Damnation Alley is a 1977 science-fiction thriller set in a post-apocalyptic world.
World War III happens. The crew at a remote US Air Force missile base survive the war, but following an accident which kills several of them and destroys most of their supplies, the remainder decide to make their way across the country to the only part of the USA that is still inhabitable. Unfortunately, the only way to get there is a narrow strip of not-quite lethal wasteland, dubbed by the leader of the expedition as "Damnation Alley." As the name suggests, it's no picnic. They set out in two "LandMaster" armored vehicles, encountering various dangers and other survivors as they travel east.
The LandMaster prop is arguably the best thing in this movie, and went on to have almost as long a career in cinema as the human star, Jan-Michael Vincent.
Very vaguely inspired by the excellent novel of the same name by Roger Zelazny, in which Hell Tanner, the last Hell's Angel, is hired/coerced into driving across a post-apocalyptic Dystopian US to deliver a desperately needed vaccine.
The movie contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: Only one LandMaster was actually built for the movie. One of the "twins" gets destroyed early on.
- After the End
- Alien Sky
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: The cockroaches
- Base on Wheels
- Black Dude Dies First: Somewhat subverted in that he's not the first to die, but he doesn't come close to surviving the trip either. The fact he is played by Paul Winfield assures his fate.
- Cool Car: If the LandMaster can be called a "car".
- Cosy Catastrophe: The people of Albany have apparently been doing quite well despite the catastrophe.
- During the War
- Safe Zone Hope Spot: Blithely subverted with Albany.
- Scary Scorpions: Giant mutated ones make a brief appearance.
- The Swarm: The cockroaches again.
- There Was a Door: The LandMaster is used to blast into and out of a parking garage.
The novel contains examples of:
- Awesome McCoolname
- After the End: Damnation Alley is steeped with post-apocalyptic visions, from the forlorn decaying towns to the very air which churns in constant turmoil, ripping apart anything rising up more than a couple of stories.
- Badass Biker
- Biker Babe: Cornelia/Corny
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas / Thicker Than Water
- Heroic Sociopath
- Meaningful Name
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Percussive Prevention: Hell gives his brother a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, breaking some bones in the process, to prevent him making the run.
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