6.3/10
3,982
56 user 55 critic

Dust Devil (1992)

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

Director:

Richard Stanley

Writer:

Richard Stanley
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

He's not a serial killer. He's much worse. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Africa | UK

Release Date:

16 April 1993 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Le souffle du démon See more »

Filming Locations:

Namibia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£4,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mirimax Films constantly sent memos to the set asking writer/director Richard Stanley to make the film more like "The Silence of The Lambs". 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 ...
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

The UK 108 minute version released in 1993 is the most complete version of the film seen by the general public. The differences between the UK 108 minute and the US 87 minute versions are: The character of Ben, the cop, has a back story about his child dying. The longer cut goes into greater detail about this and fleshes out the character more. The sex scenes are longer and more erotic. The US cut removes the beginnings of both of these of these scenes. The violence in the US cut has been removed. When the Dust Devil kills his first victim, he snaps her neck before slicing her to pieces. In the UK cut a loud "cracking" noise is heard when he breaks her neck. The sound effect is absent in the US version. In the UK cut, when a character is beheaded by a shotgun blast, the entire incident occurs in slow motion, with the head exploding and the body falling to the ground. The US cut has the exploding head, but then cuts to the body on the ground. The conclusion has also been altered for the US version. In the UK cut, the film ends with the silhouette of the dust devil devil character crossing over the horizon and disappearing. In the US cut, the film concludes with Joe Nieman, the drive-in operator, looking up at the sky as he narrates. After the end credits, the final shot of the dust devil crossing the horizon is shown. It is not known why Miramax chose to instigate these cuts and completely delete scenes. See more »

Connections

References The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can Call (But I Won't Answer)
Written by Bal Croce, Johnny Tub Johnson, Max Décharné
Performed by Earls of Suave
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Poetic Brutality.
2 October 2009 | by SpikeopathSee 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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