"Tales from the Crypt" Split Second (TV Episode 1991) Poster

(TV Series)

(1991)

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Brion James lumberjack style!
Coventry9 March 2006
Brion James was a terrific but criminally underrated B-movie actor who sadly passed away in 1999, due to a heart attack. Because of his barbaric looks and imposing voice, James was frequently cast as the villain or homicidal maniac in second-class horror and action vehicles like "House 3", "Tango & Cash." or "Nature of the Beast" and his characters usually died in the most painful ways imaginable. It was to be expected that he would turn up in a "Tales from the Crypt"-episode sooner or later and that he would play the ultimate bastard! In this tale directed by "Highlander's Russell Mulcahy, James is downright fantastic as the robust and pathologically jealous leader of a lumberjack company. When he returns from a vacation as a married man, Steve Dixon violently tries to keep away all his employers from his sexy wife Liz. But the young bride is a vicious shrew herself, as she deliberately seduces a new and handsome workman just to bring some excitement in her dull life. The setting of one incredibly sexy girl (Michelle Johnson, who goes topless!) among a troop of rough macho men works very effectively and the screenplay foresees an exact right amount of black humor. The over-the-top gross ending is simply hilarious! Mucho recommended!
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8/10
Axe Splitting
thebigeasy5559 August 2006
My favourite story from 'tales from the crypt'. Brion Jones was born to play the part of the maniac lumberjack,axe swinging madman Steve Dixon.Having seen him before in Tango&Cash I can state this actor never got the proper credit he deserved. A jealous husband takes offence in his wife showing an interest in a hunky young worker he's just employed.And you know when Dixon finds out there's gonna be hell to pay!The young worker Ted(Billy Wirth)receives an almighty beating from Dixon leaving him blind.Now how is a blind lumberjack supposed to work? A tribute to black humour if there ever was one! The co stars do a pretty good job too supporting Ted when Dixon when he has his initial suspicions about his wife desiring another man.Dixon's behaviour making the bond stronger closer between the colleagues.One even stated he became a changed man when he got married.Though Ted should have done the wise thing and left when he could!
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In MY top 3
andreww319 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Michelle Johnson proves to be just a bit too irresistible. Her husband, an awesome Brion Jones, is racked with jealousy and hatred for anyone who even breathes near her. Hmm, I wonder if Johnson's real life ex husband, MLB player and a favorite of mine Matt Williams, felt the same way. Oh well, the intrigue and build up in this episode give it enough to fit into my top 3 Tales of Alltime. My other 2 star Joe Pantoliano as a circus freak with 9 lives and Andrew McCarthy loving Mariel Hemingway to death or is it the other way around. This trifecta of Tales is required viewing for Tale aficionados. All three endings are priceless and the acting Top-Rate. Seriously, no one mails in a performance, even the secondary characters. It's sad to see Brion Jones has passed away, his eyes and their evil portrayal is second to none.
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8/10
Enjoyable episode
Woodyanders8 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Lovely, but jaded and promiscuous barmaid Liz Kelly (well played to the sultry hilt by the enticing Michelle Johnson) marries Steve Dixon (late, great villainous character actor supreme Brion James in peak brutish form), the wealthy, yet mean, jealous, and possessive owner of a logging camp. Complications ensue when the bored and lusty Liz falls for hunky new lumberjack Ted (a likable portrayal by the handsome Billy Wirth). Director Russell Mulcahy, working from a bright and inspired script by Richard Christian Matheson, relates the engrossing story at a constant brisk pace, offers a flavorsome evocation of the back country location, and tops everything off with a wickedly amusing sense of spot-on pitch-black humor (the gruesome conclusion with both Liz and Steve receiving their just nasty desserts is simply sidesplitting in an admittedly sick sort of way). James, Wirth, and Johnson all do sterling work in the lead roles, while Dan Martin lends able support as the hearty Snar and Tony Pierce has a nice bit as sleazy hick Banjo. The delicious Ms. Johnson makes for a marvelously sexy and predatory femme fatale (her cynical narration adds a nifty noirish touch), and, best of all, she even does an extremely tasty topless scene. Rick Bota's sharp cinematography provides a neat slick and sunny look. Brian May's spare shivery score likewise does the shuddery trick. A fun show.
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6/10
"Maybe it's better to be blind, the worlds an ugly place anyway." Decent tale from the crypt.
Paul Andrews19 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Tales from the Crypt: Split Second starts as a bar waitress named Liz (Michelle Johnson) meets Steve Dixon (Brion James) the rich owner of a lumber camp, after learning of his money Liz reckon she's on to a good thing & they marry that very night. However Steve is insanely jealous & forbids his workers to even look at her & he tells her not to go anywhere near them, all of a sudden things don't seem quite so good for Liz. That is until the handsome young Ted (Billy Wirth) turns up looking for a job, Liz falls for Ted & tries to seduce him but Steve finds out & this particular romance doesn't end happily...

This Tales from the Crypt story was episode 11 from season 3, the first of four Tales from the Crypt episodes to be directed by Russell Mulcahy I thought Split Second was decent enough. The script by Richard Christian Matheson was based on a story from the 'Shock SuspenStories' comic book & is basically your standard morality tale of love turned bad. Overall I quite liked the story but I found it a bit predictable although the cool ending certainly helps even if you can tell how things are going to pan out if not in the way they precisely do. As usual the episode moves along at a good pace although most of it's duration is the setting up of the character's rather than action packed incident.

This one looks good & is well made, there is a lot of swearing in this episode, some nudity & not much gore. There's some blood splatter along with the great ending sequence involving a chainsaw & lots more blood. The acting is good especially from the always watchable & intense Brion James.

Split Second is a good tale from the crypt although I don't personally think it rates amongst the show's best, worth a watch all the same.
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6/10
"That woman's driving you crazy!"
Foreverisacastironmess28 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A grizzled tough lumberjack marries a pretty young thing who happens to be a total slut, he soon becomes crazy jealous and takes it out on his innocent crew and a handsome young guy who's basically caught in the middle, and then after the lumberjack's damage is done, some serious forest justice ensues! So to me this episode isn't a particularly remarkable one but I thought some of the performances were a lot of fun and stood out in it. Michelle Johnson was great as what is really the true villain of the story, although it may not seem that way to everybody. But as you see what a heartlessly manipulative sexually-driven gal she really is, and how she doesn't give a damn about anyone but herself or who gets hurt because of the dangerous flirtatious behaviour she embarks upon in her quest to escape the dreaded boredom, by the end you really want to see the little witch punished for her ruthlessly wanton ways! And Brion James was such a tremendous hoot as the thick-necked sweaty lumberjack who gets psychotically jealous if guys so much as look at his younger wife. What a face the man had! All of his grimacing, incredulous expressions are priceless and he's a massively entertaining blast to watch in this one. He's damn scary but hilarious with it, and he's also quite charismatic and commanding in his raged-up role. He was definitely the best thing about this tale and he had presence, very sad to hear of his passing.. Billy Wirth was just okay, he really didn't stand out though. He looked good but he was boring, you can see why the guy hasn't ever had too many starring roles. He really just should stay silent and look pretty like he did in The Lost Boys! His reaction at the end when he clearly realises what he's been tricked into doing with the chainsaw is confusing, because he looks horrified for a moment but is then eager to get to work on her! Not to mention how the entire lumber crew are suddenly so thirsty for Mr Dixon'd blood, it's a very bizarre ending! This episode is good but I find it a little weak somewhere and for me it doesn't take off that much in a macabre horror kind of way, besides of course the ending. As a Tales episode it just doesn't do it for me very much, but it's better than I remembered it. Not a favourite but fun and very enjoyable, not quite strong as an OAK but certainly AOK. x
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5/10
Woodchopper
kapelusznik1827 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** It's bad enough to work for lumber boss Steve Dixon, Brion James, who's a major pain in the butt to do business with but it's his old lady or wife former bar waitress Liz, Michelle Johnson, who can really put the hurt on you. That's when Liz spots handsome wood-chopper Ted Timberlake, Billy Wirth, on the job chopping up a 100 foot tree in record time without as much as breaking out into a sweat. The hot to trot Liz determined to get Ted into the sack with her finally gets him to drop his guard, as she dropped her bra and panties, and get into bed with her as her jealous and crazed husband Steve caught them in the rough and making out!

With Ted too embarrassed and helpless to defend himself Steve works the poor man over that he ends up losing his sight after a glancing blow by Steve's ax. Still working for the man Steve Dixon Ted is entered into the annual wood-chopping contest by his fellow lumberjacks to see if he still has what it takes to chop down trees.

***SPOILERS*** In the end it's not just trees that Ted, who's now totally blind, is chopping up but a tied up gagged and terrified Steve as well as Liz he's to do the chopping to, with an chainsaw not ax, that his fellow lumberjacks provided him with that Ted can thank Steve for making that all possible. That by blinding the passive and never hurting as much as a fly Steve that had him do something while totally blind that he never would have dreamed of doing if he still had his sight back.
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6/10
Split Second
a_baron28 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Michelle Johnson stars as an accidental waitress in a dive where the sawdust on the floor is last night's furniture. Wise beyond her years, she is as cynical as any young woman can be, but when one of the patrons cuts up rough she finds herself accepting a spontaneous marriage proposal from a most unlikely knight in shining armour. Her instant husband is a wealthy older man who runs his own business, but the magic wears off before the honeymoon she never had.

"What is it about men? When they want you the first time, they don't care what anybody thinks of you, but as soon as they think of you as theirs, they want you to be as pure as the f*****g Madonna".

Terrific line, and no, she did not mean that Madonna, but the original one.

Can you guess what happens next? Of course you can, enter a handsome young stranger who teaches the wanton wife to play chess. Well, you got the first part right. Sadly, the end is, well, did either of them deserve this? The best thing about this mean-spirited episode is the background music which was composed by a bloke named Brian May. Not that one, surely?
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6/10
Saved by the good ending
Juan Sarmiento23 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Yet another incredibly annoying episode, but unlike some previous ones, it had a great closure.

This episode is mainly about a very jealous husband and his bored wife. One day, a young man comes to work for the man and she sees an opportunity to kill her boredom. She tries to seduce him and that makes her husband very angry when he catches them.

He beats the young man called Ted and causes him to lose his sight. The men working for the guy take the opportunity and use Ted to get rid of their angry boss and heartless wife by giving Ted a chainsaw and pretending to be chopping wood.

It was a pretty annoying episode, but saved by the good ending.
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