Short Film Review: Dusty

Anthony Leroy and Josh Murphy (or A.J. as they are both credited at the start of the film) directed the short film, Dusty, in 2016. It has become something of a cult item in the realm of indie and no-budget filmmaking – and for good reason.

When the film opens, best buddies CJ and T are headed to their friend Ernie’s house. On their way, CJ regales T with a macabre story – a local legend involving a serial murderer. Soon after, they are joined by T’s awkward friend named Dusty, who allegedly has a short temper and definitely has a speech impediment. After a row with CJ, Dusty goes outside to take a piss.

He pisses on a finger sticking halfway out of the snow. A finger with no body attached to it.

We are immediately whisked away to Ernie’s house. Ernie is not home, but a certain diabolical, and perhaps demonic, presence has followed them there. From there on, the boys are forced to face down supernatural forces beyond their control.

All of this is just as crazy on screen as it sounds written down. The screenplay was written by Leroy and Tyson Burger, and both Leroy and Josh Murphy balance the non sequiturs in the script and the onslaught of absurd humor very well. For a low to no budget production, this is very well done. Dusty is a fine example of what can happen when people who know movies use the resources at their disposal to go out and make them.  And the film is hilarious, consistently so, for all of its eighteen minutes. And appropriately gruesome – albeit in a playful fashion. The score, composed by Leroy, is a wonderful piece of eighties-era synth and serves the film well. Dusty has rightfully earned its reputation, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you must. Anthony Leroy and Josh Murphy are crazy-talented, and Dusty is only proof of that.

Review of Dusty II: Rusty’s Revenge coming soon!

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