Yes, Split Second is a B movie but it’s one hell of a B movie. Riding on the eighties vibe and slowly transcending into the nineties, it uses the best of both decades. You can feel it in the air and in the rising sea levels. Something that we’ll see in another nineties movie but on a whole other scale. You can read all about it in The Glorious Insanity That is Highlander II: The Quickening.
In a lead role, we have Rutger Hauer, a classical tough, macho man, who does not care about rules or anything else. He’s wearing his memorable leather trench coat, Shelleys boots, cool sunglasses, and sporting one mean gun. Supported by sexy Kim Cattrall, and witty Alastair Duncan this movie is full of hilarious one-liners. I mean, what to expect from basically a buddy cop movie? The directing is quite clever, and I am surprised how they managed to play down the lack of budget. Probably with a lot of effort and good lighting.
Keep in mind that this is actually a creature feature, set in a post-apocalyptic London with a tough-as-nails hero on a mission. Now, how about that setting? It has an almost noir feel to it. Everything is damp and falling apart adding immensely to the atmosphere. I remember how it blew me away the first time I saw it. It was dark, cool, and more importantly not so popular. So, I could list it as one of those movies no one ever saw but were quite good. And in recent years, it’s finally getting the attention it deserves. I mean, just look at this The Dude Designs poster, it’s fucking epic!
Harley Stone (is there a more macho name I ask you? maybe if his last name was Balls…) is a detective in post-apocalyptic London. The sea levels have risen and almost every city is underwater, and in this chaotic environment, he tries to enforce the law. His last partner died (was eaten?) by something, something that did not look human. After a new string of murders, he’s partnered up with an educated rookie Dick Durkin, and this dynamic duo must find out who or what is behind almost ritualistic and gruesome murders.
Split Second reminded me of Albert Pyun movies like Cyborg, Nemesis, and especially Adrenalin: Fear the Rush because it’s also a creature feature. However, all of them are much more artistic and unique. What we got here is a genuine B-movie experience. Something like Neon City starring Michael Ironside. I know I overdid it with all the movie recommendations but I just can’t help myself. You know that feeling when you watch a good movie and want to just continue in the same direction? Well, that’s all Rabbit Reviews is about.
The creature our two detectives will be chasing is quite a unique one. And that’s one of the reasons why this movie works so well. Although it looks very familiar, like a blend of the two most famous monsters of the eighties, it behaves in a very unusual way. And finally, I just want to mention that the atmosphere, set design, and cinematography of this movie were a big influence on David Fincher while he was crafting his vision for Se7en.
Director: Tony Maylam
Writer: Gary Scott Thompson
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael J. Pollard, Alun Armstrong
Fun Facts: Gary Scott Thompson wrote the script with Harrison Ford in mind for the lead but was extremely happy with Rutget Hauer.