|Cast||Stephen Lang Ron Perlman Gabriel Olds Judy Collins Barbara Jane Reams Maxx Payne Frankie Avina Zahn McClarnon Mike Holona Jim Christian Scott Wilkinson|
|Plot||In a futuristic desert hamlet, a ruthless town boss lynches a falsely accused Native American teen, setting the stage for revolt and a clash with a troubled, drunken sheriff.... see A Town Has Turned to Dust on IMDb|
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|More of a frontier Western with futuristic trappings than a science fiction film, you can see why this made-for-cable morality play from the pen of the late Rod Serling remained unproduced for 40 years. Infused with the strong character writing and inventive details that enlivened his best Twilight Zone scripts, it nonetheless suffers from Serling's key weakness--playing his allegories so close to the surface that it overpowers the story. Earth in the future becomes so polluted that the human race has left save for two communities: the "dwellers," a ragtag group of off-worlders who mine the planet for its only resource (scrap metal), and the "drivers," a tribe of Native Americans living on the outskirts of the dwellers' rusting city, Carbon. As Carbon's ambitious entrepreneur Ron Perlman (playing the populist leader to the hilt) makes his bid for power by appealing to the mob instincts of his racist township, principled but weak-willed sheriff Stephen Lang faces his fears and the secret that keeps him trapped in inertia. Director Rob Nilsson shoots this drama of racism and mob violence in the murky colors of junkyard, giving the town an appropriately overwhelming ambiance of rust and dust. More importantly, he grounds the film in the personalities of its cast. The film creaks under the overwrought symbolism of Indians and settlers to explore the politics of hate, but the dramatic clash between Perlman and Lang resonates with their excellent performances. --Sean Axmaker|
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