BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Split Second: MVD Rewind Collection (1992) - Blu-ray Review

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Split Second

Big gun! Number one!

Maybe it’s the heavy biker boots announcing his thunderous arrival to all lawbreakers in a post-global warming world.  Maybe it’s the dark, circle-framed sunglasses through which he sees all varieties of criminal behavior in flooded London town.  Hell, it might even be the cigar that he lights with a mini-blowtorch; the leather trench coat that hides his heavy arsenal; or that “caffeine, chocolate, and anxiety” swagger which propels him endlessly forward, but whatever it is ABSOLUTELY fuels homicide detective Harley Stone (Rutger Hauer) to keep tracking the demonic serial killer taunting him.

"an underappreciated science fiction B-movie from the 1990s, makes for an EXPLOSIVE watch in 2020"


Split Second, an underappreciated science fiction B-movie from the 1990s, makes for an EXPLOSIVE watch in 2020.  Sure, some of its science is a bit early - suggesting that by 2008 global warming would leave parts of London flooded - but the film hits hard when it comes to noirish thriller territory and feels like it could be a close spiritual cousin to Blade Runner as Hauer stomps through an endless parade of nightclubs and neon-soaked locations in pursuit of a killer who is not quite human . . . but it’s no android.

Written by The Fast and the FuriousGary Scott Thompson, Split Second takes place in the year 2008 and London is completely flooded thanks to global warming.  The police are better armed, but the attitudes everyone proudly displays just puts everyone on edge.  With a killer - who seems to be back from a three year hiatus - stalking the underground, Stone, having lost his partner to the killer, resumes the hunt with a rookie police officer Dick Durkin (Neil Duncan) in tow and the results are as violent as expected.Split Second

This science fiction blast, now on blu-ray due to the MVD Rewind Collection, was originally released during the height of the Los Angeles riots, failed to make an impact at the box office, but it has gone on - thanks to a solid script (which went through many changes before the cameras rolled), great creature effects from Stephen Norrington (Blade), and great performances from a cast which includes Kim Cattrall, Alastair Neil Duncan, Pete Postlethwaite, Ian Dury, and Alun Armstrong.

While the movie’s pace is a bit all over the place, the film itself satisfies thanks to its use and its twisting of familiar detective set-ups, strong character acting, and a killer that is as surprising as it is ruthless.  The atmosphere is solid, too, as it makes use of city locales, deep shadows, and the dark quite well.  The shower scene from Cattrall - as the film explores some horror tropes, too - helps in its appreciation. 

With the killer loose and ripping hearts from its victims, Stone and his partner begin to question just what it is that lurks in the shadows.  We aren't disappointed with the reveal that this creature - oversized, crazed, and demonic - has come to go toe-to-toe for a battle to the death either.  Bring it on!

And now, thanks to the MVD Rewind Collection, Split Second gets its high definition debut of this Sci-Fi Cult Classic on blu-ray with an ultimate Collector’s Edition!

4/5 beers

Split Second

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: MVD Visual
Available on Blu-ray
- August 20, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English; LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

In the year 2008, the cops are better armed than before, but nothing has prepared them for this. Swift, sharp-clawed and deadly, something moves among them on the streets, in the alleyways, on the rooftops, tearing out human hearts and devouring them. Maverick cop “Harley” Stone (Rutger Hauer) lost his partner to the beast, and now it looks like his girlfriend Michelle (Kim Cattrall) is next on the killer’s list. Even in the future, there aren’t guns big enough to stop the creature’s deadly force, but Stone has no choice. Teamed with rookie detective Durkin (Alastair Duncan), Stone must stalk the edge of his own sanity if he is to destroy the rampaging Evil on the outside and banish the very real demons within . . . It could all be over in a SPLIT SECOND.  Exclusive for North America, the MVD Rewind Collection Collector’s edition of Split Second features newly commissioned artwork by The Dude Designs on both the wrap and a limited edition slipcover. Also exclusive for MVD’s North American release will be reversible wrap featuring a stylized version of the original VHS artwork that will also be featured on a mini-poster insert.

Video:

For this release, MVD Rewind Collection has teamed up with 101 Films to release Split Second with a brand new high definition presentation overseen by Joe Rubin, the main feature is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, newly scanned, restored and color graded in 4K from the 35MM internegative, with stunning results.  While it takes place mainly in and around a flooded London, this 1080p transfer captures crisp details in clothing and in locations that are textured and fine.  Loaded with juicy details, this is an atmospheric release that doesn’t shy away from the sunlight.  It has dark layers, yes, and those shadows are well-defined and crisp but the new transfer does not disappoint.  The brand new 1.85:1 HD master is detailed and looks better than ever. Some shots, due to the era of the day, are fuzzier than others but the image is reasonably well defined with crisp contrasts and solid textures. Colors are solid, with reds being a standout. Blacks are, too. Surprisingly, there's enough fine detail on display to make this seem revelatory. The era-ready color palette looks terrific, too.

Audio:

An uncompressed 2-channel stereo audio (2.0 LPCM Stereo) brings the sound to life for this release.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Fans of this one are going to appreciate the NEW Audio Commentary by action film historian Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema which is included on this release.

Special Features:

Loaded with great supplementals, MVD Rewind rewards fans of the movie with keyed-in looks at the different aspects in the making of the movie.  There is also a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Dude Designs which was created exclusively for this release. A Collectible Mini-Poster featuring original VHS style artwork is also included.

  • 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)

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

Split Second

MPAA Rating: R for gore and language.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Tony Maylam
Writer:
Gary Scott Thompson
Cast:
Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, Alastair Duncan
Genre
: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline:
A cop is out of control. And a killer is on the loose, terrifying, devastating.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The only thing we know for sure is that he's *not* a vegetarian."
Theatrical Distributor:
InterStar Releasing
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 1, 1992
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 11, 2020.
Synopsis: In the year 2008, the cops are better armed than before, but nothing has prepared them for this. Swift, sharp-clawed and deadly, something moves among them on the streets, in the alleyways, on the rooftops, tearing out human hearts and devouring them. Maverick cop "Harley" Stone (Rutger Hauer, Blade Runner) lost his partner to the beast, and now it looks like his girlfriend Michelle (Kim Cattrall, Big Trouble in Little China) is next on the killer's list. Even in the future, there aren't guns big enough to stop the creature's deadly force, but Stone has no choice. Teamed with rookie detective Durkin (Alastair Duncan, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Stone must stalk the edge of his own sanity if he is to destroy the rampaging Evil on the outside and banish the very real demons within . . . It could all be over in a SPLIT SECOND.

Split Second

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