As if Australia didn’t have enough native creatures that can kill you, writer/director Sandra Sciberras’ The Dustwalker imports some more from the depths of space. Something even nastier than taipans, saltwater alligators and great whites. More dangerous than Yowies or even an Air Supply reunion tour.
Jo Sharp (Jolene Anderson, Nazi Undead, Prey) is the law in an isolated Australian town. However, she and younger sister Samantha (Stef Dawson, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) are planning to leave for Sydney. Of course, their last few days won’t go smoothly.
The cell tower takes unexplained damage during the night, cutting the town off from the world. Then the power goes. Animals turn up dead, apparently mutilated. Local geologist Angela (Cassandra Magrath, Wolf Creek) finds what looks like an impact crater. Then people start acting strangely, and eventually homicidal. And that’s not the half of it.
The first half of The Dustwalker will have you thinking of The Thing and Slither, or maybe Splinter if you’re one of the few who saw it. It’s something of a slow burn as Jo and Luke (Richard Davies) try to figure out what is going on. At about the hour mark we get a strong hint.
And that’s when The Dustwalker deviates from what we expect. A huge dust storm cuts the town off, the survivors hole up in the police station. If you’ve seen Alien Outbreak you might have an idea where the plot is going.
Unlike so many similar films, the characters in The Dustwalker don’t take an “if it moves kill it” approach. These are their friends and family members and they hope there’s a cure for whatever has happened to them. It adds a bit of realism as well. Because for all the tough talk you see in posts, most people wouldn’t easily put a bullet between their mother’s eyes. Even if she was possessed by an alien parasite.
As I’ve seen posted elsewhere, the effects for the main alien aren’t state of the art. But they’re not awful either. I see a lot worse on a regular basis. I’m fairly sure it’s CGI but it actually looks like stop motion at times. I’ll take that over crap like Monster Island any day.
An enjoyable monster movie, The Dustwalker recently played The Boston Science Fiction Festival will be available later this year from Gravitas Ventures. You can get more info on the production company’s website.