Damnation Alley (1977) starring Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard, Dominique Sanda, Paul Winfield, Jackie Earle Haley directed by Jack Smight Movie Review

Damnation Alley (1977)   2/52/52/52/52/5

George Peppard in Damnation Alley (1977)

Man Vs Super Imposed Giant Scorpions

Following a nuclear holocaust the planet is not only left a post apocalyptical wasteland but a shift on its axis has lead to further climate changes with the combination of radiation and weather changes leading to mutant insects preying on anyone who survived the holocaust. Two of those survivors are Major Eugene Denton (George Peppard) and his colleague Tanner (Jan-Michael Vincent) who were in a U.S. Air Force bomb shelter in the Mojave Desert when things turned bad and when they hear radio signals from Albany decide they must cross Damnation Alley to reach these other survivors. But from mutant insects to insane survivalists their journey is not an easy one.

If "Damnation Alley" was made today it would be lambasted left right and centre for being a bad movie with bad effects, a derivative storyline and not a lot else yet for some reason people seem to like this pre-"Mad Max" post-apocalypse movie which certainly features more than its fair share of dodgy effects. Don't get me wrong as I enjoyed "Damnation Alley", from the false skies to the hilariously mutated insects but I couldn't get out of my head the double standards when it comes to this movie.

Jan-Michael Vincent in Damnation Alley (1977)

Anyway "Damnation Alley" is a simple movie as we have the antagonistic relationship of Denton who is a military man and Tanner who is less disciplined. As they with a couple of others try to make it to Albany in their pimped up vehicles have to deal with a variety of problems from those mutated insects, which means super imposed close ups, and a variety of whack jobs that the encounter. That is it and so we have character clashes and a variety of other typical issues which these types of movies trade on.

The thing is that whilst the effects are now weak and frankly hilarious for being such it is still entertaining with George Peppard and Jan-Michael Vincent doing a nice job of making their characters entertaining in what now is a typical fashion. By that there is many a scene with Peppard chomping down on a cigar whilst Vincent trades on his good looks and fun loving attitude.

What this all boils down to is that technically "Damnation Alley" is a bad movie yet there is something which is incredibly entertaining in an admittedly bad movie way. But the daft thing is that "Damnation Alley" is not that much different to the movies which are made for late night TV now yet people seem to love it more.