Dust Devil (1992)
A demonic seducing serial killer is on the lose in South Africa and a troubled cop sets about to separate fact from fiction to catch the killer.
Director Richard Stanley delivers a more refined, satisfying and rounded film than Hardware. Dust Devil (Final Cut) benefits from its predominantly South African location shoot, the interesting sweeping landscapes contain the dreamlike lasting atmosphere. Simon Boswell ‘s eerie haunting score coupled with Stanley’s visuals presents an exceptional experience.
There’s dark dusty rooms, windswept desert roads, canyons and dream sequences. A nod should goto Steven Chivers great cinematography. The scope of the screenplay is wider and more psychological than as physical, it’s less commercial and more art-house similar to Mulholland drive. There’s’ an interesting ambiguity to the characters and story created by Stanley.
There is a fine supporting cast. This is probably Chelsea Field’s best role and her South African accent is quite good, however, she is wooden at times. Oddly both Field’s and Robert Burke’s line delivery doesn’t always flow whether this is due to the actors chemistry or script it’s hard to tell. Burke’s exchanges aside he gives an excellent, mesmerising, creepy and imposing performance as the Dust Devil. Notable is Zakes Mokae (who sadly passed away in 2009), he is on fine form as investigator Ben Mukurob. Mokae also provides an interesting voice-over narration that adds to the films layers.
Although the pace maybe a little slow for the causal viewer there’s still exploding heads, body parts and the serial killer element to possibly appease. Despite the supernatural, rituals, witchcraft and mystic elements for the most part Dust Devil is fixed in reality reminiscent of Angel Heart and David Lynch’s works.
It’s a wonderfully shot, slow burning film containing symbolic themes – relationships, suicide and self destruction to name a few. If this appeals, Dust Devil will deliver for you.