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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next 'Star Wars'! Well, not quite.....
...but it's hilarious that 20th Century Fox once thought this, and held the film back for a year (it was finished in '76) to see how 'Star Wars' performed.

What can I say? It's not the best sci-fi movie ever made, It's cheesy, and some of the effects have not stood the test of time. It actually starts off with quite a strong opening sequence (like that of...
Published 11 months ago by R. Cassidy

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, I'll Be Damned
Following a nuclear war, the earth is knocked off its axis causing freak weather conditions. A small group of soldiers are holed up in the middle of a desert, as far as they know they are the only survivors. Then there is a fire at their shelter, and the only four who survive the blast set out to seek life on Earth, a radio signal from Albany offering some hope. Only the...
Published on 4 Oct. 2011 by Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next 'Star Wars'! Well, not quite....., 20 April 2014
By 
R. Cassidy "Robert M. Cassidy" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
...but it's hilarious that 20th Century Fox once thought this, and held the film back for a year (it was finished in '76) to see how 'Star Wars' performed.

What can I say? It's not the best sci-fi movie ever made, It's cheesy, and some of the effects have not stood the test of time. It actually starts off with quite a strong opening sequence (like that of 'WarGames' except this time, it's NOT a simulated attack), so it's a shame that it then descends into B-movie nonsense....but this has always been a particular favourite of mine and I was really glad to see it released on DVD. It's an entertaining little film if nothing else, one of those 'turn off brain, enjoy' films that you can watch with friends, have some popcorn and a laugh and maybe do an MST3K-style riffing (and how this film was never featured on MST3K I'll never know). Great to see Jan-Michael Vincent and George Peppard together here, both completely unaware that they would go on to be the stars of rival '80s shows Airwolf and The A-Team respectively...JMV in particular demonstrating what a terrific actor he always was and what a shame it is that his life worked out the way it did. Paul Winfield, a great actor who never seemed to meet a nice end in sci-fi movies (see 'Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan') does a good turn for the first portion of the film before meeting a grisly end, and of course there's the highlight of seeing young Jackie Earle Haley in his first screen role, a long way from becoming masked vigilante Rorschach in 'Watchmen'.

The true star of the film, of course, is the 12-wheeled armoured super-truck, the Landmaster. Designed by legendary Hollywood designer Dean Jeffries (no, George Barris, this is another one you weren't responsible for), the 'ultimate RV' boasts mortars, missile launchers and that big rubber join in the middle that my dad always mocks, not to mention its amphibious capability and an interior that looks suspiciously bigger than the truck itself. It's an impressive vehicle (which still survives to this day!) and predates the 'Dead Reckoning' from 'Land of the Dead' (protip to George Romero, even if you rip off a cheesy '70s B-movie that no-one really cares about, it's still plagiarism)...when the apocalypse finally comes around, this is the survival vehicle of choice.

Watch out for that one set that serves as both a Vegas casino and then a department store (and doesn't look particularly convincing as either), and also pay attention during Paul Winfield's drawn out demise, where he screams for George Peppard's character, calling him 'Sam' even though his name is actually Eugene. Classic.

Based on: a novel of the same name by cult S-F author Roger Zelazny. Very loosely based. As in, some character names and a cross-country journey across the post-apocalyptic USA in a specially-built vehicle. Oh and a motorbike. That's it. And thanks mum, for creasing the spine of my copy and wrecking it after I specifically asked you to take very good care of it.

Was almost called: 'Survival Run', but George Peppard insisted on the title 'Damnation Alley', a term used and explained by his character during the film, being retained - well done, George :)

Best line of the film: "This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches, repeat, KILLER COCKROACHES!"

Best 'Famous last words' of the film: "The Landmaster can withstand stresses of up to AGHHHH-!"

A must have for sci-fi fans, or for anyone who gleefully collects and watches bad movies (if you're both, then I salute you)!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, I'll Be Damned, 4 Oct. 2011
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
Following a nuclear war, the earth is knocked off its axis causing freak weather conditions. A small group of soldiers are holed up in the middle of a desert, as far as they know they are the only survivors. Then there is a fire at their shelter, and the only four who survive the blast set out to seek life on Earth, a radio signal from Albany offering some hope. Only the small matter of giant scorpions, flesh eating cockroaches and mutant rednecks stand in their way as they travel to their destination....
I have a disease. I have to actively seek out and watch every film I saw as a child or teenager, even those I only have a vague recollection of. So, Damnation Alley, a film I saw once late night on ITV, was of course an eagerly awaited dvd release.
To be honest, time has not treated this film well. It all starts off with a bang, with the U.S.A trading nuclear missiles with an unnamed enemy, and the sky turning into a cover from a Yes album. Then we are treated to the sight of Jan-Michael Vincent crossing the desert on a motorbike, with a shop mannequin as a passenger, and having to dodge several stock footage giant scorpions. Very exciting. It's when the small band of brothers road trip starts that things start to go downhill.
That's not to say that there aren't occasional pleasures to enjoy along the way. A trip to Salt Lake City, where Keegan's words 'I can't stand bugs' come back to haunt him with a vengeance, is a rare highlight. On the other hand, the viewer endures some criminally banal sequences, that on paper probably sounded quite exciting.
George Peppard simply looks on at proceedings with complete disinterest etched into his face. Jan-Michael Vincent does his best in a one dimensional role, but it's Paul Winfield who comes off best as the likeable Keegan. As for Dominique Sanda, the less said the better.
One big plus is the terrific music score by Jerry Goldsmith, a score that seems to desperately trying to breathe life into proceedings throughout the film.
Apparently, this film, which has the look of a low budget B-movie, had a budget of over 17 million pounds, twice as much as the first Star Wars film. It's difficult to guess where the money was actually spent, as the film looks quite tawdry at times. Maybe the cockroaches had their own union.
Still, Damnation Alley is quite entertaining in its own little way, sometimes for the wrong reasons. So, it's impossible to dislike despite its myriad faults.
A bare bones dvd release rounds off the rather underwhelming package. 3 out of 5, but proceed with caution and a high level of tolerance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Roaches on a road trip, 16 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
Apparently, “Damnation Alley” is a cult classic, presumably because of its carefree road trip feeling (very 1970's, I suppose). The main characters have access to some really hot wheels: the “Landmaster”, a kind of armoured truck, and presumably every 12-year old boy's wet dream.

Personally, however, I didn't like the film. The whole concept is weird, since the road trip takes place immediately after World War III in a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with giant scorpions, flesh-eating cockroaches and inbred “rednecks”! The main heroes travel around in their tank searching for survivors, and eventually find clean water, lush vegetation, well-fed horses and a small town that somehow made it through the thermonuclear blasts…

There, the story promptly ends. With a happy ending beyond the Thunderdome? Well, at least it's original…
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3.0 out of 5 stars super mutated scorpions are a good example, 8 Jan. 2015
By 
n.reid (watford, herts United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
another post apocalypse movie. this movie depicts life after a nuclear war. film starts well showing the launch of the missiles and resulting explosions. but the depiction of post war society lets say lacks a bit of credibility.super mutated scorpions are a good example. the portrayal of characters and settings is good in places but all too often a bit sketchy. a watchable film but not a memorable one
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5.0 out of 5 stars A science fiction movie with the nuclear holocaust just like The Omega Man., 26 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
This is a movie which starts with a nuclear holocaust and then all the adventures amongst the survivors, while the climate of the earth is dangerous unstable and by mutations some dangerous insects are living But in the end all come to a very good end.
This movie can be referred to "The Omega Man" which I bought this DVD from Amazon as well last year.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Precious memories., 29 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
Great film, swiftly despatched, and as good as I remembered it. One for Hawkwind fans everywhere though production values may be a bit 'low'. But when you rank it with films of the same era it stands up well against a Romero zombie flick or pretty much anything with Kurt Russell in a starring role.
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2.0 out of 5 stars When cockroaches are the best part of the film, it is usually bad news..., 12 Sept. 2013
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
This film was supposed to be the adaptation of post-apocalyptic classic SF book by Robert Zelazny - but it is NOT!

Written in 1967, "Damnation Alley" by Roger Zelazny was an excellent SF novella, which was later extended into a short novel and published as a separate book. In both versions it is a very good read and it inspired a lot of later imitations, some of them good and mostly very bad, both in SF literature and in films. "Mad Max" series, and especially the second and third film, certainly owe a little bit to this book - and I think even the legendary "Escape from New York" was a tiny little bit inspired by "Damnation Valley".

In case you don't know the BOOK, here is the beginning of the action. After a nuclear war, United States are left devastated and depopulated. Two pockets of civilization remain - one in California and another around Boston, but they are separated by a mostly radioactive wasteland. In those savage lands there are mutated monsters and the few remaining people form warlike tribes - violent and vicious, but still riding in cars and using firearms. Which makes things worse, is that air and sea travel is now impossible because the climate was so upset by the nuclear war, that there are all the times terrifying storms raging everywhere. Therefore the only way to voyage is by land. Because of radioactivity in the atmosphere, there is also no radio contact.

One day, a lonely traveler driving an armored car arrives to California after coming all the way from Boston. Before dying from his wounds he transmits the message he is carrying: Boston is dying from a deadly epidemic. There is vaccin available in California - but somebody must travel all the way through what was once United States to carry it... Those are the first two pages of the BOOK - and what followed made a big splash amongst SF fans when it was published in 1967...

But the adaptation of this story has VIRTUALLY NOTHING IN COMMON with the book, except for the title and the general idea of travel through Unites States transformed in a wild wasteland. Here we have four soldiers, who survived the nuclear war in a missile base in California and who two years after the conflict decide to go and look for other survivors, lured by a radio transmission from Albany, NY.

Not only is the story different from the book, but the travel itself is rather boring and the ending - sorry, SPOILER here - rather anti-climactic and disappointing. Ultimately, in this film almost nothing really happens - except one scene with cockroaches. In all, the first minutes are good and after that we must wait a long time for the cockroaches and then there is a lot of not much for a long time and then it is the end. THE END.

Also, with the exception of cockroaches, the special effects are very weak. The few "action scenes" barely deserve that name.

As in the book at one moment a girl will appear, but the French actress Dominique Sanda who plays her clearly doesn't give a s*** and anyway her character is here strictly for nothing.

It is a pity that the scenario is so weak, because three good actors were gathered to play in this film - and their talent is wasted. I always liked Jan-Michael Vincent, but in this film he hardly has a chance to do or say something interesting - and his character is ridiculous. George Peppard's character - an aging Major of US Air Force - is actually quite interesting and good, but once again the scenario doesn't allow him to do much. Finally there is Paul Winfield (remember him as LAPD Lieutenant Traxler in "Terminator"?) - but his talent is also wasted. Cruelly.

After seeing this film Roger Zelazny was devastated and requested that his name be removed from the credits...

So bottom line, this is a failed and very disappointing film, nothing like the original story and GREATLY inferior to it. Only cockroaches are interesting and it is for them that I give this film two stars. But (assuming that you want to watch it at all) once you watched the cockroaches scene, you can turn as well your DVD player off - there is nothing more of interest until the end. Avoid!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film!!!!, 8 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
The story is great but the movie is a bit doggy as the CGI is abit off and the special effects is abit bad too, i've seem a lot of 1960's and 70's pictures and this one is ok but the story good but film not so good!!! You are better of reading the book first before deciding to purchasing this product!!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Zelazny Fans Stay Away, 26 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
I went to see this movie in 1977 because it was based on a novel by the excellent Roger Zelazny. It was the worst adaptation of a novel I have ever seen, which made a poor movie unforgivable. If you like Zelazny, avoid this like the plague.
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5.0 out of 5 stars damnation alley, 18 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Damnation Alley (1977) Reg 2 DVD (DVD)
brillant .ordered this film on the 17of feb about. 3 oclock got it this morning 18 of feb
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