Dust Up (2012)

Reformed one-eyed ex-soldier Jack (well played with stoical and laconic cool by Aaron Gaffey) just wants to live a peaceful solitary existence. Jack is forced to revert back to his previous brutal ways after he makes the acquaintance of Ella (an appealing turn by the pretty Amber Benson), an attractive young mother who’s in deep trouble with evil cannibalistic drug lord Buzz (smoothly essayed with lip-smacking wicked aplomb by Jeremiah Birkett) and his pack of vicious goons. Jack’s loyal hipster Native American buddy Mo (a fine and likable portrayal by Devin Barry) helps out. Writer/director Ward Roberts relates the kooky and entertaining story at a zippy pace, makes neat use of the arid desert locations, brings a galvanizing flashy style and an equally invigorating hip’n’flip sensibility to the wacky material, further spices things up with a very funny sense of inspired loopy humor, and totally goes for broke with the wild action scenes. Moreover, Roberts delivers plenty of unflinching over-the-top gore and a tasty smidgen of yummy female nudity courtesy of the delectable Victoria De Mare as Diane the boob dancing girl. The zesty acting by the game cast rates as another major asset: Gaffey and Barry display an engaging chemistry as the oddball heroes, Benson makes for a fetching and charming damsel in distress, Birkett has a field day as a gloriously depraved and maniacal villain, plus there are sturdy supporting contributions from Travis Betz as Ella’s pathetic speed freak loser husband Herman, Al Burke as fearsome disfigured flunky Mr. Lizard, Mike C. Nelson as nerdy henchman Keith, and Ezra Buzzington as the corrupt Sheriff Haggler. Shannon Hourigan’s slick widescreen cinematography provides a pleasing bright look. The lively twangy score by Kirpatrick Thomas and rowdy rock soundtrack give this movie an extra thrilling ultra-kinetic kick. An absolute blast.