Dust Up Movie Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
DVD released by Breaking Glass Pictures
Written and directed by Ward Roberts
2012, 90 Minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on October 26th, 2012
Aaron Gaffey as Jack
Amber Benson as Ella
Dust Up is one of the most enjoyable movies that I have seen in a long while. It's a fast paced and humorous homage to the grindhouse films of the '70s. Dust Up is fun, hip, and one you don't want to tear your eyes away from. If you do, you will likely miss out on one of the film's many golden moments. The dialogue and script are just perfect, Ward Roberts definitely has a great career ahead of him if he keeps releasing movies like this.
The movie introduces the audience to Jack, an eye-patch wearing former-soldier-turned-plumber. He meets Ella, a single mom whose drug addict husband Herman has abandoned. Soon he finds himself protecting Ella from a drug dealer named Buzz, whom Herman owes money to. Along with his hipster sidekick Mo, the trio fight cannibals, lizard men, and certain death to rescue Ella's kidnapped daughter.
The main draw of the movie for me is Amber Benson, who I have had a serious fangirl crush on since her days on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She projects the perfect blend of action girl and vulnerability needed for the role of Ella. I don't recognize the other cast member, but two of them stand out. Aaron Gaffey who plays Jack is an awesome protagonist He has some great one-liners and the ability to steal the scene even when he has no dialogue. Devin Barry is just adorable as Mo and I enjoyed every scene the character appeared in. The real gem of the cast is Jeremiah Birkett, who played Buzz. He manages to be funny and evil without becoming a parody of himself.
The cinematography is well done, really showcasing the beauty of the desert where the film is set. The quick cuts during the action scenes can be a little jarring but is tolerable. I especially enjoyed the soundtrack which features tracks by Les Blanks, Spindrift, and Gram Rabbit. The music complements the scenes and, unlike a lot of films, does not interfere with the dialogue.
The only drawback of Dust Up is its use of blood and gore. I know a lot of horror fans don't mind it, but I can get easily disturbed with those type of scenes. I will admit to having had to look away during a couple of them. But then again, that can also be a sign of just how good the special effects are.
If you like movies like Mad Max, Grindhouse, or Tarantino's early works, you need to see Dust Up. It is one of the few recent pictures that I have genuinely enjoyed. It's also one of the first films that I have reviewed for this site that didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.