Split Second (1992)

R | 90 mins | Horror | 1 May 1992

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HISTORY

The film begins with the following title cards: “London 2008,” and, “After forty days and nights of torrential rain, the city is largely submerged below water, a result of the devastating effects of continued global warming. The warnings ignored for decades have now resulted in undreamed-of levels of pollution where day has become almost endless night...”
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, as well as the 21 Jun 1991 Screen International, principal photography began 17 Jun 1991 in London, England, and ended the first week of Aug 1991. The city’s East End locations included “the sprawling Hartley’s Jam Factory and Watney’s Raven Row Depot.” The “jam factory’s” blocks of empty warehouses contained “floodable alleyways,” which allowed the production to create underwater streets, and enough buildings to provide “a fully-operated studio, with a ready-made backlot.” The set for the final scene inside the flooded subway station was built at Watney’s abandoned brewery, and two old subway cars were transported there through London streets at night. Since all scenes took place at night, production designer Chris Edwards differentiated them with “color-coded” sets: the police station squad room was “raw steel” and green, “Harley Stone’s” apartment was dark blue, a murder victim’s apartment was dark purple, and the Underground subway station was “rivery mud” brown.
       The 2 Jul 1991 HR reported that Split Second was the first movie produced by Challenge Films, a London-based company with a Los Angeles, CA, office “geared first and foremost to the U.S. market.” It sought only American scripts. A private European bank provided the film’s $7-million financing, which was pre-sold to several countries, including Japan, before production began. ... More Less

The film begins with the following title cards: “London 2008,” and, “After forty days and nights of torrential rain, the city is largely submerged below water, a result of the devastating effects of continued global warming. The warnings ignored for decades have now resulted in undreamed-of levels of pollution where day has become almost endless night...”
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, as well as the 21 Jun 1991 Screen International, principal photography began 17 Jun 1991 in London, England, and ended the first week of Aug 1991. The city’s East End locations included “the sprawling Hartley’s Jam Factory and Watney’s Raven Row Depot.” The “jam factory’s” blocks of empty warehouses contained “floodable alleyways,” which allowed the production to create underwater streets, and enough buildings to provide “a fully-operated studio, with a ready-made backlot.” The set for the final scene inside the flooded subway station was built at Watney’s abandoned brewery, and two old subway cars were transported there through London streets at night. Since all scenes took place at night, production designer Chris Edwards differentiated them with “color-coded” sets: the police station squad room was “raw steel” and green, “Harley Stone’s” apartment was dark blue, a murder victim’s apartment was dark purple, and the Underground subway station was “rivery mud” brown.
       The 2 Jul 1991 HR reported that Split Second was the first movie produced by Challenge Films, a London-based company with a Los Angeles, CA, office “geared first and foremost to the U.S. market.” It sought only American scripts. A private European bank provided the film’s $7-million financing, which was pre-sold to several countries, including Japan, before production began. On 14 Feb 1992, DV announced that InterStar Releasing acquired North American distribution rights.
       Reviews were mostly negative. The 30 Apr 1992 HR deemed Split Second “numbingly formulaic and mindlessly violent,” while the 1 May 1992 DV called it “extremely stupid.” However, the 4 May 1992 NYT was slightly more optimistic, dubbing it “fairly dull,” and reported “meek numbers” at the box office.
       End credits state: “Filmed entirely on location in London 1991.” Acknowledgments include: “Special thanks to: Norman & Arlene; Steve Lanning; Malcolm Cockren; Ian Levene & all at Challenge for their support,” and, “Mercury Communications Ltd.; General Logistics PLC; MWGN Vehicles; IBM UK Ltd.; Grundig International Ltd.; Clipsal UK Ltd; Raptor UK Ltd.; Supercat Ltd.; ICOM UK Ltd.; Luxo Lighting Ltd.; P. K. Electronic International; Sarason Cycles; Diamond Wetsuits Ltd.; Lamborghini; Tag Heuer Watches; Academy Costumes; City Leathers; Vivienne Westwood; Pam Hogg; John Richmond; Newman Tonks Architectural Hardware Ltd.; Robert Bosh; Philips Whirlpool; Strong UK Ltd.; Woods of Colchester Ltd.; Supreme; APV Anda Ltd; Ever Ready; Santrix Ltd; Sunderland Sheet Metal; Xpelair; JVC; Snap-On-Tools; Brad Boles; Jaffa; Connolly Leather; Shelly's Shoes; Nikon Lens; Briticant International; Enesco; International Security Systems; George Pieczenik; Philips Household Appliances; Grant Gillet.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Oct 1991
p. 2
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1992
p. 30
Daily Variety
1 May 1992
p. 2
Daily Variety
5 May 1992
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1991
p. 3, 7
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1992
p. 11, 22
Los Angeles Times
5 May 1992
p. 6.
New York Times
4 May 1992
p. 15.
Screen International
21 Jun 1991.
---
Variety
1 Jul 1991
p. 13
Variety
12 Aug 1991
p. 16
Variety
9 Mar 1992
p. 5
Variety
27 Apr 1992
p. 80.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Introducing
and
as The Rat Catcher
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Muse Productions B.V. and Chris Hanley Present
A Challenge Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Subway train & addl seq dir by
2d unit action dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
Asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Line prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Steadicam op
Focus puller
Clapper loader
Grip
Cam trainee
Chief elec
Best boy
Elec
Practical elec
Rigger
Stills photog
Addl stills
Addl stills
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Op, 2d unit
Focus puller, 2d unit
Clapper loader, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip equip
Grip equip
[Cam] op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Junior draftsperson
Art dept asst
Art dept asst
Storyboard artist
Art dept runner
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Ed
Asst ed
2d asst film ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Asst buyer
Prop master
Dressing props
Dressing props
Standby propman
Standby propman
Props stores
Props maker
Props maker
Const mgr
Standby carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Standby stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Stagehand
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter's asst
Painter's asst
Standby rigger
Rigger
Rigger
Const consultant
Standby props, 2d unit
Carpenter
Stagehand
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Ward mistress
Ward asst
Ward asst
Cost drawings
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus comp
Mus co-ord
Mus co-ord
SOUND
Boom op
Sd trainee
Sd ed
Foley ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Special thanks to
Special thanks to
Re-rec mixer
Asst re-rec mixer
ADR mixer
Re-rec by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Creature eff des/supv
Creature eff des
Creature eff des
Creature make-up eff des
Mechanical des
Creature mouldmaker
Mouldmaking asst
Rat cosmetics
Prosthetics make-up des
Spec eff by
Spec eff supv
Eff floor supv
Eff mechanical eng
Eff mechanical eng
Eff mechanical eng
Eff mechanical eng
Eff mechanical eng
Eff mechanical eng
Weapon des tech
Weapon des tech
Eff runner
Eff runner
MAKEUP
Chief make-up artist
Chief hairdresser
Make-up trainee
Make-up, 2d unit
Hair, 2d unit
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
UK casting dir
UK casting dir
UK casting dir
Scr supv
Unit/Loc mgr
Loc asst
Prod co-ord
Asst to prods
Prod asst
Floor runner
Prod runner
Asst to Mr. Hauer
Asst to Mr. Hanley
Prod accountant
Accounts asst
Accounts trainee
ADR casting
Rat and pigeon wrestler
Unit nurse
Scr supv, 2d unit
Floor runner, 2d unit
Press & pub
Pub co-ord
Unit wtr
Specialist pub/consultant
Unit driver
Addl unit cars
Transport
Catering
Travel company
Travel consultant
Completion guarantors
Film insurance
International sales
Post prod facilities
Post prod facilities
Promotional tie-ins
Make-up bus driver
Ward truck driver
STAND INS
Mr. Hauer's stand-in
Miss Cattrall's stand-in
Mr. Duncan's stand-in
Stunt co-ord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Film stock
Film processed by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Knights In White Satin," performed by The Moody Blues, composer Justin Hayward (Tyler Music), licensed courtesy of The Decca Record Company
"That Old Black Magic," performed by Cab Calloway, [music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer], licensed courtesy of San Juan Music Group.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 May 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 1 May 1992
Production Date:
17 June - early August 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Interstar Releasing
Copyright Date:
27 May 1992
Copyright Number:
PA583437
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Eastmancolor
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in feet):
8,131
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31525
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In futuristic 2008 London, England, global warming has caused the Thames River to permanently flood parts of the city, and rats have overrun London. Drinking interminable cups of coffee and eating chocolate, rogue police detective Harley Stone drives his Jeep through the watery streets, as fellow detective Dick Durkin tails him. At Jay Jay’s “non-stop dancing” nightclub, Harley telephones officer Pat O’Donnell at headquarters to report his instinct that the killer is going to show up. Hearing a scream, he runs into the bathroom and finds a woman murdered, her heart ripped out, and the words “I’m back” written in blood on the mirror. As Harley follows a drop of blood into a back alley, Dick Durkin displays his badge and introduces himself to Harley. Losing composure, Harley is subdued by several officers before taken to jail. Later, Dick learns that a serial killer murdered Harley’s partner, Foster McLaine, three years earlier, and he was overcome with guilt because he was having an affair with Foster’s wife, Michelle. Released from lock-up, Harley warns Chief Thrasher that the killer is back. Since Dick Durkin is an Oxford University-trained expert on serial killers, Thrasher appoints him as Harley’s new partner. Dick asks how Harley knew the killer would strike at the nightclub, but Harley refuses to talk. When Harley receives a box containing the nightclub victim’s half-eaten heart, he returns to Jay Jay’s and lies on the bathroom floor to make psychic contact with her. Sometime later, at another murder scene where a man’s heart has been torn out, Harley and Dick find Foster McLaine’s pistol in a plastic bag, and the astrological sign of Scorpio painted in blood on the ... +


In futuristic 2008 London, England, global warming has caused the Thames River to permanently flood parts of the city, and rats have overrun London. Drinking interminable cups of coffee and eating chocolate, rogue police detective Harley Stone drives his Jeep through the watery streets, as fellow detective Dick Durkin tails him. At Jay Jay’s “non-stop dancing” nightclub, Harley telephones officer Pat O’Donnell at headquarters to report his instinct that the killer is going to show up. Hearing a scream, he runs into the bathroom and finds a woman murdered, her heart ripped out, and the words “I’m back” written in blood on the mirror. As Harley follows a drop of blood into a back alley, Dick Durkin displays his badge and introduces himself to Harley. Losing composure, Harley is subdued by several officers before taken to jail. Later, Dick learns that a serial killer murdered Harley’s partner, Foster McLaine, three years earlier, and he was overcome with guilt because he was having an affair with Foster’s wife, Michelle. Released from lock-up, Harley warns Chief Thrasher that the killer is back. Since Dick Durkin is an Oxford University-trained expert on serial killers, Thrasher appoints him as Harley’s new partner. Dick asks how Harley knew the killer would strike at the nightclub, but Harley refuses to talk. When Harley receives a box containing the nightclub victim’s half-eaten heart, he returns to Jay Jay’s and lies on the bathroom floor to make psychic contact with her. Sometime later, at another murder scene where a man’s heart has been torn out, Harley and Dick find Foster McLaine’s pistol in a plastic bag, and the astrological sign of Scorpio painted in blood on the ceiling. Officer Paulsen gives Harley a plaster cast of the nightclub victim’s heart, and he believes he hears the killer’s heartbeat. Telling Dick that the murderer is not far away, Harley shows his new partner the imprint of strange teeth marks in the plaster and wonders if the killer is a human or a beast. Leaving Dick behind, Harley goes to Foster McLaine's crypt and finds Michelle, who explains she visits her husband every time she returns to London. Concerned by Harley’s haggard look, she accompanies him home for the night and is shocked by his ramshackle apartment. When Harley falls asleep, she finds a photograph of herself with his detective’s badge. Harley awakens from a nightmare in which he walks through sewer water with Foster. As Michelle sleeps, Harley and Dick go for breakfast and coffee. Believing that Harley and the killer are on the same “psychic wavelength,” Dick wonders why the murderer strikes at high tide during the new moon, since Scorpio is a “water sign.” Meanwhile, the killer breaks into Harley’s Jeep to steal his shotgun, goes upstairs to Harley’s apartment, and sees Michelle taking a shower. Harley and Dick get a police call about an intruder, and they hurry back to find Michelle unharmed. They rush to another apartment when they hear a scream. As Dick enters, he is blown through a window by a gunshot blast. Harley returns fire at a fleeting figure and finds a dead woman in a bathtub. He stumbles outside, hyperventilates, and is sedated by arriving medical personnel. When Harley awakens at the hospital, he is shocked to see Dick alive, who explains that his bulletproof vest saved him. At headquarters, Paulsen tells Harley that the laboratory found a rat virus on one of the hearts, and fingerprints belonging to Foster McLaine. Dick receives a lab report that the killer shares the DNA structure of his victims, rats, and even Harley’s DNA. Harley suspects the assailant will go to the morgue because he did not have time to take the heart of his last victim. There, he and Dick see a beast and open fire, but it escapes. Shaken by the large, non-human killer, Harley and Dick return to headquarters to arm themselves with automatic weapons. Guzzling coffee, Dick surmises that the killer is Satan, who not only gathers his victims’ DNA, but their souls. Returning to his apartment, Harley finds a heart in his refrigerator. Michelle obsessively scrubs herself, claiming a rat bit her shoulder. Harley realizes that the bite has bound her to the killer. He kisses her goodbye, and runs downstairs to find Dick handcuffed and bloody inside his Jeep, but seemingly unharmed. Freeing his partner, Harley returns to his apartment and finds Michelle firing a gun at the beast as it scurries away. When Dick becomes woozy, Harley discovers that the beast etched the symbol of a pentagram into the flesh of his chest. Dick reads the sign backwards and learns that the satanic beast is headed for Cannon Street to continue his killing spree. The detectives get help from a man called “The Rat Catcher,” who leads them to the abandoned Cannon Street Underground train station. There, they find Michelle hanging by her wrists from a street grating above, as her legs dangle in the flood water. Seeing the beast lurking in the water, Dick climbs atop an abandoned railway car and instructs Michelle to swing toward him. As he grabs her legs, the beast surfaces, and Harley shoots it, then tries to electrocute it using a broken electrical cable. However, the creature attacks, and Harley reaches into its chest and rips out the monster’s heart. It continues to pulsate in Harley’s hand until he blows it apart with his shotgun. As Harley, Dick, and Michelle leave, something stirs beneath the water. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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