Wednesday, December 01, 2010

SHTF: Damnation Alley

Damnation Alley is a survivalist story from the 1970's. It was first a book and then a movie. Let's review both.

Damnation Alley the book was authored by Roger Zelazny and features the main character, Hell Tanner. A cross between Mad Max Rokatonski and Escape From New York's Snake Pliskin, Tanner is a member of the motorcycle gang, Hell's Angels. With a criminal record a mile long, a captured Tanner is given a job delivering precious medicine to Boston from Los Angeles in exchange for a full pardon.

No problem, right? Wrong. Damnation Alley takes place in a post-apocalyptic American after a massive nuclear war. LA and Boston (and a few other cities like Albany and Salt Lake City) are all that remain of the USA. The Midwest is one big radioactive, dust filled, electric storm raining rocks and dead animals wasteland home to freak mutated oversized creatures and desparate outlaw gangs.

Tanner won't be travelling on his hog, though. He is assigned a "Car" which we later read to be over 30 feet long, armored and armed with rockets, .50 caliber machine guns and flamethrowers. What's more, is Tanner is assigned a partner to help with the driving.

Early on, two other Cars which are also part of the convoy to Beantown both buy the farm leaving Tanner in charge and the only hope for getting the serum to Boston, now if full pandemic mode.

Tanner faces off against giant Gila monsters, a hunormous spider, a crazy scientist and attacks by two gigantic motorcycle gangs. Does he make it to Boston? Read the book and find out.

Damnation Alley the book precedes The Road Warrior and other like genre films by at least fifteen years and clearly sets the theme in motion.

Damnation Alley the movie is a whole other matter. Filmed and released in low budget glory in 1977, DA stars Jan Michael Vincent and George Preppard as two Air Force officers at a desert ICBM base.

After launching their missiles, the base and dicipline slowly fall apart and problems are compounded after an accident kills most of the surviving crewmen and officers.

Here' a snippet from YouTube

Preppard and Vincent (and two other airmen) take off in a pair of Landmaster survival vehicles loosely based upon the Cars of Zelazny's book. Along the way, one Landmaster is destroyed and a few more survivors, notably a woman who looks like she just walked out of the shopping mall, are found and added to the team.

The Landmaster was a real vehicle designed by Dean Jeffries and still in one piece in California. I doubt it has those mortars or rocket launchers any more though.

Flesh and metal eating cockroaches, a giant scorpion, some lame shootouts and a brief motorcycle chase (the only nod to the original book) and our wayward service members arrive in some green valley full of happy survivors who can't wait to meet them.

The book is worth the read and hardly dated at all. The movie is worth finding in the one buck DVD rack at Wallyworld and good for a laugh.

Either way, Damnation Alley is one of the original survival books/movies available to complete your collection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My wife and visited Universal Studios in the mid 80's and the vehicle from the D.A. movie was parked on a back lot in plain view. I have a picture somewhere in the house. Having seen the movie when it first came out, I thought it was pretty cool to see the vehicle from it in person.

Tag and Bookmark

Disclaimer - This blog from time to time reviews products on this blog. Some, but not all, of the products reviewed are affiliate market products and do provide compensation to the blog operator. This blog does receive revenue from advertising on this blog and from the sale of products highlighted on the outside columns and frame of this blog.
This blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. For legal, medical, financial or any other professional advice, consult with a licensed professional.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

Copyright - all content property of 2005 -2011 all rights reserved. Content scrapers and copyright violators will be prosecuted.
storable food, dehydrated food, fod, dry food, food storage, food insurance, freeze dried food, survival food, food sale prices, food sale, bulk food, collapse food, food shortage, survival seeds, non hybrid, non-hybrid, emergency food, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated mixes, dried produce, spices, whole food, mountain house food, mountain house freeze dried food, alpine aire, alpine aire freeze dried food, alpine air, mountainhouse, richmoor, survival food storage, bird flu, emergency survival, emergency preparation, dehydrated storable food, emergency preparedness, long term food storage, long term water storage, long term storable food, camping food, emergency food storage, food reserves, long term food reserves, storage, long term, long-term, dehydrated, gourmet reserves, long shelf life, no cooking required, food storage systems, non perishable food, non-perishable, no cooking food, non cook food, non-cook food, no cook food, basic needs, basic food storage, dry, dry storable, storage, preparedness, personal preparedness, food supply, supplies, seeds, sprouts, food supplier, survival review, collapse food storage, world food shortage, american food shortage


Tripbase Travel Reviews