Friday, September 5, 2014

Dust Devil, The Hitcher goes to Namibia

1992's "Dust Devil" will remind you of "The Hitcher."  Beautifully shot in the sands of Namibia, the desert and creeping sands emerge as an ominous menace. This film from South Africa ran into great difficulties with the sand storms that proved an essential part of this film.  A woman on the run from an abusive marriage finds a handsome man....and then the real horror starts.  When she realizes her new beau is no savior, but a monster, she utters a classic line, "you're not from Texas."
The plot:  A mysterious drifter (Robert John Burke) hails down a woman driving through the desert.  The woman brings him home, they have sex, and he kills her.  When the police arrive, they find he has gutted her, spread her organs and body parts all over the bedroom, painted demonic murals on the walls with her blood, and absconded with her severed fingers (!).  Realizing he has a ritualistic murder on his hands, Ben (Zakes Mokae), a Namibian detective, consults a witch doctor.  Meanwhile, Wendy (Chelsea Field) escapes from her violent marriage and takes her red VW across the border into Namibia.  Going nowhere in particular, she is determined not to return to her abusive husband.  Her first stop is in a town called Bethany, which is dying because of drought.  In Bethany, the drifter first sets eyes on her...not because of her beauty...but because he senses she has given up on life.  In pursuing her, he hitches a ride with a guy in a camper and does the same to him he did with the above mentioned victim.
Wendy, driving through desert, picks up our handsome fiend.  The two are instantly attracted to each other, and she believes he is from Texas.  She falls in love with him and they spend a passionate night in a motel room.  As our demon friend is showering, she, of course, looks through his things and finds a box of bloody fingers.  This is a clue to her.  After a narrow escape, she takes to the desert, running for her life.  Meanwhile, Ben has joined forces with Wendy's husband.  Ben realizes what he is seeking, and his witch doctor friend has given him the tools which could defeat it.  As Wendy is followed by buzzards and the dust devil through the sands, Ben and the husband are close behind.  
The desert landscapes are beautiful and haunting and serve this plot well.  The final scene eerily unfolds in a modern town that has been consumed by the drought inspired sands.  Will Ben be able to rescue Wendy from the dust devil and her husband?  Will Wendy turn the tables on our evil creep?  Beautifully shot and directed by Richard Stanley, this film is available on Netflix.  Heavy on the gore, "Dust Devil" will consume you as the sands have consumed much of Namibia. 

No comments:

Post a Comment