Split Second (1991)

Ah, they don't make films like this any more. Jarring electronic soundtracks, near-future settings with the world on the brink of oblivion, Rutger Hauer as a cop on the edge, blue neon-saturated sets and someone saying "What the fuck?" every 30 seconds. I haven't seen the trailer for Split Second, but I would imagine it went the same way as the other 20 trailers for Rutger Hauer films at the beginning of my copy: "Rutger Hauer is Stone, a cop on the edge. In a flooded London of the future he must track down a vicious serial killer to save his own soul..." etc etc.

What is perhaps most surprising about Split Second is when it was made. From the look and feel of it (macho posturing, enormous guns, lots of swearing, 80s uber babe Kim Cattrall, Rutger "I'm a big fat tit who can't act" Hauer) you'd expect it to hail from about 1985. Unbelievably, it hit our cinema screens and sank without trace in 1991.

Sadly, it's a British film that tries desperately to be American, it's not in the least bit frightening and it's laughably bad. So not only does that explain it's hopelessly-out-of-time crap performance at the box office, but it also explains its presence on this website along with a long line of American funded embarrassments. Sit down, open a beer, send the "little lady" to bed, switch off your brain and enjoy.

It's 2008, and there's nothing our Rutger (Stone) enjoys more than driving around flooded London in his big jeep listening to news reports about global warming. After bursting into an S&M Club (£50 to watch a cellulite-ridden dominatrix wobble about on stage? I think not), and threatening a Rottweiler ("Police, dickhead!"), Stone finds a girl ripped apart in the toilets, the words "I'm back" written in blood on the walls.

"I can hear your heartbeat," Stone whispers. "I'll find you. I'll find you, you fuck!"

Not only does Stone like using the f-word, but apparently a serial killer murdered his partner, and he now exists on "anxiety, coffee and chocolate", according to his boss. And let's have three cheers for the immortal lines:

"They say he's the best."

"He is."

Hip-hip-hooray. Anyway, after being told he's back on the force (he'd been suspended, apparently - probably for being a big fat tit), Stone is introduced to his new partner, Dick Durkin (Neil Duncan), a (wait for it) by-the-book rookie who wears a suit, shags his girlfriend every night and is a whizz at psychological profiling. Although Stone immediately hates him, who wants to lay bets that he'll still not like him by the end of the film? Thought not.

Stone takes delivery of a refrigerated box containing the heart of the recently-murdered girl, with a bite taken out of it. Then the pair are informed of another murder. Arriving at the crime scene, they find astrological symbols drawn in blood on the ceiling ("He must be 10ft tall..."), and Stone goes bonkers in the streets, firing his big gun into the air and shouting "He's out here somewhere... I tell you, he's watching..."

Durkin deduces that the killer must be a "psychotic psychopath", and Stone bumps into his dead partner's widow (Kim Cattrall) who he apparently had an affair with and dumped shortly after her husband's murder. Obviously the kind of girl who likes being treated like shit, she resumes the relationship without so much as a single "Where have you been?", and before you can say "nice tits" she's jumped into his shower and been the unwitting near-victim of the killer, who stalks her psycho-like before deciding to bump off the woman in the next room.

Stone and Durkin burst in, only for Durkin to get shot through a window by the killer, who takes a lump out of Cattrall's shoulder on his way out of the building.

Luckily, Durkin was wearing a shotgun-proof vest, but the experience has made him a changed man (much like his counterpart in Beverly Hills Cop). It has become clear that it's not a man they're hunting, but a monster - a bullet proof, 10ft Alien-alike which has the same DNA structure as all its victims (including Stone's dead partner, Cattrall and even Stone himself, who was nastily slashed by the monster when his partner bought it).

Anyone attacked by the thing who survives develops a psychic link with it - hence Stone's bizarre behaviour. After another near miss with the monster, Durkin's mind is unbalanced even further: "That wasn't a human, it was a fucking 'it'! We're going to need bigger guns!", and before you can give another three cheers for the police boss saying "I don't believe this shit!", conclusions have been hastily jumped to which lead Stone, Durkin and a kidnapped Cattrall back to the Undergound station where Stone first met the monster, for an explosive finale.

Split Second is great - unintentionally hilarious, reasonably well-made and very, very wet. If you like dialogue like "Are you telling me that there is something running loose around this city, killing people and eating their hearts to send them to hell?" (Police chief)

Or: "We're not chasing it... it's chasing us!" (Stone)

Or: "Satan... is in deep shit!" (Stone, again)

Then you're going to love this. There's even an appearance by noted Warrington thesp Pete Postlethwaite as a Stone-hating foul-mouthed cop. Split Second - utter rubbish, with possibly the worst final scenes ever. Even the name of the film doesn't make sense...

Director: Tony Maylam Ian Sharp Writer(s): Gary Scott Thompson

Cast: Rutger Hauer - Harley Stone, Kim Cattrall - Michelle, Neil Duncan - Dick Durkin, Michael J. Pollard - The Rat Catcher, Alun Armstrong - Thrasher, Pete Postlethwaite - Paulsen, Ian Dury - Jay Jay, Roberta Eaton - Robin, Tony Steedman - O'Donnell, Steven Hartley - Foster, 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 Chappel - Rat Catcher's Assistant, Charlotte Hick - Little Girl, Morris Paton - Jogger, Tina Smith - Mutilated Woman, John Bennett - Dr. Schulman, Martin Ronan - First Ambulance Attendant, Phil Smeeton - Second Ambulance Attendant, Tony Sibbald - Bald Man in Suit, Jason Watkins - Coroner's Assistant, Tina Shaw - Nightclub Stripper, Rob Edmunds - Policeman, Papillon Soo - Waitress (as Papillon Soo Lam), Rikki Howard - Cage Security Policewoman, Alan Stocks - Policeman, Paul Casey - Policeman, Susan Aderin - Precinct Policewoman, Sheila Hyde - Precinct Policewoman, Jan Van Hool - Precinct Policewoman, Cathy Walker - Precinct Policewoman, Angie Hill - Nurse (as Angie Hill-Richmond), Vanessa Victor - Girl in Nightclub, Jadene Doran - Girl in Nightclub, Lorraine Pascale Woodward - Girl in Nightclub, Lisa Roudette - Girl in Nightclub, Bibi Bohorquez - Girl in Nightclub, Debra Rodman - Girl in Nightclub, Liz Lisfield - Girl in Nightclub, Maia Jopling - Girl in Nightclub, Mayumi Cabrera - Girl in Nightclub, Bill Baker - Hovercraft Pilot, Dolores Hernández - Girl at Bar, Gordon Winter - Police Medic, Marc Quinn - Guy in Nightclub, Atilla - Person at Bar, Padraig Casey - Policeman, Murray Forrest - Policeman, Daniella Rich - Girl in Nightclub, Shend - Precinct Policeman, Tasty Tim - Transvestite, Whiskers - Girl in Nightclub


Last updated: February 27, 2010

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