Split Second (1992)

Let’s get this straight:  this one doesn’t make a lot of sense.

But I still managed to enjoy it.

What we’ve got here is a dark, cyberpunk future, where London is flooded and Rutger Hauer is a seriously disturbed policeman on the track of a particularly nasty serial killer.

It is also a buddy cop comedy.  And the serial killer taunts the hero, leaves astrological symbols and strange messages written in blood, thinks he’s the devil, eats his victims hearts and has a serious overbite.

Oh, and he apparently is some sort of mutant, laboratory created monstrosity or alien, take your pick.

Rutger Hauer seems to be enjoying himself here, and his character has a few utterly bizarre quirks, such as carrying an old fashioned blowtorch around to light his cigars.  He also seems to have some sort of psychic link to the murderer, whatever it is.

And for most of the film, it is a remarkably mysterious, unseen thing, leaving cryptic messages without anyone catching it, killing or sparing people around Hauer on an apparent whim, and, as he gets closer to it, just a dark shape, or a quick glimpse of something not quite human…

What is even stranger, though, is the layer of the supernatural that overlays the entire story:  London is flooded by Forty days and nights of rain, the creature uses astrological symbols, has some connection to all the rats in the city, and the brainy new college kid partner (Alastair Duncan) thinks the killer believes himself to be the Devil..

And he is at least half convinced that might be true.

Apparently, the film went through a lot of edits along the way (many of them because they thought it was too much like The First Power, which came out not long before), and it is never made clear exactly what the thing they are tracking is.  There is some very remarkable physical evidence but it is so strange who knows what to believe.

However, the film looks great, the monster is reasonably impressive (if somewhat familiar) and kept very mysterious for most of the film, there are some very funny moments (particularly what happens to his partner after their first encounter with the creature, and one line mostly stolen from Jaws), Rutger and Alastair Duncan both give excellent performances, and the film exists within a fascinating dystopian future which may not be as carefully thought out or detailed as Blade Runner, but serves well enough for what this is, a dark, if tongue in cheek, cyberpunk B-Monster movie.

And if you can watch it as that, you’ll probably enjoy this one.

…At least if you don’t get hung up on what the @#*&!! that creature is.

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