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— W.C.U.N — Pittsburgh!!

SPLIT SECOND (1992) Dir. Tony Maylam. Written by Gary Scott Thompson. Starring: Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan, Alun Armstrong, Pete Postlethwaite, and Michael J. Pollard.

 

 

He's seen the future. Now he has to kill it. 

 

A flooded London is a great setting for a Sci-Fi Horror hybrid like this. Mix in some not too serious Rutger Hauer with a jones for chocolate, coffee, cigars and heavy artillery and you've got a fun diversion to help that six-pack in your fridge kill some brain cells. Look, I've seen this movie a dozen times and I still really don't remember much about it other than the broad strokes, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The movie is so steeped in bad cliches and thin on decent dialogue and structure that it exists as a kind of perfect genre bon mot; entertaining and so ephemeral you can watch it in quick succession without dampening the entertainment value. Hauer is Harley Stone, the requisite loner cop spitting terrible one-liners, interrogating dogs and shooting at rats while investigating crime scenes. A real loose cannon. As the film starts Stone is hunting a killer that's tearing the hearts out of people all over the city, including his former partner. Luckily, Stone has a psychic link with the killer due to a previous run in that left him badly scarred, or maybe it's just all that caffeine and nicotine? Either way, Stone can hear the killers heartbeat when nearby and takes this as a cue to scream into the sky and shoot his gun at anything and everything that moves. Partnered with Oxford nerd, Dick Durkin (Duncan) whose pretty much unbearable to both Stone and us until he gets some hands-on experience with the killer they're hunting and - twist of twists - becomes almost the best thing about the movie. Durkin and Stone's bonding over the 3 c's and heavy artillery mentioned above is one of the highlights of the film. 

 

Besides that we get a lot of chasing the killer scenes where Stone and Durkin consistently arrive seconds too late, some decent chest-ripping violence, a lukewarm romance between Gracie Law herself (Cattrall) and Harley and if that was it, this would be a pretty forgettable film, but, BUT the third act really picks things up, with the aforementioned Durkin character's total 180, and the reveal that the killer is not only supernatural but a pretty nasty fucking monster! Apparently not only not human but 10 feet tall, and made up of the DNA of its victims including a rat! Seriously, I can't make this shit up. Durkin is pretty convinced its Satan but really we're just dealing with an aquatic Xenomorph that stands on two legs and hunts like a Predator. Oh, and he can apparently read and write. I now draw your attention to Exhibit A:

 

 

Now, if this had been a surprise to the audience, and you know not advertised on the poster and packaging, or hinted at so early in the film it would have been a pretty wicked reversal of expectations along the lines of 'quirky serial killer film suddenly becomes monster movie,' but that would have required a degree of craft not present here. Still, what we get is so slam-bang goofy and fun that like I said earlier it bears repeat viewings with the best of them. I know there's serious love out there for this film in the genre community so if we wait long enough, I'm sure we'll be seeing a deluxe edition Blu-Ray sooner rather than later. But for now, you're stuck with the VHS, or the VHS quality transfer of the German, All-Region Blu-Ray. OR you could just watch this trailer which sums up everything that happens in the movie and everything I've just written about it in a far more entertaining way!

 

 

   

 

 

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