Feeling like the cheesy lovechild of Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner and John McTiernan‘s Predator, on the surface Tony Maylam and Ian Sharp’s Split Second doesn’t feel like the usual calibre of film to warrant such a beautiful release in the form of 101 Films’ latest Black Label edition. But there is something inherently charming about the film as it ticks every single cliché box on the 90s monster-movie checklist.
Set in 2008, Split Second depicts a dystopian London in which the Thames has risen and flooded the city, society is crumbling and society’s only hope lies with a cynical, burnt-out, cigar-chomping Rutger Hauer. Buddied up with rookie Dick Durkin (Neil Duncan), the film’s veteran hero must track down a rampant serial killer in the streets of England’s capital. But this is a 90s sci-fi cheesefest, so of course, the killer is not human.
With a screenplay by Gary Scott Thompson (The Fast and the Furious), Split Second is an absolutely bonkers film that struggles to deliver a pretty straight-forward narrative in a coherent way, abandoning characters and subplots throughout without explanation and frequently throwing in bizarre lapses of character logic and motivation. The result is a film that feels all over the place, but it’s unlikely viewers are here for the narrative. As a trashy action flick, Split Second distracts from its tedious screenplay as it offers up a hearty amount of big guns and gratuitous violence inflicted by, and later on, a grotesque blood-thirsty monster.
Fans of the film, and indeed the genre itself, will find a hell of a lot to like in Split Second – a film that thankfully doesn’t take itself too seriously. With over-the-top action, dark humour and a moody score from Francis Haines and Stephen W. Parsons, Split Second offers much-needed mindless escapism from the harsh reality of 2020.
Loaded with extras and a new print of the film, this Black Label Limited Edition Blu-ray is a must own for fans. While one cannot argue that Split Second is a particularly good film, it is a whole lot of fun, and this new release from 101 Films is an absolute beauty.
BRAND NEW SPECIAL FEATURES:
- High Definition 1080p presentation of the main feature in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, newly scanned, restored and colour graded in 4K from the 35MM internegative
- Audio Commentary by action film historian Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
- “Great Big Bloody Guns!” Producer Laura Gregory & Actor Alastair (Neil) Duncan on Split Second
- “Call Me Mr. Snips!” An Interview with Composer Stephen W. Parsons
- “Stay In Line!” An Interview with Line Producer Laurie Borg
- “More Blood!” An Interview with Creature Effects Designer Cliff Wallace
- “Shoot Everything!” An Interview with Cinematographer Clive Tickner
- Limited edition booklet: Includes ‘Monster Mash: Making Split Second’ by Scott Harrison, and ‘Behind Blue Eyes: Rutger Hauer, Unlikely Action Star’ by Phillip Escott
- Newly commissioned artwork by Keith Robinson
- Plus previously released special features