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In the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust a group of survivors, mostly US Air Force personnel, travel from the western US to Albany, New york from where a radio broadcast has been received. Led by a no nonsense Major, Eugene Denton, they travel in specialized vehicles built specifically for survival in harsh conditions. Along the way, they are joined by an attractive young woman when they stop in Las Vegas, are joined by a young boy when they meet desperate survivors in the desert, must face hoards of killer cockroaches and survive a major flood in Detroit.
You have seen great adventures. You are about to live one.
Title: Damnation Alley
Release Date: October 21, 1977
Runtime: 91 mins
All Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller
Sound: Sound 360°
IMDB Rating: 4.6
Buried.com Rating: 5.6 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With D
MPAA Rating: PG
Jan Michael Vincent ...Tanner
George Peppard ...Maj. Eugene Denton
Dominique Sanda ...Janice
Paul Winfield ...Keegan
Jackie Earle Haley ...Billy
Kip Niven ...Lieutenant Tom Perry
Robert Donner ...Man / Guard
Seamon Glass ...Mountain Man #2
Trent Dolan ...Technician
Mark L. Taylor ...Haskins
Bob Hackman ...Colonel
Terence Locke ...Air Policeman
Marcia Holley ...Gloria
Erik Cord ...Burning Man
Roger Creed ...Mountain Man
Murray Hamilton ...General Landers
James R. Parkes ...Mountain Man
Maury M. Cohen
Jerome M. Zeitman
More Movie Taglines:
- You have seen great adventures. You are about to live one.
- More than a movie. An adventure you'll never forget.
- The magnificent epic of five people who survive the nuclear holocaust and their incredible odyssey through the nightmare world it created. And now, you will not only see it, you will feel it, live it--in "Sound 360"--a revolutionary sight and sound experience.
- Maj. Eugene Denton: Tanner this is Denton! This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches. I repeat: KILLER COCKROACHES!
Tanner: So where are we heading for? Maj. Eugene Denton: Albany. Tanner: Albany? You have relatives there? Maj. Eugene Denton: It's the only place we ever got a signal from. Albany is the place to aim for. Tanner: Sort of the objective of the operation, right? Maj. Eugene Denton: You could call it that. See, there's a way across... well, not really a way across, but the screens show it to be the path of least resistance. It's not good, but it's the best we've got. Tanner: What happens if we make a wrong turn? Maj. Eugene Denton: There are areas of radiation we couldn't get through. It's not a matter of wrong turns though - "Damnation Alley" is a hundred miles wide a lot of the way. Tanner: "Damnation Alley?" Who named it that? Maj. Eugene Denton: I did.
Launch Officer #1: [looking at a large satellite image screen] Looks like a satellite re-entry to me. Launch Officer #2: [after checking data on computer] Negative on satellite... Loudspeaker Voice: [Soviet ICBM missile launch indications appear on a large computer screen, alarm sounds] Blue Square One, Blue Square One, Blue Square One. Alpha, Tango, Foxtrot, Sierra, Delta. Two. Omega, Zebra, Six, One. Authentication Sierra Alpha. Launch Officer #3: Jesus...
Tanner: [the Landmaster refugees are being waylaid by the "Mountain Men" in the desert] How long have you men been here? Man: Since everything went to hell.
Maj. Eugene Denton: Don't go making something personal out of this. Perry is dead. That doesn't make you right and me wrong. It just means Perry is dead.
- The "Landmaster" later had a cameo in Chris Elliott's sitcom "Get a Life" (1990) in which it was an automatic newspaper-delivering machine (called the Paperboy 2000) that, of course, went haywire.
The 12-wheeled "Landmaster" vehicle used in the film was created by Jefferies Automotive in Universal City, California. Despite the appearance of two "Landmasters" in the film, only one was built at a cost of $300,000 in 1976. The Landmaster is powered by a 391 cubic-inch Ford industrial engine, and features a fully-functional, custom-built "tristar" wheel arrangement, which could actually help it "crawl" over boulders. It also used an innovative steering mechanism that guided the vehicle, not by the front wheels, but by "bending" the middle section with hydraulic rams to affect a turn. The Landmaster's bodywork was made with 3/8-inch steel plating, which helped it tip the scales at over 10 tons. It was so tough, in fact, that it survived a 25-foot jump during testing with no damage. As of today, the original "Landmaster" is alive and well, and resides in the lot at the Jefferies Automotive shop on Cahuenga Blvd. near Barham Blvd. It has been somewhat modified from its original appearance in "Damnation Alley," with the enlargement of the driver and passenger side windows, and the removal of the flexible center section cover. The Landmaster was sold to a private owner in 2005, and is currently undergoing restoration to its original condition.
The infamous armor-plated "killer cockroaches" are in fact Madagascar "hissing" cockroaches. In reality, they are three-inches long (as seen in the film), and are quite benign. They make the "hissing" sound to communicate with one another, and when they are agitated. Live roaches were used in close up shots, but rubber mock ups were used in the wide and group shots.
The movie sat on the shelf at 20th Century Fox for some time after production was completed in 1976. Fox had high hopes for it on its release in 1977, expecting it to do better at the box office in comparison to Fox' other sci-fi release scheduled for that year... Star Wars (1977)
The bizarre, colorful patterns in the sky seen during the post-war scenes were accomplished by filming lasers hitting various types of material, and using the blue sky in the live-action footage as a "key" to insert the resulting patterns. This time-consuming process is what kept the film in post-production longer than expected
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Rating: 5.6 out of 10.0 - 72 votes cast total