Dust Devil (1992)

Richard Stanley directs Chelsea Fields, Robert Burke and Zakes Mokae in this road movie horror where a demonic hitch-hiker stalks the desert highways of an unstable Namibia.

My first awareness of Dust Devil was a small, underwhelming review hidden away in Empire. It starred The Last Boy Scout’s Chelsea Fields (who I fancied) and looked like a Mad Max style thriller. So I was in! What you get is an existential terror train. Happy to hit the brakes and idle between stations to explore political unrest, racial discord, a failing marriage, an apartheid tragedy and a serial killer who likes to fuck then destroy his prey. It is an alluringly strange film that only gives us subliminal glimpses of its shocking make-up effects. Chris Cunningham was involved in those… so expect nastiness beyond your imagination if you dare hit the pause button. It works as a laid back adventure. It works as an erotic thriller. It is probably a few character scenes shy of being a great movie. The various subplots feel undercooked. The mythology behind Burke’s predator is murky. But then this film was infamously butchered on release. Who knows if the original cut had the drama to match the atmosphere and brutality? As it stands this is an evocative curio from the VHS years.

8

Check out my wife Natalie’s Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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