Split Second (1992 film)

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Split Second
Split second poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by Laura Gregory
Written by Gary Scott Thompson
Music by
  • Francis Haines
  • Stephen W. Parsons
Cinematography Clive Tickner
Edited by Dan Rae
  • Muse Productions[1]
  • Challenge Films[1]
Distributed by InterStar (US)[1]
Release date
  • 1 May 1992 (1992-05-01)
Running time
90 minutes
  • United Kingdom[2]
  • United States[2]
Language English
Budget $7 million[3]
Box office $5.4 million[4]

Split Second is a 1992 American-British science fiction horror film[5] directed by Tony Maylam and Ian Sharp. Rutger Hauer stars as a burnt-out police detective obsessively hunting down the mysterious serial killer that killed his partner several years prior. The film also features Kim Cattrall, Alastair Neil Duncan, Pete Postlethwaite, Ian Dury and Alun Armstrong.


In the year 2008, global warming and heavy rainfall has left large areas of London flooded. Rookie police officer Dick Durkin is assigned to partner with Harley Stone, a burnt-out and highly cynical veteran homicide detective who, according to his commanding officer, survives on "anxiety, coffee and chocolate" after being unable to prevent the murder of his partner by a serial killer several years previously. Now however, the murders have begun again and Stone and Durkin are assigned the case. After investigating the scenes of several killings, they appear no closer to identifying the killer, with their only clues being that the murders seem to be linked to the lunar cycle, and that the killer has multiple recombinant DNA strands, having absorbed the DNA of the victims.

Finally, after Stone's girlfriend Michelle is kidnapped, the detectives track the killer deep into the flooded and disused London Underground system and discover the truth: the killer is not human. It's a horrific and possibly demonic form of life that is fast, savage, bloodthirsty and fixated upon killing Stone just as it previously killed his partner. In fact, as the movie progresses, each killing and "appearance" of the monster is an attempt to lure Stone closer and closer.

During a tense battle in and around an abandoned underground train, Michelle is found suspended over the water as bait, but Stone is able to pull the monster's heart from its chest and kill it. However, as the policemen leave the scene with Michelle in a rescue dinghy, bubbles of air are seen breaking the surface of the water, suggesting that there may be more than one monster.



The subway scene was directed by Ian Sharp.[1]


Lawrence Cohn of Variety wrote, "Split Second is an extremely stupid monster film, boasting enough violence and special effects to satisfy less-discriminating vid fans."[1] Chris Willman of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "It's hard to think of a less satisfying creature feature in recent memory than the simply terrible Split Second."[6] Stephen Holden of The New York Times called it "fairly dull".[7] Doug Brod of Entertainment Weekly called it "utterly soulless and imitative".[8] In Time Out London, Nigel Floyd wrote, "This derivative eco-horror movie recycles dozens of disposable plots".[5]

Belgian grindcore band Aborted used an image from the film for their first album's cover The Purity of Perversion (1999).


  1. ^ a b c d e Cohn, Lawrence (1992-05-01). "Review: 'Split Second'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Split Second (1992)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  3. ^ http://www.the-numbers.com/movie/Split-Second
  4. ^ "Split Second". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 
  5. ^ a b Floyd, Nigel. "Split Second". Time Out London. Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  6. ^ "MOVIE REVIEW: 'Split Second': A Monstrous Disaster". Los Angeles Times. 5 May 1992. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  7. ^ "Reviews/Film; A Most Unpleasant London". The New York Times. 4 May 1992. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  8. ^ Brod, Doug (1992-09-04). "Split Second". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-07-08. 

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