Split Image (1982)

R  |   |  Drama  |  3 October 1982 (USA)
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Young man is sucked into an unnamed religious cult by beautiful girl and gets increasingly under the mind control of the cult leader. After his parents fail in their efforts to talk him out... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny 'Joshua' Stetson
Rebecca / Amy
Charles Pratt
Diana Stetson
Kevin Stetson
Ronnie Scribner ...
Sean Stetson
Pamela Ludwig ...
John Dukakis ...
Michael Sacks ...
Cliff Stephens ...
Hall (as Cliff Stevens)


Young man is sucked into an unnamed religious cult by beautiful girl and gets increasingly under the mind control of the cult leader. After his parents fail in their efforts to talk him out of it, they hire a guy who kidnaps and then de-programs him. Written by Tilman Hausherr <tilman@berlin.snafu.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the name of God, they brainwashed him and stole his heart! See more »




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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gefährliche Freunde  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gymnastics Teams in competition at the start of movie were Drayton University (Danny's team) and Bradford University (both fictitious). The victory chant after Danny's winning high bar routine was "Who owns this town, who owns this town, the people say we own this town, we own this town, especially today, Hooray!" See more »


Danny 'Joshua' Stetson: [on Charles] He lives for greed! He lives for sex!
Charles Pratt: I live in a trailer park, and I haven't been laid in a month.
See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Don't split this one off, from Kotchef's other pics
13 July 2015 | by (adelaide, australia) – See all my reviews

I'm bloody surprised, if bloody dumbfounded, 5 people have only reviewed this film. First, there was Kotchef's First Blood. Then this. Both are fine movies. Split Image really offers something different, where by the end of the film, you feel drained or put through the ringer. This must be a very overlooked film, and that would be an understatement. Though SI, isn't without faults, unlike how the taut and tense, First Blood was handled. There's a bit of sloppiness to the film, as in the skipping part structure. The story revolves around a promising gymnast Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe). He has everything going for him, but his new love becomes his ruin, when he gets mixed up in a cult where young people are suckered into a new life on a plantation camp behind closed gates. It's run by a older guy, Kirklander in a surprisingly underestimated and somewhat creepy performance by Peter Fonda. Let me be honest, he's the best actor in the movie, where the other performances are bloody good too, especially from Keefe, and his new found love, Elizabeth (Karen Allen). On the other side of that coin is James Woods as the deprogrammer who has a hatred for Fonda, that's so immense, it's worrying, even slagging on black and white photo of his nemesis. Keefe's parents are played by Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Ashley, Ashley the better performance of the two who enlists Wood's services, who not really won over, or even show a liking to this lowlife character, who likes to flash his tongue at college girls, while at work with his team, ready to snatch, save- de programme the next mind altered kid. His view on college is interesting too. What's great about Split Image, is we see the views of both sides, like really get inside the life of these cults and how they are run, and it's an interesting duration and insight, I must say. The other side is that of Keefe's family, offering some funny moments, before he's snatched, and then the helplessness, we so much feel for them. The duration of the deprogramming of Keefe, kept captive in an attic, is of course the strongest part/real heart of the movie, as we want so much for this character to be saved, and it's quite a grueling watch, where O'Keefe shows off his best acting in this part, sometimes too convincingly, it's hard to watch. What really didn't convince me, was how easily led Danny was into this cult, which is a sick business, but if this is all it takes, it's frighteningly alarming or sickening, kind of like these young kids being brainwashed into terrorism. The only other issue I had with the film, was the deprogramming bit in the attic, as I strongly feel it would of taken much more time and effort, to bring O'Keefe back to his original self, where to be frank, some kids would be that far gone, they wouldn't be able to be saved. Kotchef makes good films. Christ, he even made Weekend At Bernies, where Split Image, deservedly earns it's place beside them. Check it out. Don't overlook this one. Please.

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