Dir. Richard Stanley – 108 minutes
This was a recommendation from a friend, and I had heard of the film but never really had an inkling to watch this. Then when I was handed it on DVD I had to admit that this was * a sign * maybe from beings on a higher level?
So where to start? Well I knew director Richard Stanley from the 1990 film Hardware but other than that there is very little I knew about the film and the actors.
Also this is the final cut that came out I believe in 2006, the original version was a much edited 87 minutes.
The film starts along the South African/Namibian border with a hitchhiker (Robert John Burke) being picked up by a woman , she then takes him back to her house where during sex he snaps her neck and then uses her blood and body parts to decorate the house with old religious symbols.
Next Wendy (Chelsea Field) has broken up with her husband, she leaves him and heads off over the border into Namibia and heads towards the town of Bethany which is slowly dying as everyone is leaving.
So this is the story of The Dust Devil which is a demon that kills people who are in despair or have given up completely , so this is why he is hitching towards Bethany as the town is slowly becoming a dustbowl and the only people left are staying as they have nowhere else to go. And he is on a path with the ever despairing Wendy.
This is a beautifully shot film, the scenery is fantastic and was completely shot in Namibia. There are many stories in this film like Sgt. Ben Mukurob (Zakes Mokae – who I do know) who is tracking the recent murders but does not think they are supernatural despite having many hugely symbolic dreams.
The symbolism is rife throughout with lots of mentions of African magic and ritualistic murder. The dust devil also throughout the film wears a full wild-west outfit with long coat , hat – the works.
This is visually stunning but it is not enough to hold my interest for 108 minutes, it was jumbled the symbology was in almost every shot as if the director was trying to convince not just the viewer but himself that this was happening.
It was to slow paced and the ending was a real let down. BUT on a plus there is a supreme head explosion that is a real cinematic gem.
Maybe I just didn’t get it (as my friend has since said) , but I felt it was too much scenery and symbolism and too little plot and action.
A very middle of a dusty road 5/10