Saturday, February 13, 2021

Watch Cattrall Party Watch: Split Second (1992)

Watched:  02/12/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Tony Maylam

I picked this movie as a Watch Party because it looked like exactly what it was - a 1990's sci-fi Rated-R actioner that wasn't taking itself very seriously, but mostly because it co-starred Kim Cattrall, and after last week's Mannequin 2 viewing, I was like "we should have watched the one with Cattrall", so here we are.

Split Second (1992) is not a good movie.  A quick check after the film finished confirmed what I suspected - the movie had multiple voices seemingly at battle with one another, including star Rutger Hauer having input as they went along.  So, because the story is all over the place - and the story is basically them trying to figure out who (and then what) is killing people, nothing makes sense and nothing matters.

The answer is:  it's a big, Giger-Alien knock off that is maybe invisible, or moves very fast, or something.  They never really say.  I do know they hide the monster till the very end of the movie, but it's featured on the poster?  

We have an odd-ball pairing of the bookworm cop who has credentials that make him seem like maybe the police is a weird place for him to wind up, and Rutget Hauer, who is a loose cannon cop with self-destructive tendencies who clearly needs to be on leave, but they keep him on the streets because... well, in 2021 it'd be because the police unions will be damned before they suggest maybe someone isn't fit for duty.  Here we get a police sergeant just yelling at Hauer and telling him he's dangerous and whatnot, and then handing him back his badge.

The movie is awash is very 1990'ish cliches of loose cannon cops who don't give a damn about your rules (which, frankly, is not great for cops, as we've learned).  It's also awash in cop movie cliches of other flavors, from strip club visits to clerical cops behind a fence arguing with our hero, to awkward buddy-cop tension to messy apartments, stinky fridges and dead partners.

Cattrall plays Hauer's ex-partner's widow.  The partner was, of course, killed by the Split Second (which is not the name of the monster, but it's what I'm calling it, because there's no other reason for the movie's name).  She has exactly her haircut from Star Trek VI, a sassy black vulcan bob, complete with the sides shaved off.  So, I assume she shot this between initial filming of Star Trek VI and pick-ups.   

Cattrall ponders the "he's a loose cannon, so he can't tidy" set

I always assumed this was a wig, but I guess not.  That's dedication, people!

letting the side grow in again there in Split Second (wet shower hair)

I assume her 'do in Running Delilah was after Star Trek VI as the bob grew out, but chose to remain brunette.

Not sure what the harness was for, but she's a cyborg here

And a quick check confirms that for a window here in the early 90's, Cattrall was a brunette in several projects, including Wild Palms which I've meant to get around to watching.  

There's a common thread of women telling other women that a bob is a terrible haircut.  Yes, it's not for every face or skull, but it is not, in fact, a terrible haircut.  Lousie Brooks was on to something.

Her relationship with Hauer is all over the place - she was supposedly having an affair with him when her husband was killed.  They've gone separate ways, but he knows exactly where to find her?  And not at home?  She's - mysteriously - interested in him despite his apartment being a toilet and him being kind of an asshole.  I dunno.  It was just like "insert woman" into the movie and they hoped for the best.  I can't imagine she was on set for more than 2-3 weeks of the making of this thing.

Anyway, the movie is a mess, and the ending feels weirdly pat - like, "oh, the monster is over there, and everything we set up about how hard it is to kill?  Not so much right now."  It also keeps tying people up, which is an odd choice for a monster.  And our sidekick cop is deeply mutilated but acts like it's a minor flesh wound (that guy would be in screaming, agonizing pain).  And, of course, that the monster would be drawing maps to his house at every murder seems like a weird choice.

SO, yeah.  I couldn't figure out why it was after Rutget Hauer, what it's game was, where it came from, how smart it was, why it murdered some people and just messed with others...  

It's bad and ridiculous.  But Cattrall is charming, as always.

Although the scene below was a little weird and I wondered if they didn't cut something out that was supposed to have more meaning or impact.  I kept thinking Cattrall was supposed to be high or drugged or something, but then... nope.  But with everything I suspect was rewritten and reshot, there's likely just some part of the film I missed.

Anyway - I can't say I recommend this movie for any particular reason, but it is streaming for free on Prime at the moment.


Stuart said...

I had a theory back in my video store days that for any movie I hadn't heard of, its overall quality will be in inverse proportion to the coolness of the cover art. Looks like the theory holds.

The League said...

I believe the picture above used as a movie poster is from the new MVD BluRay release - so it's likely one of the Mondo artists spicing it up. The initial poster is just Hauer in character with the monster (who you never see this clearly in the actual movie) sneaking up behind him. But, yeah, MVD really doubled down on what just isn't a movie worth the effort. But maybe the extras reveal stories about the making of the movie that are worthwhile? I do understand your theory - I began to literally avoid anything with a painted image on a VHS box that wasn't Drew Struzan because - let's be honest - no fantasy movie ever came close to the promise of the poster. Of course, then in the star-driven 90's, we wound up with monochromatic close-ups of big name stars looking like they just realized they left the oven on at home.