'Split Second: Special Edition' [Blu-ray]
(Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Michael J. Pollard, Alastair Duncan, Pete Postlethwaite, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1992) 2020 / MVD Visual)
Overview: In a flooded future London, Detective Harley Stone hunts a serial killer who murdered his partner, and has haunted him ever since. He soon discovers what he is hunting might not be human.
Blu-ray Verdict: Well, taking it from the top, and despite some decent word of mouth and an exciting advertising campaign, the under-appreciated 'Split Second' underperformed at the U.S. box-office due to the fact that it opened during the weekend of the Los Angeles, California riots!
It should also be noted that Ian Sharp directed several minor scenes, with Michael J. Pollard, as well as the sequences of the final showdown in the metro, after the original director quit!
With all that and much more already going against the production of this film, which was also titled 'Pentagram' in its early stages, 'Split Second' was finally shot in just eight weeks, pre-production only lasting three weeks.
Anyway, enough of all that and, simply put, 'Split Second' is the epitome of '90s fun ... or whatever you want to call this fantastic brand of entertainment!
If you appreciate classics like 'Big Trouble in Little China', 'Tango and Cash', 'The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai' and such, it means you have the sense of humor required to lovingly add this one to your collection!
Rutger Hauer plays a slightly psychotic cop in a futuristic London (2008!) facing a supernatural threat. Complete with awesomely snappy dialogue and great acting, this makes this Sci-Fi B-movie a magnificent movie now to watch in 2020!
The setting for this movie is very dark, similar to 'Blade Runner' and Rutger Hauer delivers yet another great performance. A few interesting actors in this movie that you will recognize from well-known British movies and American series' along the way, but for the most part the stand out is the delightful, and uber-sexy Kim Cattrall ('Sex and the City').
Fun fact, Cattrall still has her hairdo from 'Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country' (1991) which indicates that the shooting of this movie happened shortly after the completion of 'Star Trek VI.'
But, and as always with the great man, Rutger Hauer is what really makes this film work, with his dead-pan delivery and sarcastic comments!
Like some of the best movies in its sub-category, ala John Carpenter's classics like 'The Thing', 'Escape From NY', and the aforementioned 'Big Trouble in Little China,' this movie excels in great characters that you love giving great sarcastic dialog and the best one-liners!
One-liners on par with Carpenter's best! Even the all too brief character of "The Rat Catcher", played excellently by Michael J. Pollard, who you will recognize, is played so well that you feel bad when he is killed later!
This is why this movie endures, sure, but the plot was pretty decent too! With the entire British police force now on the hunt for this (possibly) abnormal killer, they use what they know from Hauer as a map to track the thing down into the sewers where it dwells.
In one scene, as Hauer and his new partner (who he has no time for from the very start!) make their way through the sewers, they finally come face to face with the creature. A Xenomorph-esque type creature that prowls under the water!
Chock full of "bad" clichés - some of them even laughably bad - they take nothing away from (possibly even enhance!) this movie. Again, Rutger Hauer steals the show here, his character, Harley, an enjoyable and yet tough guy with his witty retorts abounding!
Alastair Duncan was enjoyable as Dick Durkin and it was great seeing him at the end become a cold, hard killer, who handled his own when face to face with the "thing'!
Overall, a pretty enjoyable experience, warranting repeated viewings, and of which I would highly recommend to any '80s/early '90s action or horror fans out there.
Interestingly enough, originally, Wendy Carlos - who composed music for A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), and TRON (1982) - was hired to compose the score, but her work was rejected and a new score was composed by Francis Haines and Stephen W. Parsons.
That said, a couple tracks of Carlos's rejected score, which were going to be used in the morgue scene, were included on her album Rediscovering Lost Scores, Volume 2.
The song 'Nights in White Satin' by the Moody Blues features prominently in the movie as the romantic theme. In fact, it's featured in a bar scene as background music as well ('Knights in White Satin' is the title of a remake by Giorgio Moroder). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes chock full with the new/old Special Features of:
High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, newly scanned, restored and color graded in 4K from the 35MM internegative
Audio: 2.0 LPCM Stereo
NEW! Audio Commentary by action film historian Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
NEW! "Great Big Bloody Guns!" Producer Laura Gregory & Actor Alastair (Neil) Duncan on Split Second (HD, 27:25)
NEW! "Call Me Mr. Snips!" An Interview with Composer Stephen W. Parsons (HD, 22:21)
NEW! "Stay In Line!" An Interview with Line Producer Laurie Borg (HD, 23:02)
NEW! "More Blood!" An Interview with Creature Effects Designer Cliff Wallace (HD, 32:03)
NEW! "Shoot Everything!" An Interview with Cinematographer Clive Tickner (HD, 18:57)
Original 1992 Split Second Making of featurette that includes interviews with stars Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair (Neil) Duncan, Michael J. Pollard, Writer Gary Scott Thompson and more! (SD, 6:26)
Original 1992 behind the scenes featurette with effects creator Stephen Norrington, cast and crew (SD, 3:41)
Split Second Japanese Cut, full frame with burnt-in Japanese subtitles (SD, 95:00)
Deleted Scenes from the Japanese Cut (English, burnt-in Japanese subtitles) (SD, 4:42)
7 Promotional TV Clips (SD)
U.S. VHS Home Video Promo (SD, 2:34)
Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:15)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Dude Designs created exclusively for this release
Collectible Mini-Poster featuring original style VHS artwork
'Split Second: Special Edition' [Blu-ray] is out August 11th, 2020 via MVD Visual.