Schlock Watch: Damnation Alley

Hello and Welcome to our newest category: SCHLOCK WATCH! Schlocktoberfest is always a high point for Hard Ticket to Home Video so we decided that reviewing only horror flicks just isn’t enough sadomasochism and we should be covering all the genres like Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Post-Nuke, Kung-Fu flicks, Rape/Revenge flicks, Blaxploitation flicks, Movies about Gladiators, etc! May Crom have mercy on our souls.

SCHLOCKWATCH

Damnation Alley (1977)

Trailer:

*Spoilers Throughout*

Damnation_Alley_1977
Director:
 Jack Smight (Harper, Airport ’75, Midway)

Schlock Category: Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic, Action/Adventure

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • There is virtually no tension during this hostile nuclear missile attack. No music, no panic, no worry, nothing. I couldn’t be more snug and comfy in the back of my seat right now.
  • And now we’re treated to a light show that goes on for over a minute that looks like a Windows 95 screen saver.
  • It’s the post-apocalypse and there’s some guy actually painting a mural on a building. Why?! Who’s around to appreciate it? Can you find something else worthwhile to do in this post-nuke world…like, I don’t know, find other survivors or fresh water…something?!
  • Hilariously bad giant scorpion special effects.
  • This fella really wants his 20 minutes!!
  • George Peppard is one mustache shy of being exactly like Hannibal in The A-Team. Instead of a van he’s driving a 12-wheel tank. He’s even chomping a cigar.
  • Hahaha. The navigational system of this “Landmaster” is literally a Texas Instruments calculator.
  • Jan-Michael Vincent looks so much like Roddy Piper in this. I so wish it was Roddy who starred in this. In fact, I’m imagining the best sci-fi movie of all time if this starred nothing but WWF wrestling stars.
  • Man, these special effects are special alright. Like Special Olympics special. 
  • The way this one shot was framed and panned out it looked like Paul Winfield was getting head by Jan-Michael Vincent. Gave me quite the chuckle.

DamnationAlleyHead

  • So they had two Landmaster trucks and one had an accident after just a few hours of driving east. They just leave it when one guy out of two dies. Which makes some sense but they must’ve spent years and resources building those trucks and it’s just wasted after a short while. And why did they build two when there was just a handful of guys. (Two others died in an explosion a few scenes before they left)
  • Now why are they wasting time in an abandoned Vegas playing worthless slot machines? For nostalgia and sentiment? Maybe they’re feeling extremely lucky.
  • Hahaha. The only surviving female in this country happens to be an old flame of Peppards. What are the odds?!
  • Armor-plated cockroaches!!!!
  • “This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches. Repeat, killer cockroaches!”
  • I really don’t see the threat of these cockroaches. Plus they’re pretty slow moving.
  • Although they kill Paul Winfield very easily. Of course the only black guy doesn’t survive. SMH.
  • If your major threat is easily assuaged by a few bursts of a fire extinguisher, then I’m afraid it’s not much of a threat.
  • HAHAHA. The face George Peppard makes when he finds out Winfield is dead is hysterical. Looks as if he opened a toilet with shit still floating in it.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 3.54.33 PM

  • Why are they chasing down Jackie Earl Haley? If he doesn’t want to go with you on the Landmaster then forget it. He isn’t much help in getting directions or in re-populating the Earth. Yet.
  • I’m still kinda baffled at the point of the extra wheels that the Landmaster has. There’s 4 sets of 3 wheels set in a triangular array with only two wheels on the ground. So what’s with that extra set of wheels not on the ground? My imagination says that if one tire goes flat or something it can revolve to get the flat one off the road but we don’t see that happen so it’s a complete waste of design.

DAMNATIONALLEY

  • Damn you, you mountain men rapists!
  • This movie has absolutely zero tension.
  • So the only form of civilization is in Albany, New York?

Exploitation Level (Gore, Nudity, Etc.): None. The only blood I recall is from the Winfield death scene from the killer cockroaches but that was tame by any standards. And there is only one woman in the whole flick and she’s completely clothed the whole time.

Best Scene: Even though the Landmaster truck is badass and is probably draw to see this picture if you ever saw the cover box art but the best and most memorable scene is the killer cockroach scene for its schlockiness. 

Worst Scene: I’d have to go with the very beginning with the end of the world and the tension-less, drama-less nuclear missile launching. It was so hum-drum and boring it had as much stress and anxiety as a cooking show on the Food Network. In fact, Cutthroat Kitchen has more tension and suspense than this scene.

Best Line: “This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches. Repeat, killer cockroaches!”

Well How Schlocky Is It?: Not much. I found it extremely boring and not hokey enough to poke fun at to make for a worthwhile enjoyable schlock feature. Sure it had it’s moments and the special effects are so cheap and dumb looking that you’d get a few chuckles in here and there but ultimately it sits about in the center of the Schlock-O-Meter.

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3 thoughts on “Schlock Watch: Damnation Alley

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