Dec 26, 2008

Split Second

Akin to 80s bio-horror film The Kindred, Split Second is another blast from the past for me. The picture perfect video box art still resonates fresh within the corridors of my mind. After my maturity, I hit a memory peak where I had begun to forget the titles of the films that were most dear to me. Thanks to the IMDB plot search and Netflix, I began to track down such titles with vigor. Split Second is one of the few lucky ones that survived in my memory, ironically enough.

With a few details still fresh in my mind like I'd seen it yesterday, I began to brainstorm what exactly I remembered. A heartbeat in a distant flooded metropolis. A monolithic, though rotund man wielding incredible futuristic weaponry. Did I mention a 10 foot tall sentient alien creature armed with razor nails that give the fear of blades a whole new meaning? With a being of this magnitude, plus its adaptability towards souls and weapons, Split Second turns B-grade sci-fi horror into something of a treasure.

Created in 1992, Split Second was one of the earlier films theatrically released to endorse the idea of global warming, soon followed by the much maligned Waterworld. The running commentary depicted in Split Second focuses on London as it rests several feet under water. The critical controversy wouldn't really reach a peak until the inception of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. But between the two films, Split Second is far more invigorating, horrifying, and judgmental on the human species thanks to the Blade Runner inspired set pieces and the ambient bar scenes.

The cold spirited show stealer is not the man himself, Rutger Hauer, but rather the alien creature he is in fact chasing. While showing signs of extraterrestrial life, this specimen seems to be sea-borne and thrives off of the old occult myth that eating one's heart will allow you to absorb their soul. This symbiotic life form features a stunning array of costumed effects that could easily be mistaken as the handiwork of the late & great Stan Winston with a dash of H.R. Giger's fantastical alien sexuality.

What Split Second has going for it the most is how fascinating the film pretends to be, but then ever-so-delicately cradles your attention span. Rather than mad libbing the film with filler dialogue and useless violence, Split Second constructs an entirely adaptable fictional universe in which life can sustain in. Futuristic automatic combat shotguns, dreary and damp environments, and post-Cantina citizens; Split Second is a pure breed pedigree of 90s science fiction. I was hooked the instant Hauer stopped an attacking Rottweiler with a badge while muttering "Police, dickhead".



Anonymous said...

What's funny is that the writer Gary Scott Thompson was flown out to London to punch up the script and somebody asked him "Have you seen the alien costume yet?"

He was shocked by this as there was no such creature in his original script.

Soiled Sinema said...

Split Second without the creature would be like Toast without bread.

Anonymous said...

Great movie. Just watched it the other week after not seeing it for over 10 years. My only complaint was the ending and how easy Rutger was able to kill the creature. Other than that the film was fun with drama and comedic elements thrown in. And the creature was badass to put it bluntly.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

This film was shot in England so by definition it is a worthless pile of garbage.