Split Second (Blu-ray Review)

Split Second Blu-rayIn 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. Featuring special effects by Stephen Norrington (Blade) and written by Gary Scott Thompson (The Fast and The Furious), along with an all-star supporting cast that includes Academy Award® Nominees Michael J. Pollard (Tango & Cash) and Pete Postlethwaite (Inception), this cult classic sci-fi thriller will have you on the edge of your seat!

Split Second Blu-ray


Split Second tells the story of a flooded London in the near, now past future of 2008, where a serial killer is ripping the hearts out of its victims’ chest. Harley Stone (Rutger Hauer) is on the trail of this elusive killer that seems to have a bond with Harley since he’s never quite to make it on time to foil the killings. Taunted by the serial killer and inundated by law enforcement politics, Harley is teamed up with rookie detective Durkin (Alastair Duncan) to even the odds.

Growing up, Split Second was such a fun film, but I also kind of always wondered why it was so inconsistent in terms of coherent storyline. All of the elements are there to make a terrific movie but falls very short. I’d find out years later that it was all due to those production troubles.

The supernatural elements involving the creature and killings always fascinated me, because it could have been explored a bit more, but leave a lot of unfinished threads scattered about. Funny tid-bit, Stephen Norrington created the groovy creature, visor and all. All things considered, the film works as fun sci-fi creature-feature. You have awesome weaponry, cool monster, and Haur’s crazy performance. All on Blu-ray, so everyone wins!

Watching Split Second now, for the first time in at least twenty-five years (since the VHS days), I can now appreciate the film for what it is. It succeeds in being a fun B-movie flick, with Rutger Hauer pulling in a bat-shit performance for the ages. Harley is strung out on coffee and chocolate, with a dash of PTSD (he witnessed the death of his partner to this killer). Shake it up and serve chilled!


Split Second Blu-ray


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail: Contrast levels are steady, along with sharpness levels. Split Second looks pretty good for a nearly 30-year old film.

Depth: The transfer does give Split Second a bit more depth, but not by much. We have the bookended beginning and ending that show off the expansive world, but the film is set in close quarters most of the time.

Black Levels: Black levels and shadow detail fare the best. There are many scenes that take place in darkly-lit interiors and even darker exteriors.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is quite vibrant, especially in the scenes during the club or interiors that have odd lighting.

Flesh Tones:  Flesh tones looks fine. Everyone looks nice and healthy unless they’re getting their hearts ripped out of their chests.

Noise/Artifacts: This one is iffy, because on two occasions that I was able to observe – I noticed cigarette burns on the upper righthand corner. I’m under the assumption that those were already baked into the celluloid many years ago. It’s one of the things that you really can’t get rid of. I also noticed some white flakes here and there.

Split Second Blu-ray


Audio Format(s): English LPCM 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: The LPCM 2.o handles everything within its 2.0 container rather nicely. Being that it’s a 2.0 track, everything contained in this soundtrack, sounds the best it has ever sounded. I can only imagine what a 5.1 soundtrack would have sounded like.

Low-Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels sound terrific and are nicely balanced in the 2.0 sound mix.

Split Second Blu-ray


As you can see by the “beaucoup” special features on display in this set — the Blu-ray is absolutely PACKED with special features. Not only is packed with special features, they even included the Japanese alternate cut of the film (SD), with a few minutes of restored footage. On that alone, the film gets a 5-star in terms of special features.


  • 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
  • English Subtitles
  • 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

* Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned Or In High Definition.

Split Second Blu-ray


Split Second is one of the campiest sci-fi horror films of the early 90’s and this Blu-ray has done an amazing job in pulling out of “obscurity” for a new generation of film fans and physical media enthusiasts. The video and the audio fine, but the special features take the cake. On supplements alone, this release is one of the best releases of 2020. Recommended!


The images used above within the review are not actual Blu-ray screenshots. They are for illustrative purposes only.


Split Second is now available o Blu-ray!




Split Second Blu-ray


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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