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Split Second Review

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Set in London, only in 2008, life has supposedly changed significantly when two cops find dead bodies with symbols carved into their chests. They arrive at various conclusions until they catch sight of an 'Alien' style monster. With the two on the case, it's up to them to stop innocent people getting killed.

★★★★★

London, 2008. The Thames has risen, society is crumbling and the Metropolitan Police have started employing psychopaths like Rutger Hauer to track down serial killers. All that global warming has obviously had a great effect on the atoms that bind together plots, because this s-f slasher movie demonstrates an almost random approach to its traditional storyline, with inexplicable events, disappearing characters, logical lapses and downright silliness tumbling together.

Coffee-drinking hard-man Hauer and comics-reading Scots intellectual Neil Duncan are brawling buddy cops together on the track of a heart-eating villain who carves astrological symbols on what’s left of the chests of his victims. Various solutions are raised, involving mutant DNA and the Devil, but in the end the baddie turns out to be a regulation Alien-imitation Big Monster With Teeth who chomps down on people just to annoy Rutger and gets righteously splattered in a tube train-set finale that merely serves to fill in time before Split Second II : The Explanation.

It is directed at a rapid plod by Tony Maylam, whose last respectable credit was Riddle Of The Sands and who turned over the megaphone to Ian Sharp for the big action scene at the end; and no wonder since most of the film consists of characters colliding in the middle of the screen and snarling would-be hard-bitten dialogue at each other. Maylam, who works hard to establish a Drowned World atmosphere by pouring water into all the sets and painting everything grey, even manages to have heroine Kim Cattrall, her Vulcan hairdo from Star Trek VI not yet grown out, look haggard and unattractive.

As a video trash action picture, this at least offers up all the chewed hearts, naked people, big guns and toothy monsters that you’d expect. It also affords Hauer a chance to look cool in silly sunglasses that can hardly be much help in the murksome world of the future, and Duncan turns in an enthusiastic performance that accounts for a sole touch of character and humour. However, you could well afford to skip its theatrical showing and wait to hire it out with three other grunge movies and a take-away tandoori.

As a throwaway 80's B-movie you could do much worse. Hauer, as is his way, plays the rough and silent type, this time a cop with Scot Duncan as his partner. There is enough gore, monsters and violence to satisfy but a good plot is sadly lacking and worst of all, they even managed to make Kim Catrall look unattractive.

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