itís holding Michelle hostage. Mayhem ensues.
SPLIT SECOND is far from the classic many cultists like
to proclaim it, but it isnít bad. Director Tony Maylam (of
acquits himself reasonably well, providing a diverting product that
despite weighty subject matter (global warming, personal grief) never
forgets itís a grade-B exploitation picture.
The proceedings are bolstered by memorably atmospheric
visuals and a supporting cast of sharp performers like Kim Cattrall and
Pete Postlethwaite. Rutger Hauer makes for a reasonably compelling
anchor with his naturally charismatic and vaguely psychotic air, even
though his character isnít developed much beyond the wise-cracking rogue
cop trope that was in vogue at the time.
The ALIEN-ish creature at the heart of all the madness
is, in keeping with standard monster movie etiquette, kept under wraps
until the final ten minutes, and then only revealed sparingly--a wise
choice given the critterís less-than-inspiring guy-in-a-suit appearance.
The final scenes portend a sequel that, needless to add, never arrived.
Challenge Film Corporation/Muse Productions
Director: Tony Maylam
Producer: Laura Gregory
Screenplay: Gary Scott Thompson
Cinematography: Clive Tickner
Editing: Dan Rae
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Neil Duncan, Alun Armstrong, Pete
Postlethwaite, Ian Dury, Roberta Eaton, Michael J. Pollard, Tony
Steedman, Steven Hartley, Sarah Stockbridge, Colin Skeaping, Ken Bones,
Dave Duffy, Stewart Harvey-Wilson