Split Second

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“We need to get bigger guns; big fucking guns!” goes the mantra of the final act of Tony Maylam’s delightfully schizophrenic genre mash-up Split Second (1992). In this film Kim Cattrall gets a pigeon thrown at her head from off camera, Rutger Hauer subdues a guard dog by flashing his police badge at it, London is overcome by rain, Neil Duncan plays a character named Dick Durkin, a demonic creature creeps around putting human hearts in Hauer’s fridge; and all of this doesn’t even begin to describe the beautiful mess Split Second is. Split Second is one of those rare cult classics that is actually “so bad, it’s good”. There isn’t much that holds up to scrutiny in this post-apocalyptic thriller set in 2008, but you could watch Split Second once a month for the rest of your life and never stop enjoying it. This is classic VHS material, pure nostalgia; I came of age with this sort of movie.

It feels as though Split Second was originally meant to be a gritty buddy-cop movie that was transformed into a Predator 2 (1990) knock-off at the eleventh hour of pre-production. Add to that the fact that Ian Sharp took over as director for the final showdown between monster and cops, and Split Second becomes a film of split personalities. That isn’t to say one can’t appreciate the production design or the creature effects. There’s always something objectively “good” in these low budget features. That’s one of my pre-requisites for a film that’s “so bad, it’s good”.

Another notable requirement to be “so bad, it’s good” is the unintentional running gags. For instance, everyone who encounter’s Rutger Hauer’s character Harley in the first act greets him with the inquiry “I thought you were suspended”. There are also major plot holes that become hilarious, like when Neil Duncan gets shot out of a fourth story window by a shotgun only to appear two minutes later with the line “Ever heard of a bullet proof vest?”. There’s also this weird fetish where Kim Cattrall is in the shower every other time she appears in the first two acts.

Sometimes, especially during days like these with Covid, a bad movie is preferable to a good one. Split Second had me laughing pretty much constantly. I love this movie. It joins Raw Deal (1986) in the ranks of terrible, silly, “makes zero sense” movies that I will watch over and over again. I admit, I am excited to pick up my own copy from MVD Entertainment Group as soon as possible.