Dust Devil [1992]

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
As noted by Richard Stanley fans, Dust Devil, the feature following his box-office hit Hardware, failed to find release, and when it did, a terrible edit drastically altered the story. Subversive Sinema has now released the director-approved final cut of Dust Devil, in a box set that also contains Dust Devil's working edit, the film's Sergio Leone-like soundtrack, and three riveting Stanley documentaries: The Secret Glory, Voice of the Moon, and The White Darkness. Dust Devil, a horror story based on the myth of a Namibian serial killer, looks more like a Western. Filmed on location in Africa where the murders allegedly took place, Chelsea Field plays Wendy Robinson, a woman, who under duress of leaving her husband, heads out to the desert to accidentally encounter the Dust Devil (Robert John Burke), a mercy killer who slays depressed women to save them from the dark side. According to locals, the Dust Devil is a demon, enabling Stanley's abiding interest in world folk religions to weigh heavily in on the plot, especially when the town's witch doctor visits the beyond to unlock mysteries, or when the Dust Devil displays a box containing his victims' fingers. The documentaries, however, are most exciting. The White Darkness unravels political and social aspects of Haitian Voudon, including the history of American Imperialism in Haiti, as told by skilled priest and priestess, Altes Paul and Edelle. Voice of the Moon shows footage of Afghani rebels in the late '80s, sans narrator, instead beautifully accompanied by native music and poetry, adding Herzogian emotional effect. The Secret Glory pieces together the story of Otto Rahn, an SS officer who thought he'd located the Holy Grail. In all three films, the authenticity of the subjects reign, making it more difficult to buy the magic's fictionalized version in Dust Devil. Dust Devil, though, with its cheesier horror moments, provides a dose of humor to a fairly serious package. --Trinie Dalton

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