Review: ‘Split Second’

"Split Second" is an extremely stupid monster film, boasting enough violence and special effects to satisfy less-discriminating vid fans.

“Split Second” is an extremely stupid monster film, boasting enough violence and special effects to satisfy less-discriminating vid fans.

Typecast Rutger Hauer plays a burnt-out cop tracking down a monstrous serial killer in this non-story set in London in the year 2008. Neil Duncan is the nerdish but ultimately resourceful partner he’s saddled with by his taciturn police chief, Alun Armstrong.

Opening crawl is more promising than the film itself, announcing a planet that’s waterlogged because of global warming, an idea that suggests the premise of J.G. Ballard’s sci-fi novel “The Drowned World.” Unfortunately, low-budget pic emphasizes ugly, claustrophobic sets and a few puddles instead of large-scale imagery.

Gore is emphasized by director Tony Maylam as the barely glimpsed monster rips the hearts out of its victims in a ritual that Duncan deduces to be of satanic origin.

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.

Kim Cattrall looks understandably uncomfortable as Hauer’s romantic interest and is subjected to highly unflattering photography. Michael J. Pollard’s final-reel guest shot as a rat catcher is a complete waste.

The musical score annoyingly and cryptically includes several inappropriate plays of Justin Hayward’s lovely Moody Blues song “Nights in White Satin.”

Split Second



An InterStar Releasing release of a Muse Prods. and Chris Hanley presentation of a Challenge production. Producer, Laura Gregory. Executive producer, Keith Cavele. Line producer, Laurie Borg. Director, Tony Maylam. Script, Gary Scott Thompson.


Camera (Metrocolor), Clive Tickner; editor, Dan Rae; music, Stephen Parsons, Francis Haines; production designer, Chris Edwards; costume designer, Antoinette Gregory; sound (Dolby), Peter Glossop; associate producer, Thompson; assistant director, Ray Corbett; second-unit action director and camera, Arthur Wooster; subway train and additional sequences director, Ian Sharp; stunt coordinator, Colin Skeaping;creature effects, Stephen Norrington, Kate Murray, Ian Morce, Cliff Wallace; special effects supervisor, Alan Whibley, Ace Effects Ltd.; casting, John & Ros Hubbard (U.K.), Linda Francis (U.S.). Reviewed at Broadway screening room, N.Y., March 19, 1992. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 91 min.


Harley Stone - Rutger Hauer
Michelle - Kim Cattrall
Dick Durkin - Neil Duncan
Rat Catcher - Michael J. Pollard
Thrasher - Alun Armstrong
Paulsen - Pete Postlethwaite
Jay Jay - Ian Dury
Robin - Roberta Eaton
O'Donnell - Tony Steedman
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