IMDb > Dust Devil (1992)
Dust Devil
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Dust Devil (1992) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard Stanley (written by)
View company contact information for Dust Devil on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
8 August 1992 (Japan) See more »
He's not a serial killer. He's much worse. See more »
A woman on the run from her abusive husband encounters a mysterious hitch-hiker. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Blowin In The Wind See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert John Burke ... Dust Devil (as Robert Burke)

Chelsea Field ... Wendy Robinson

Zakes Mokae ... Ben Mukurob
John Matshikiza ... Joe Niemand
Rufus Swart ... Mark Robinson

William Hootkins ... Capt. Cornelius Beyman
Terry Norton ... Saartjie Haarhoff (as Terri Norton)
Russell Copley ... Cpl. Dutoit
Andre Odendaal ... Cpl. Botes
Luke Cornell ... Soldier 1
Philip Henn ... Soldier 2 (as Phillip Henn)
Peter Hallr ... Marist Monk
Robert Stevenson ... Rifle Boy
Stephen Earnhart ... Camper Driver

Marianne Sägebrecht ... Dr. Leidzinger
Isaac Mavimbela ... Farmhand (as Isaac Mavimbella)
Crystal Dobson ... Mrs. Beyman
Mickey Wenk ... Checkpoint Soldier
Stephanus Titus ... Barman
Philip Notununu ... Man in Bar
Andre-Jacques Van der Merwe ... Tourist Husband
Marietjie Vaughn ... Tourist Wife
Ursula Peveling ... Tourist Daughter
Erle Vaughan ... Tourist Son
Jaco Espach ... Truck Driver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Stanley ... Transforming Dust Devil in Dream Sequence (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Stanley 
Writing credits
Richard Stanley (written by)

Produced by
Stephen Earnhart .... associate producer
Daniel Lupi .... associate producer
Nik Powell .... executive producer
JoAnne Sellar .... producer
Paul Trijbits .... executive producer
Bob Weinstein .... co-executive producer
Harvey Weinstein .... co-executive producer
Stephen Woolley .... executive producer
Original Music by
Simon Boswell 
Cinematography by
Steven Chivers 
Film Editing by
Paul Carlin 
Jamie Macdermott 
Derek Trigg 
Casting by
Callie Bristow 
Jory Weitz 
Production Design by
Joseph Bennett 
Art Direction by
Michael Carlin 
Graeme Orwin 
Set Decoration by
Eva Strack 
Costume Design by
Michele Clapton 
Ruy Filipe 
Makeup Department
Lisa Boni .... hair stylist
Lisa Boni .... makeup artist
John Cormican .... special makeup effects supervisor (as Little John)
Chris Cunningham .... senior artist (as Chris Halls)
Production Management
Daniel P. Collins .... unit manager (as Daniel Collins)
Carol Hickson .... production manager: South Africa
Daniel Lupi .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alan Breton .... second assistant director
Stephen Earnhart .... second unit director
Immo Horn .... second unit director
Gary Huckabay .... second second assistant director
Gary Huckabay .... third assistant director
Guy Travers .... assistant director
Art Department
Dirk Buchmann .... property master
Immo Horn .... muralist
Graham Humphreys .... storyboard artist
Emilia Roux .... set dresser
Ina Roux .... production buyer
Joel Van Bavel .... construction coordinator
Sound Department
Laura Evans .... assistant sound editor
Pauline Griffith .... foley artist
Robin Harris .... sound mixer
Kate Hopkins .... sound editor
Daryl Jordan .... assistant sound editor
Jenny Lee Wright .... foley artist
Dominic Lester .... sound re-recording mixer
James Mather .... sound editor
Jonathan Miller .... sound editor
Robin O'Donoghue .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Rhys Davies .... supervising sound editor
Simon Rice .... boom operator
Aad Wirtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Rick Cresswell .... special effects
Dave Eltham .... special effects technician
Debra Deats .... stunts
Roly Jansen .... stunt coordinator
Neville Strydom .... stunts
Marvin Trump .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Greg Copeland .... additional photographer
Liam Daniel .... still photographer
John Gaeta .... camera operator
Liam Longman .... still photographer
Philip Alan Waters .... camera operator
Philip Alan Waters .... second unit director of photography
Peter Wignall .... first assistant camera
Editorial Department
Keith Mason .... first assistant editor
Other crew
David Ball .... financing
Jaco Espach .... location manager
Graham Humphreys .... titles
Mark Kermode .... post-production propaganda: final cut
Sheila Fraser Milne .... production coordinator
Richard Stanley .... post-production financing: final cut
Antoinette van Speyk .... script supervisor
Dan Zeff .... runner
Willi Saunderson Swakopmund Fire Brigade .... acknowledgment

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, and for language
France:87 min | Italy:87 min | 108 min (Final Cut) | USA:87 min | 115 min (Workprint Version) | 103 min (director's cut)
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Canada:16+ (Quebec) | France:-12 | Germany:18 | Italy:VM14 | UK:18 (original rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) (2006) | USA:R
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Revealing mistakes: When Wendy slams on the brakes of her VW Beetle, she doesn't touch the clutch, but the car stops without stalling.See more »
Joe Niemand:The desert knows her name now. He has stolen both her eyes. When she looks into a mirror she will see his spirit, like a shawl, blowing tatters round her shoulders in a haze. And beyond the dim horizon a tapestry unfolding of the avenues of evil. And all of history set ablaze.See more »
Rude Boy SoldierSee more »


What are the differences between the Theatrical Version and the Director's Cut?
See more »
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Blowin In The Wind, 9 May 2010
Author: Joseph Sylvers from United States

Never before have I seen a director's cut that's made so much of a difference to my perceptions of a movie. My first viewing of "Dust Devil" was the Wienstein cut, with about half an hour amputated for American audiences. My first impression was of a dismal boring serial killer thriller with supernatural overtones in a novel setting, featuring lots of half baked characters, and a serious shortage of suspense, horror, or general interest.

What was cut from the film basically seems to be anything that would have been remotely interesting. The narration is subtracted, there is less music, less repeated shots of the moon, sky, and desert landscape, less peripheral views of the political and social context of the time and town, less time spent with the characters, a few dream sequences gone entirely, and a great sequence towards the end that takes place in a makeshift movie theater and recalls Ingmar Bergman's "Persona"(where for a brief momentum the movie itself falls out of joint), all get left on the chopping block in the US release.My first impression was terrible, but my second viewing of the longer cut was like seeing the film with fresh eyes. Dust Devil is the story of an ancient demon who doesn't so much possess his host as it does become trapped inside of them. The demon only seeks to break out of the material world, an act he can only achieve through ritual murder. In his own words, "there is no good or evil, only spirit and matter. You are full of light, and I only have to make a small incision to let the light out.I should have done this days ago, but I get lonely, forgive me I wont keep you waiting any longer".

The demon can only kill the hopeless; those who truly have nothing and are either suicidal or have given up on life completely. He is attracted to a town called Bethany in the Namibian desert in south-west Africa, that is slowly collapsing on itself, to the point where even the sheriff has been paid to leave. The town is literally drying up, and the dust is as much an ecological terror as the demon that feeds on the he despair and hopelessness breeding in the town. The demon played by Robert John Burke (who was also the gruff Nordic mythological beast in the underrated "No Such Thing".) however is not the main feature of the movie. Dressed in his Sergio Leone cowboy trench coat and hat as a classic man with no name, "a violent wind which blows from nowhere"(though Stanley's final cut, even gives him a brief scene of pathos). The plot involves a South African white woman named Linda (Chelsea Field) who has just left her husband in Johannesburg.

We learn she was once a student radical but has lost her passion to a lifeless marriage, and is driving aimlessly towards "the sea" or towards suicide, whichever comes first. Linda picks up Burke, the nameless handsome hitchhiker, or imagines she does anyway (reality around Burke seems to collapse at times), who has just finished off two previous victims near Bethany. The murders call for investigation, and the sheriff contacts Ben (Zakes Mokae) an old African detective who lost his son (and had subsequently divorced from his wife), in some undisclosed "violence along the border". He drives through the desert listening to his ex wife's "whale song" recordings she forgot to take with her 15 years ago (there is a continuous juxtaposition of ideas and sounds of the sea with the barren desert).

The two murders (there are only four in the film, and 3 depicted on screen), are ritual in nature, and so Ben enlists the help of my favorite character for narcissistic reasons, Joe the one eyed town shaman and projectionist at the drive in who narrates the film, and was scheduled to show "Bird With A Crystal Plumage" and "Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires" as double feature, before the trouble begins. He tells Ben that in order to stop the killings he will need to "stop thinking like a white man, and start thinking like a man" in order to open himself up to the rituals needed to trick and capture the evil spirit. Meanwhile Linda's husband is trying to track her down, failing at every turn, and only getting in the way of everything he touches as a bumbling and arrogant white male South African (not unlike Wikus from District 9, but sans redemption). What makes Dust Devil worth watching is the Stanley's milking the landscape and the sky for all it's shamanic glory (so we may better understand the demon as a force of nature itself), and Burke's alternately charming, cold, sensitive, or demonic performances.

Ben and Linda are the main characters and much of the movie is devoted to bringing them together and showing their mutual alienation and despair and how Ben's dedication to the murder case and Linda's picking up Burke the hitcher seem to give them both new sensations of purpose and meaning. The ecological blight of the dust, the economic famine of the town, and the psychological desperation of the characters and even Burke's desire to escape the material plane, are layered over (and form a commentary on) each other. The few moments which recall most directly a horror movie come few and far between the scenes of poetic narration, police procedural, and eye fulls of the Namibian desert and the dust devils(mini tornadoes) which dot it's landscape. Do not watch this unless you can get the Final Cut, its the only one worth seeing.

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A few observations... Kung_Fu_VooDoo
Dust Devil Remake DrDestiny
Robert John Burke phoebe723
87 min. version ironmanlucas
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