film

reviews










 

Damnation Alley (1977)

Director:
Jack Smight
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Sci-Fi/Disaster
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Jorden i flammer
RUNNING TIME
92 minutes
Producer:
Jerome M. Zeitman
Paul Maslansky
Screenwriter (based on the novel by Roger Zelazny):
Alan Sharp
Lukas Heller


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
1st Lt. Jake Tanner Jan-Michael Vincent
Major Eugene "Sam" Denton George Peppard
Janice Dominique Sanda
Keegan Paul Winfield
Billy Jackie Earle Haley

 

Review

This post-apocalyptic road-movie, a bastard offspring of the disaster genre, battles visual effects that are so bad they'd hamper almost any 1950s B-movie something which is remarkable considering the fact that Damnation Alley was a rather big-budget project for 20th Century Fox back when it went into production in 1976. While one of the film's "stars", an armoured, 12-wheeled, caterpillar-like vehicle called the "Landmaster", quite evidently was given the royal treatment, and still looks and feels as futuristic as it is meant to be, the blue-screen compositing made to create mutant killer-bugs and the rumbling sky is downright appalling, even by 1970s standards. Keep in mind that great-looking sci-fi classics like Star Wars and Superman were made at the same time, the former even on a smaller budget than Damnation Alley's.

So it only helps a little, therefore, that the script has some purpose and director Jack Smight adds a little flair and warmth at times. The players are not bad, either, especially little Jackie Earl Haley, whose introduction livens up the proceedings. The film was loosely based on a novel of the same name by Roger Zelazny, who was reportedly not happy about the script changes. PS! If you like seeing Jan-Michael Vincent riding a motorbike, just continue down his filmography to Hooper the following year, and you'll get a lot more of it.

Copyright 4.10.2014 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

[BACK TO INDEX]

[HAVE YOUR SAY]