Richard Stanley is an award-winning South African-born writer and filmmaker, a trained anthropologist and veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He has British nationality, native American ancestry, a degree in medieval metaphysics, was initiated as a houn'gan in Haiti and ordained as a reverend by the life church of Modesto, California.
Stanley learned his trade documenting tribal customs for the South African College of Music before graduating to music videos and throwing off the occasional album cover for bands as diverse as The Fields of the Nephilim, Public Image Limited and Marilion. His first feature as a writer and director was the cult sci-fi movie Hardware (1990), a low budget psychedelic saga of a mad-dog android on the loose in a futuristic 21st century apartment block. Stanley followed Hardware with Dust Devil, returning to Southern Africa to create a nightmarish love letter to his homeland. Using the real life crimes of a Namibian serial killer as his starting point the writer-director turned in what may be his most challenging yet most enduring work, a hallucinatory hybrid of seemingly disparate genres. A fallout with the distributors led to the recutting of the US version, while the bankruptcy of the British-based production company Palace Pictures temporarily shut the postproduction down in Europe and the film remained mauled or unfinished, depending how you look at it. Finally Stanley himself managed to finance a new, restored print from the original negative.