Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Review - Dust Devil (1993 - Dir. Richard Stanley)

This is another film that I had seen previously, when it originally came out and I couldn't remember anything about it. Not a good sign. But seeing as though this was the Director's Cut, I decided to give it another chance.

It all starts off quite swimmingly. Dusty (Robert Burke) kills a lady within the first five minutes and then goes on to use her innards to do a bit of home improvement and paint a few murals. Just think of him as an evil alternate dimension of Neil Buchanan (but without the evil goatee) and you get the idea.

Wendy Robinson (Chelsea Field - Prison) leaves her husband and sets off in her car, looking for something new. She picks up a hitchhiker (bad move) who turns out to be a shapeshifting demon who likes nothing better than eviscerating lost ladies.

One of the strongest parts of the film is the South African setting. Shots of Dusty on deserted roads surrounded by desert, arms outspread are strong images. Similarly, Chelsea Field walking down the middle of a road towards lorries, obscured by heat haze will hopefully stick in my mind this time.

My problem with Dust Devil is that nothing much happens. I only watched it two days ago and even now I can't remember much of what happens after the initial painting and decorating. I have vague recollections of a narrator droning on about dust devils for what seemed like hours. My memory only kicks back in when there is a fantastic head exploding moment. 

The Director's Cut doesn't seem to improve my overall impression then. It's a shame because it's a film that you want to like. I seem to remember Hardware (again by Richard Stanley) being a better film. But I can't remember much of that either. Sorry. Neither use nor ornament.

If you like this you could also try:
The Hitcher, Hardware, Death Machine.

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