Unlike Desperate Lives, the 1982 melodrama Split Image is available to be viewed on YouTube. In fact, you can watch it below and I suggest that you do so. It’s a pretty good film and, apparently, it’s never been released on DVD or Blu-ray and it’ll probably never be available on Netflix either. So, if you’ve ever wanted to see Peter Fonda play a cult leader, your best bet is to watch the video below.
But before you watch the video, here’s a little information on Split Image, one of the best films that you’ve never heard of.
Essentially, the film follows the same plot as the Canadian film Ticket To Heaven. A college athlete (played by Michael O’Keefe) starts dating a girl (Karen Allen) who is a member of a sinister religious cult. Soon, O’Keefe is a brainwashed member of the cult and only answering to the name of Joshua. (The head of the cult is played, in an appropriately spaced-out manner, by Peter Fonda.) His parents (Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Ashley) hire a cult deprogrammer (James Woods) to kidnap their son and break Fonda’s hold on him. However, it turns out that Woods’ methods are almost as psychologically destructive as Fonda’s manipulation.
Even if it’s not quite as memorably creepy as Ticket To Heaven, Split Image is still a well-made film, featuring excellent performances from Dennehy, Woods, O’Keefe, and Fonda. However, for me, the most interesting thing about Split Image is that it was largely filmed and set down here in Dallas. Just watch the scene where Woods and his men attempt to kidnap Michael O’Keefe. It was shot on the campus of Richland Community College, which is one of the places where I regularly go to run.
(Interestingly enough, 33 years after the release of Split Image, Richland still looks exactly the same!)
You can watch Split Image below!