Split Image

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"In the name of God, they brainwashed him and stole his heart!"
  • R
  • 1982
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.4  (1,040)
  • 57

Split Image is a 1982 drama film directed by Ted Kotcheff and written by Robert Kaufman that tells the story of Danny Stetson (Michael O'Keefe), a vulnerable young man who gets recruited into a sinister cult known as "The Eternal Flame" by a beautiful and persuasive ex-member named Gillian Guess (Karen Allen). The cult is led by Kirklander (Peter Fonda), a charismatic guru who specializes in brainwashing and manipulating his followers to do his bidding.

The film opens with Danny, a quiet and unsophisticated young man from Seattle, struggling to find his place in the world. Despite being an accomplished wrestler, he lacks direction and purpose in his life, and feels like an outsider among his peers. One day, he meets Gillian, a striking woman who claims to be from a commune where everyone lives in harmony and peace. She convinces Danny to visit the commune, saying it will help him find the answers he's been searching for.

Danny is initially reluctant, but he's also drawn to Gillian, who takes him under her wing and shows him the ropes of the cult. The commune, located in a beautiful and secluded area of British Columbia, seems idyllic at first glance. The people are warm and welcoming, the surroundings are breathtaking, and there's a sense of camaraderie and mutual love among the members. Danny starts to feel like he's found his family and purpose, and is fascinated by the teachings of Kirklander.

However, things take a dark turn when Danny realizes that he's not allowed to leave the compound, and that the cult's beliefs seem to be based on brainwashing and manipulation tactics. The cult members are not allowed to question Kirklander's authority, and any dissent is met with punishment and ostracism. Danny becomes alarmed when he sees how the cult is separating him from his family and friends, and how it's trying to control every aspect of his life.

As Danny becomes more entrenched in the cult, his family and friends become increasingly concerned about his safety and well-being. They hire a deprogrammer named J.T. (Brian Cox) to rescue Danny from the cult and bring him back to reality. J.T. is a gruff and seasoned expert in deprogramming, but he's also compassionate and understanding of Danny's predicament. He knows that he has to tread carefully and earn Danny's trust, or risk pushing him deeper into the cult's clutches.

The rest of the film follows Danny's struggle to reclaim his identity and escape from the cult's influence, while also dealing with his own family issues and insecurities. He's torn between his loyalty to the cult and his love for Gillian, whom he sees as a victim of Kirklander's manipulation. As J.T. works to deprogram Danny, he uncovers the insidious methods used by the cult to brainwash its members, and the emotional scars that Danny has acquired from his experience.

Split Image is a riveting and thought-provoking exploration of the dangers of cults and the manipulation of vulnerable individuals. The film is anchored by strong performances from a talented cast, including Michael O'Keefe as the tortured Danny, Karen Allen as the enigmatic Gillian, Peter Fonda as the charismatic Kirklander, and Brian Cox as the determined deprogrammer. The film's pacing is slow and deliberate, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in the story and empathize with the characters. The film's ending is poignant and satisfying, and leaves the viewer with a sense of hope and redemption.

Split Image is a 1982 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 57.

Split Image
Where to Watch Split Image
Split Image is available to watch free on Plex and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Split Image for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (1,040)
  • Metascore