Split Second is a science fiction/horror film that was Tony Maylam & Ian Sharp, releasing in 1992. It stars Rutger Hauer & Kim Cattrall. Hauer plays Harley Stone, a burnt-out police detective obsessively hunting down the mysterious serial killer who killed his partner.
This film is set in the far, mysterious and futuristic year of 2008. Global Warming and heavy rainfall has left large areas of London flooded. Rookie police officer Dick Durkin is assigned to partner with Harley Stone.
Harley survives on “anxiety, coffee, and chocolate” after being unable to prevent the death of his partner Foster by a serial killer 3 years previously. Now, the murders have begun again and Stone is obsessed with the case. Durkin is ordered to stick with Stone at all times and report any unstable behaviour. After investigating the scenes of several killings, they appear no closer in identifying the killer. Although, Stone seems to share some sort of psychic connection with him. Their only clues are that the murders seem to be linked with the lunar cycle. Also, that the killer takes an organ from each victim, apparently to eat them.
Complicating matters is the return of Michelle, Foster’s wife who Stone had an affair with. While attempting to figure out the killer’s motives and pattern, Stone and Durkin begin to bond. Meanwhile, the killer kidnaps Michelle. Harley & Durkin track the killer deep into the flooded tunnels of London Underground. Once there, they and discover the truth. The serial killer is not human at all. In fact, it’s a large, horrific beast.
Split Second has the feel and look of a random B-movie that you’d catch on some late night horror channel. However, don’t see that as me dismissing it or saying that it lacks quality. The effects and sets used through are surprisingly well done. We don’t get to see very much of flooded London but what we do see paints the picture well. The dark, flooded, rat infested streets set the gritty tone of the film excellently.
Rutger Hauer brings his signature style and is a definite highlight. He’s a right bastard but you can tell he means well. I found Split Second to be highly reminiscent of the video game Observer by Bloober Team. Hauer stars in that game and the stories are actually quite similar. It made me wonder if this film somehow inspired the game.
Split Second puts a lot of focus on the relationship between Harley & Durkin. It’s a whole, odd couple, buddy cop type deal. I never really felt like it hit the mark like it was supposed to. Alastair Duncan as Dick just didn’t hit the right notes. He isn’t bad but he’s clearly meant to be this funny character and it just doesn’t work. He & Hauer lacked chemistry. In fact, the acting on the whole is a bit ropey throughout.
The continuity is a bit strange in places as well. There’s a scene where Durkin gets shot and literally blown out a 2nd story window. In the next scene he is completely fine. Later on, his chest gets carved into by the creature and his lack of reaction is kind of laughable.
The monster itself is really damn cool. The suit that was crafted is really worth the wait. They do a good job of keeping things hidden until the final reveal. It looks heavily inspired by the Xenomorph in my eyes. I’ve seen comparisons to Venom and I totally see it. None the less, it’s a shame that the beast is defeated with such ease. Even though the way it’s killed is well executed. Finally, the ending is all sorts of abrupt. Also, why is this film even called Split Second?
The Final Score - 6/10