"Machines don't understand sacrifice - neither do morons." - Chief. Hardware (1990)

Welcome to The Official Richard Stanley website. Director of

Color Out of Space, Other World, Hardware, Dust Devil and more...

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Richard Stanley under fire in the siege of Jalalabad Photo of Richard Stanley for the bigraphy section.photograph by Immo Horn - Afghanistan 1989

Biography - Richard Stanley

Born in South Africa, Stanley was first exposed to the moving image at the age of four when his father brought home a 16mm print of ‘King Kong’(1934) Like many budding film makers, he "started messing around” with Super 8 movies as a child. “I was a huge Ray Harryhausen fan and managed to mail-order his book, Film Fantasy Scrapbook" Stanley recalls.

Formal film education did not exist in South Africa at the time but his father fed his dreams, by giving young Richard a copy of the novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau. Through his youth, he worked on a screenplay based on the novel. In 1989 a short film written and directed by Stanley, RITES OF PASSAGE, a portrait of a neolithic hunter in primordial Africa, won the IAC International Student Film Trophy, beating out work from UCLA and USC and drawing sufficient interest and funding to create the Cape Town Film and Video School, the first educational facility of its kind on the subcontinent. Stanley found gainful employment as a camera man, documenting tribal dance and initiation rituals for the South African College of Music and began work on his first 16mm feature project DUST DEVIL.

Drafted into the Angolan Bush War in the mid-eighties, Stanley was forced to flee South Africa. Seeking asylum in London, Stanley became an active figure in the Committee on South African War Resisters (COSAWR) Through a quirk of fate, he was offered the chance to direct a music video for a goth band,‘The Fields of the Nephilim’ who were still searching for a record deal at the time. His subsequent work on their videos and album covers secured his reputation as a talented visual artist and commercial director. He went on to direct videos for Public Image Limited, S- Express, Noir Desire, Marilion and Renegade Soundwave among many others.

In 1990 Stanley directed his first feature film, HARDWARE, an idea he developed as a teenager, followed in quick succession by DUST DEVIL(1992) and THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1996), all cult favorites. Well known as a part of film history lore, Stanley was abruptly removed from the production after four days on the Moreau set, chaos ensuing before and after (as shown by the very well-received documentary, LOST SOUL: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau( 2014). It was not until 2019 that Stanley wrote and directed his next feature film; his version of Lovecraft's The Color Out of Space, starring Nicolas Cage. The film opened to rave reviews and according to Netflix’s global ‘most viewed’ list it currently reigns as the single most popular stand-alone sci-fi horror feature of the Covid era.

Stanley has also directed four documentaries: Voice of the Moon (1980), The Secret Glory (2001), The White Darkness (2002) and L'Autre Monde (The Otherworld - 2013). A trained anthropologist with a keen interest in tribal mores and protecting natural lands for their beauty, folklore and traditions, Stanley has always been a naturalist and a defender of the underdog; from the tribal people of the Hindu Kush in war-torn Afghanistan circa 1989, a war he had not intended to become involved in, to his support for Haiti’s Voudou societies during the US occupation of 1999. As a journalist he has covered events in Rwanda and Uganda, including the plight of the mountain gorilla and is a frequent contributor to the UK’s ‘FORTEAN TIMES’, the world’s leading journal of cryptozoology and the paranormal.

In 2008 Stanley relocated to Montségur, France and has worked to help secure the region’s status as a world heritage site. In 2014, Stanley galvanized the public to resist an initiative to turn the castle of Montségur into a theme park and subsequently challenged the authority of an international mining consortium known as the ‘Imerys Group’, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto intent on extracting a newly identified mineral element known as Imerys HAR G talc from the Tabor, a mountain believed by many to be sacred. The case (Number 101000690089) would go all the way to the European high court before work on the mountaintop extraction site was finally halted in 2021, averting potentially cataclysmic circumstances for the region’s ecosystem. Stanley has subsequently been granted permanent residency in the region and is currently working on a multi-volume chronicle of the castle’s history.

Richard Stanley in The Zone Photo of Richard Stanley in The Zone.

blog - Tales from the Zone - by Richard Stanley

Read up on Tales from the Zone, the original Richard Stanley chronological weblog about life in "the Zone."

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RS testimonials

what critics say...

Color out of Space

I found the results authentically nightmarish, perhaps especially thanks to the film's unusual rhythm for horror: not a panicky staccato but a fuzzy-edged, narcotic throb.

Robbie Collin

Daily Telegraph (UK)

Color out of Space

Based on an HP Lovecraft story, it's a fun, messy, hallucinogenic head trip of a movie, shot with cosmic gorgeousness by cult director Richard Stanley.

Larushka Ivan-Zadeh

Metro Newspaper (UK)


Fantastic "future shock" movie about a killer robot run amuck in a postnuclear future. Not to be missed!

Luke Y. Thompson

New Times

Color out of Space

It takes a lot for a movie to out-bonkers Cage on this kind of form. Color out of Space manages it in style.

Philip De Semlyen

Time Out