10th Jun2020

‘Gold Dust’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: David Wysocki, David Wall, Darin Brooks, Chris Romano, Kerry Wall, Burns Burns, Garrett Marchbank, Maggie Hough, Derek Severson, Liam Wall, Much Hough, Finnegan Wall, Lucy Hough | Written and Directed by David Wall

Somewhere along the border with Mexico, two lifelong friends – prospectors – use moth eaten maps and passed down legends in a lifelong search to find a ghost ship rumoured to have been buried in the desert sand over millennia as the seafloor dried up. Today, Mexican drug lords operate here, using a fleet of children in ultra light airplanes, flying in a new type of treasure – heroin – modern gold dust. These two friends must decide between pursuing their dreams of treasure, suddenly so close, and what they know is right. To save themselves, or risk their lives to save a young girl captive to the drug lord.

Written and directed by and starring David Wall, Gold Dust is like a love-letter to the films of a bygone era. The kinds of high-concept, action-adventure movies that came out in the 80s, spawned by the success of the Indiana Jones franchise – in particular those that skewed heavy on the comedy like Romancing the Stone, Firewalker and the Allan Quartermain movies. Films that mixed adventure with slapstick elements, that went for laughs as much as they went for action.

Gold Dust is also one of those films that has a mish-mash of ideas within it. This film is not just about a pair of treasure hunters; we have a killer who doesn’t so much as kill but instead dances to music while clubbing people with his gun; a group of kids who look like they’ve stepped out of Turbo Kid; El Guapo, a drug kingpin who appears mostly via mobile phone camera; and another pair of treasure hunters who are actually anything but!

And in terms of storytelling, Gold Dust feels like part David Lynch, part Percy Adlon. Twin Peaks meets Bagdad Cafe if you will… With odd characters, odd situations and a general all-round warm-hearted quirkiness. In fact the characters and the lines they spout are they real treasures here – this film honestly has one of the wittiest scripts I’ve heard in some time. The film also flails wildly between genres, keeping the audience hooked by never standing still, feeling at times like a buddy road movie and at others a family-friendly adventure and others like a classic screwball comedy.

If you’re a fan of the wacky, out there and eclectic, Gold Dust is all those things and much more. Plus it has a superb soundtrack that mixes classic music and a score by Cage the Elephant. Told you this was eclectic!

Gold Dust is available on demand and on DVD now from High Octane Pictures.

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