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Dust Devil: The Final Cut [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Robert John Burke , Chelsea Field , Richard Stanley    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert John Burke, Chelsea Field, Zakes Mokae, John Matshikiza, Rufus Swart
  • Directors: Richard Stanley
  • Writers: Richard Stanley
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Daniel Lupi, Harvey Weinstein, JoAnne Sellar, Nik Powell
  • Format: Box set, Colour, DVD-Video, Limited Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Subversive Cinema
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Sep 2006
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,852 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a masterpiece is restored 19 Jan 2007
By D. I. Shipley VINE VOICE
The film making career of director Richard Stanley has to be one of the Film Industry's most wasted opportunities. Why hasn't this talented director made more films? His two complete films Dust Devil and Hardware are both visions of uniqueness and originality. It is both the Industry and the Film Goer who have lost out big time to the fact that Stanley has only made these two films and was ignominiously fired from a third - the most recent remake of The Island Of Dr Moreau.

Dust Devil was originally released in a severely edited version by its producers and distributors and with no marketing to speak of, quickly left cinemas and went straight onto video. Stanley has restored an approximately 20 mins of footage and the running time of the film is now 108 mins. The restoration is crucial because the initial release saw all the supernatural elements of the film removed, so as to make it a pure serial killer type film. Fully restored to a version as close to Stanley's original vision as is possible, given the passage of time, Dust Devil can finally take its long overdue accolade as a great film in its own right, within the genre of Horror film making.

Set in Namibia, at the time of that country's independence from South Africa, Dust Devil follows the exploits of a murderous, hitchhiking nomad (played by Robert John Burke) who after butchering and dismembering his victims, retains their fingers. This nomad subsequently is revealed to be more than human, and in fact is a 'Dust Devil' from African folklore - a shape shifting demon who preys on the lonely, despondent and vulnerable, and collects their souls to buy his way into an afterlife.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic presentation of a cult classic 3 Oct 2006
5 disc set containing the ultimate version of Stanley's lost cult favourite. Brilliant presentation with hours of extras and and a bargain price. Limited to 9,999 copies worldwide buy it quick!
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5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT!!! 3 Dec 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
PERFECT! THANK YOU!! I've been searching for this box for ages! My life just became a little bit more complete.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie and documentaries 23 Jan 2013
I knew it already, I was just looking for those three documentaries that came along.
Nice dvd set!
Starting with this Richard Stanley movie I discovered Simon Boswell soundtracks, this one and those from other movies, Alexander Jodorowsky films as well.
And if we have ever been in contact with the magic of Africa, its land and people, and those great landscapes, you would like this movie I believe!!!
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually gorgeous film... Fascinating Extras... Excellent buy 24 Oct 2006
By dooby - Published on Amazon.com
This is a visually gorgeous film. I watched it expecting a horror movie but ended up enthralled by its sheer visual splendour; both in its stunning photography and its breathtaking landscape. As a horror film, I doubt if it would attract the mass of today's horror fans. It's obvious why the studio quietly dumped it onto video without a theatrical release. It would not have sold as a horror movie. There are not enough shocks, gore or horror to satiate today's audience. The predominant feeling I got was not so much of fear, but of despair, desolation and spiritual isolation, made all the more stark when set amidst all that beauty. I would agree with director Richard Stanley, when he says that it is closer to an "art film" than a horror movie.

Stanley grew up in South Africa and learned the folklore of the natives at the feet of his mother, an anthropologist who collected stories and folktales of the African tribes. This story revolves around a shape-shifting spirit, variously called a Soupwah, a Num or in Afrikaans, a Nagtloper (literally Night-Runner). The Nagtloper (Robert John Burke) feeds off the life-force of the damned - people who have lost the will to live. Into his orbit float two lost souls, Wendy (Chelsea Field) a South African woman fleeing from a failed marriage and Ben Mukurob (Zakes Mokae), a Zulu policeman whose life came to an end years ago with the death of his wife. Who will attain deliverance? The white woman, the black policeman or the Nagtloper, whose own aim is to return to the spirit world from where it came. The desolate emptiness of the Namib is beautifully captured. Scenes are exquisitely choreographed, almost like a ballet. I don't know if I would recommend it to the usual horror film fan, but it is definitely one for cinephiles. The DVD is superbly produced with crystal clear image quality, no dirt, no damage and with exceptionally good sound. It is presented in its original 1.85:1 widescreen. Strangely there are no subtitles. The main feature is anamorphic (enhanced for widescreen TV) as are all of Stanley's interview segments. Sadly none of the other Extras are anamorphic. Even the workprint is letterboxed.

This Special Edition comes with a host of Extras spread over 5 discs. Personally I felt that devoting an entire disc to the "Workprint" was overkill. But I'm not complaining. You can watch the workprint in its entirety or just use the 46 chapter-stops to get directly to the various deleted segments, which are sadly all taken from a VHS source; some having no sound, some looking really terrible, and most having the video-counter running above or below the print. I would recommend the workprint only to ardent admirers of the Final Cut. The other Extras have nothing to do with the main film itself but are Stanley's TV documentaries on other subjects. Nonetheless, they are definitely worth viewing.

The most substantial Extra is "The Secret Glory of SS Obersturmfuhrer Otto Rahn" made for Britain's Channel Four TV. This is a 97min documentary on the life of the Nazi poet and writer Otto Rahn who was obsessed with the search for the "Holy Grail". This is not the Grail of Christ which we usually associate with the legendary quest but a more obscure "Grail" supposedly made from the crown of Lucifer, variously described as a stone, a gem or a diadem. Stanley contends that Rahn and the Nazis did find the Grail in southern France but gives no source for his claim. To be fair, the documentary is not about the search for the Grail itself but is an account of Rahn's tragic life. The sad irony of his life is that this Nazi stalwart, who wrote so many vile tracts condemning the Jews, was in the end, himself revealed to be a Jew. The documentary is very dense, and expects the viewer to be fully conversant with Grail legend, 13th Century Crusader history (specifically of the Albigensian or Cathar Crusade) and German history circa WWII. Like Rahn, Stanley doesn't make clear when he conflates fact and fiction. The Lucifer Grail is referred to in Wolfram von Eschenbach's medieval poem Parzival (the source of Wagner's Parsifal). This is by almost all accounts an invention based on the old Arthurian legends. Rahn ties that in to historical fact by assuming that the Grail mountain, the fictional Montsalvat of the poem, is the same as Montsegur, the last retreat of the Cathars in southern France. The Cathars were Gnostic Christians, declared heretics by the Vatican, which sent in Crusaders to annihilate them in what became known as the Albigensian Crusade. The hilltop fortress of Montsegur was where the Cathars made their last stand. At Montsegur Rahn searches and apparently finds the Grail he is looking for. In fact, the Cathars never claimed to possess the Holy Grail. The documentary is packed with so much information, both historical fact and literary fantasy, that it requires more than one viewing for full assimilation and it is not easy to sit through. Picture quality is mediocre but tolerable for a documentary extra. It is in 1.85:1 widescreen, letterboxed into a 4x3 fullframe. Sound quality is very poor. Dialogue is recorded at fluctuating volume levels, is frequently inaudible and in many instances drowned out by extremely boomy bass. Worse, the sound and picture for the interviews are never in sync. The film's temp-track sounds terrible (like a bad B-grade horror flick) but the accompanying Wagnerian music is grand and transcendent. The exerpts come from Wagner's Parsifal and Tannhauser. The documentary interviews are in equal parts German, French and English. The entire documentary comes with obligatory English subtitles. To be fair, Stanley admits that this is just a preview of a work in progress which he hopes to release in proper form one day.

My favourite of the documentaries is the 36min long "Voice of the Moon". It is a visual record of Stanley's visit to Afghanistan towards the end of the Soviet occupation (1989). As Stanley points out in the interview, it is more akin to poetry than a documentary; a visual tone-poem if you will. The sparse narration, in verse form, occurs only at the beginning and end and is given wholly in Pashto (Pashtun language). English subtitles are burnt onto the print. This was made for Britain's BSB channel. As a traditional factual documentary it falls flat, but as a visual poem it is beautiful. And this is evident despite the poor quality of the 16mm film footage. It was shot on a mechanical (spring driven/hand-cranked) Bolex camera, with no sync-audio. The reason was because they were travelling with the mujahideen and shooting for months in places where there was no electricity; mostly around the Afghan/Pakistan border region in the majestic Hindu Kush mountains. Stanley's 1/2-hour long interview accompanying this film is a must-see. He describes the Afghan expedition, his meetings with the Afghan mujahideen, his deep admiration for them and his sadness at seeing them bombed into oblivion post-9/11. The film itself ends with the mujahideen victorious in the final battle for Jalalabad. The music score is lyrical and evocative and is easily the loveliest score written by Simon Boswell on these discs. It is inspired by Eastern European folk music (not native Afghan music) and the documentary also features the Trio Bulgarka singing "Oi Yano Yanke" from their "The Forest is Crying" album.

"The White Darkness" is a documentary Stanley made for the BBC as part of a series on world religions. Its focus is on the practise of Voodoo on the island of Haiti. Coincidentally, while the documentary was being shot, America invaded the island. The documentary ends up being an examination of Voodoo practise on the one hand, and a record of the American invasion on the other. Thanks to a particularly obnoxious US Army Colonel, it also becomes a story about superior American Evangelical Christianity coming in to trounce the devil-worshipping heathens of the island. The Colonel is so boastfully arrogant and self-righteous that one could only sigh with relief to learn that he was eventually "removed from command". Visually this film looks the best of the three and is presented in its original 1.33:1 fullscreen with good audio quality. Most of the documentary is in English with the French and Creole segments suitably subtitled. It also comes with a 17min long interview where, amongst other things, Stanley describes the American invasion and the surreal image of US Marines and "Armed Baptists" coming to evangelise the heathens.

The last disc of this 5-disc set is an audio-CD containing the soundtrack of "Dust Devil". I wish they had included the soundtrack of "Voice of the Moon" as well. It is probably the best thing Simon Boswell has written. The set is accompanied by three separate 12-page booklets, the first being a very detailed and informative production diary on "Dust Devil", the second containing equally detailed discussions on the 3 documentaries, and the third being a comic-book version of the film. The "Dust Devil" feature alone is worth the asking price for this release. Coupled with all the extras, this DVD is self-recommending.

Note: As we are reminded on every disc here, Richard Stanley is the Great-Grandson of the legendary explorer and adventurer, Sir Henry Stanley, who gave his name to the Stanley Falls (now Boyoma Falls, DRC), and the city of Stanleyville (present day Kisangani, DRC), searched for and rescued his even more famous fellow-explorer, David Livingston and is credited with the iconic line, "Dr. Livingston, I presume?"
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars long time coming.... 10 Oct 2006
By Grand Plumper - Published on Amazon.com
I remember seeing this when it first came out on video,and wondering what all the hoopla was about (various coverage in Fangoria and other assorted magazines at the time)- the film didn't do much for me,but I had a sense that I wasn't getting the "whole picture".Well,this dvd proves that this is indeed an incredible film.The previous video incarnations lost all the scope cinematography,which this release more than adequately compensates - a gorgeous film that is a treat to the eyes.One can now follow the story as well,previous edits being quite confusing.Seeing this restored release makes me long to see another film from this obviously very talented director!
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subversive Cinema make Criterion look like a bunch of pikers. 7 Oct 2006
By JAllen - Published on Amazon.com
This is the most incredible value for money I have ever seen on DVD, and to be honest, I'm in awe. Is Subversive selling these sets at a loss? Five DVDs, two cuts of Dust Devil and three other Stanley documentaries, including the one for which I would have paid five times the price on its own: The Secret Glory, the incredible true story of SS Officer Otto Rahn's quest to locate the Holy Grail for the Nazis. As I understand it, The Secret Glory is the best source of information about this fascinating but neglected historical figure who, if he had lived, would be in a position to sue both Dan Brown AND the authors of Holy Blood Holy Grail for intellectual property theft. They're safe, however, as Rahn either committed suicide or was executed by the Nazis after writing a letter asking to be released from the SS. "I am very worried about my country," he said in another letter, "...It is impossible for a tolerant, generous man like myself to live in a country such as what my beautiful fatherland has become."

If Criterion were selling this it would cost in the neighbourhood of [...]. Subversive report that every copy of the set has sold out, and the only ones still circulating are in the hands of retailers.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - The Dust Devil Appears! 18 Oct 2006
By Perry Black - Published on Amazon.com
I've been waiting for this movie to hit DVD for a long time. I endured the butchered VHS release. Then I bought the uncut bootleg on VHS, but the quality was so bad, it was hard to sit through. Finally, DUST DEVIL is here on DVD, in Richard Stanley's approved cut, and in gorgeous picture quality. The movie was made 20 years ago and it is only now getting a proper release. YES, it was worth the wait!

The film is 16x9 and perfectly encoded for this DVD release. The colors are vibrant and the sound is amazing.

This has got to be one of the most underrated films in horror movie history. Smart, stylish, and inventive, DUST DEVIL is an amazing accomplishment. It's even more impressive that director Richard Stanley was only 24 years old when he directed this classic!

THANK YOU Subversive Cinema, for giving this movie a spectacular release. The movie looks excellent and the bonus features are very informative. Going way above and beyond, Subversive has unleashed DUST DEVIL in a FIVE DISC package!

It is only in the bonus discs that I see anything negative about this release. One of the DVD's is the entire "workprint" of DUST DEVIL. This is supposed to give us some added layers, bits, and pieces that are not in the "Final Cut" (Richard Stanley's approved version, on the first disc). Personally, I did not find this workprint DVD all that interesting. There was not much additional on this workprint version compared to the Final Cut on disc one. I would have been content with a brief "deleted scenes" bonus feature on the main disc, instead of a whole DVD devoted to this longer, unfinished version.

Another bonus disc is a feature length Richard Stanley documentary about a member of the SS who searched for the Holy Grail. This is a fascinating topic, and the details in the documentary are very interesting. But the documentary is so poorly put together, it is actually hard to sit through. Stanley himself admits the doc is a "work in progress" ...but the post-production of this film is so amateur and flawed, it should have never been released to the public.

Another bonus disc contains two short Stanley documentaries. Voice Of The Moon is, again, interesting ... and very well shot... but the post-production technical flaws render this doc equally unwatchable. On the same disc is a second short documentary called White Darkness. This is the only one of the three documentaries in this set that was properly and professionally completed. However, Subversive Cinema did a very poor job on the encoding of this program, somewhat ruining an otherwise welcome bonus program in the set.

The fifth disc is not a DVD at all. It is an audio CD - the excellent music score to DUST DEVIL. This soundtrack CD is a very nice addition to this release.

In short, when it comes to the bonus features, I would have preferred to simply have three discs... One with the movie, one with the soundtrack, and one with the White Darkness documentary (properly encoded). While the other bonus features are lacking, we don't seem to be paying anything extra for them, so I won't deduct stars for them.

DUST DEVIL is a fantastic film, and its proper release is long overdue. I highly recommend this DVD.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have wanted to see this movie since it came out earlier 23 May 2007
By Mark - Published on Amazon.com
I wanted to see this movie but never got the chance to see it in the theaters. I was very glad to see it released out on DVD that I had to purchase it for myself. All I heard when it was released was you have to see this movie to believe it. I was very happy that I did purchase it. I have no "experience" with the director or his other movies. I am the type of person that doesn't really care who directs it or wrote the movie's story. If it a good story, I like it. What I will say about the movie is that it does start out very strange and the story unfolds very odd, but I did like it and it made sense when the movie was finished. It was a very good story I thought and being an "odd movie", made it all the more interesting. I am very glad that I did add it to my DVD horror collection. I do highly recommend this movie all to horror fans.
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