A woman on the run from her abusive husband encounters a mysterious hitch-hiker.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dust Devil (as Robert Burke)
...
Wendy Robinson
...
Ben Mukurob
John Matshikiza ...
Joe Niemand
Rufus Swart ...
Mark Robinson
...
Capt. Cornelius Beyman
Terry Norton ...
Saartjie Haarhoff (as Terri Norton)
Russell Copley ...
Cpl. Dutoit
Andre Odendaal ...
Cpl. Botes
Luke Cornell ...
Soldier 1
Phillip Henn ...
Soldier 2
Peter Hallr ...
Marist Monk
Robert Stevenson ...
Rifle Boy
Stephen Earnhart ...
Camper Driver
...
Dr. Leidzinger
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Storyline

A shape shifter (Burke) comes from the desert in search of victims, a spirit the locals call "The Dust Devil". He prays on the lonely and the unloved, those who have already lost everything but life itself. Wendy (Field) has broken up with her husband and wanders aimlessly in her car. She picks up a stranger and begins having misgivings about picking him up when strange things begin to occur. Meanwhile a local police officer (Mokae) tracks the killer. Aided by a shaman's admonishments about witchcraft he sets off to try and stop the beast before it can complete its grisly task. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The hitch-hiker from hell! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

16 April 1993 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Le souffle du démon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£4,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Final Cut) | (Workprint Version) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Stanley's first cut of the film was 120 minutes long. US distributors Miramax hated it and produced its own 87-minute version without Stanley's permission or cooperation. This cut removed all references to the supernatural and almost completely disposed of the nominal hero's role (played by Zakes Mokae); it was released in the European market, however Stanley has never seen this version. Stanley came to an agreement with the producers over a 95-minute compromise cut. At this point the film's British backers, Palace Pictures, went bust, making it increasingly unlikely that the film would ever see the light of day in a UK cinema. Then after about a year of frantic searching, Stanley discovered that the original negative was being held by PolyGram. He went to the film's original investors, Channel 4 and British Screen Finances, which were naturally keen to see what had happened to their investment. PolyGram was obliged to hand over the negative, which Stanley re-cut to his own specifications, and with his own money. See more »

Goofs

When Wendy slams on the brakes of her VW Beetle, she doesn't touch the clutch, but the car stops without stalling. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Niemand: Back in the first times, in the time of the red light; the desert wind - Soo-oop-wa - was a man like us. Until, by mischance, he grew wings and flew... like a bird. He became a hunter, and like a hawk, he flew to seek his prey; taking refuge in those far corners of the world where magic still lingers in the earth. But having once been a man, so does he still suffer the passions of a man. The people of the great Namib - me and my ancestors before me - we have another name for those ...
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Crazy Credits

The producers would especially like to thank the government and people of Namibia for their help in the making of this film. See more »

Connections

References The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Desert Rose
Written, Arranged and Produced by Robert Jones
Performed by Robert Jones and Charlie Dore
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Poetic Brutality.
2 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

After rowing with her husband and deciding enough is enough, Wendy Robinson takes off into the African sun. Picking up a hitch-hiker, she finds herself strangely drawn to him, unaware that he is a travelling serial killer. When police detective Ben Mukurob arrives on the scene it becomes apparent that her companion is something far worse than a killer, he is a shape shifting demon who steals the souls of his victims.....

Richard Stanley's Dust Devil has a well documented troubled history. Briefly, Stanley's original cut of 120 minutes was trimmed to 110 and US distributor Miramax held the rights to re-edit an American release if they so wished. Stanley still hoped his longer cut would thrive in Europe, however Palace Pictures in Britain had a 95 minute cut of the film that was test screened once before Palace Pictures went bankrupt afterwards. Thus this meant the post-production of a "European" version was shut down and Stanley lost control of the film. With Miramax chopping away in the states it now meant that Dust Devil was floating around in cuts that ranged from 110 minutes to a staggering 68 minutes. In 1993 Stanley managed to buy back the print from Miramax, and the cut material, and using his own money, set about restoring the film to something like his original vision. The result is that now a widely available DVD box set has two cuts of the film to view, The Final Cut and the {rough} Work Print.

With so many versions of the film around over the years, it's hard to gauge what a true weighted rating Dust Devil has. I feel sure that if judged solely on it's Final Cut version the film would be highly regarded and rated far better than its internet ratings suggests. That's not to say it's a perfect film, for it's not, some problems exist, and the flow of the film, even by Richard Stanley's own admission, is far from fluent these days. However, Dust Devil is one hell of a fine movie, technically stunning with a horror story of deep cranial worth. Starring Robert Burke {Devil}, Chelsea Field {Wendy} and Zakes Mokae {Ben}, Dust Devil has three interwoven character plots dovetailing together towards an apocalyptic finale. Along the way we are treated to much dialogue cloaked in haunting mysticism, with dashes of grim horror that assault the senses. The film is one that begs revisits to truly appreciate the complexity of it, never mind that the visuals alone are worth seeing time and time again. It will remain a divisive film, of that I don't think there is any doubt. But I would urge any genre fan who hasn't seen it to give it a go. You may not be as impressed with it as myself and its fans are, but one feels you are unlikely to forget having ever seen Dust Devil. Mesmerising, haunting and even lyrical, it's hoped that the film in its final form will find a more appreciative audience. 9/10


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