DUNE DRIFTER (2020) Reviews and overview of Brit sci-fi


‘A battle beyond the stars’

Dune Drifter is a 2020 British science-fiction feature film about the survivor of a crashed star-fighter who is marooned on a distant planet. She must navigate the planet’s harsh environment to save herself before her life support expires.

Written and directed by Marc Price (A Fistful of Lead; Nightshooters; Zombies Next Door; Colin), the Dead Pixel Productions movie stars Phoebe Sparrow (Inside No.9 TV series), Daisy Aitkens (School of the Damned), Simon Dwyer-Thomas (School Hall Slaughter; The Huntsmen 2019; Jurassic Predator) and Alastair Kirton (Viking Siege; Way of the Monkey’s Claw; Colin). Produced by Michelle Parkyn.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Despite not having a Hollywood budget, Dune Drifter still managed to impress with some first-grade effects and a dedicated lead performance, making it essential viewing for both sci-fi and horror fans.” Dread Central

“Perhaps where the film could have been a little stronger is enabling the viewer to better understand who the antagonist is. There are hints and clues but there’s nothing particularly concrete other than the two are from different sides […] Dune Drifter is an ambitious and strong film from Marc Price.” Entertainment Focus

“With the odds stacked against Adler at every turn, Dune Drifter will keep you on the edge of your seat. Adam Langston’s score is orders of magnitude better than what one would normally expect from a small genre film and significantly enhances the action. Price makes fantastic use of a bleak, gravelly landscape, using simple effects and smart shot choices to make it look genuinely alien.” Eye for Film

“As Adler treks around doing her best Matt Damon in The Martian impression, the film loses all momentum, and once it has gone, it’s hard to claw back. A technically strong and engaging project, Dune Drifter is dragged down by a flimsy story and weak characters. What Price does prove once again though is that you don’t need a lot of money or crew to create a film that can look ten times its cost.” The Hollywood News

“It’s a simple, gritty story with few frills – we don’t need the heroine’s backstory to care whether she survives – and a nice sense of widescreen spectacle.  Considering that it probably cost less than, say, the Asylum’s glum space opera ripoff Battle Star Wars, this is a solid win for Britain.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Filmed on location in Iceland the film benefits from its stark backdrop replete with occasional blasts of hot air from geysers. No spoilers here but suffice to say that Adler shows great strength and perseverance and Sparrow deserves credit for a challenging role well-played […] The one-woman-versus-alien theme, of course, reminds us of the Ridley Scott Alien saga but Price is original enough not to need such comparisons.” Rich Pickings

Dune Drifter merges its space operatics with a bleak brand of realism. When the fighter craft are hit, their occupants do not simply dematerialise with a convenient cleanness, but are shown screaming and slowly dying in flames – and in scenes that evoke the apocalyptic harshness of Anders Elsrud Hultgreen’s Dawn (Morgenrøde), real locations in Iceland are made to serve as Erebus’ barren rocky landscapes.” VODzilla

“Price shot most of Dune Drifter in Iceland in seven days and with a skeleton crew. Putting limited funds out on that kind of location shooting may seem wasteful. Until you see the results. The empty expanses of black volcanic rock and dirt add a sense of desolation no English locations could provide […] There’s also a great performance by Phoebe Sparrow as Adler. She spends much of the film alone on screen and has to give a credible performance mostly through her helmet’s visor.” Voices from the Balcony


Dune Drifter is released by 4Digital Media on VOD, Digital platforms and DVD on December 1st 2020.

Cast and characters:

Phoebe Sparrow … Adler
Daisy Aitkens … Yaren
Simon Dwyer-Thomas … Drekk
Alastair Kirton … Danforth
Richard Corgan … Kanner
Marcus Shakesheff … Meyln
Charlotte Mounter … Callaghan
Caroline Bartholdson … Terran Pilot
Claire Burley … Collins
Kyle Davies … Erebus Battle Vocal
Linda Louise Duan … Sousie
Holly Field … Melissa Osborne (Erebus Pilot)
Michael Geary … Kinnear
Asher Green … Richardson
James Groom … Hordern
Michael Lagin … Ferrier
Martyn Luke … Erebus Pilot
Jen Nelson … Hawthorn
Tom Nolan … Ackland
Abigail Parmenter … Jenna (Blue 5)
Angela Peters … Danning (Blue 5)
Chris Rogers … Squadron Commander Peppard
Alexander Tol … Farleigh

Filming locations:

Iceland and UK

Technical details:

101 minutes

Our rating: