DAMNATION ALLEY

 

Shout! Factory is offering a free, limited edition 8″x10″ Damnation Alley lithograph with purchase, available exclusively at http://www.shoutfactorystore.com/prod.aspx?pfid=5257424#axzz1LcYDn86v.

 

THE PLOT THUS FAR

In an post-apocalyptic world, a group of survivors travel and find other settlements in huge custom designed all terrain vehicles.

 

WHAT WE THOUGHT

“Damnation Alley” follows some would-be heroes as they survive a nuclear holocaust in 1970’s America. It starts out at a protected military base that burns down for the stupidest of reasons—a cigar falls on a Playboy magazine and just happens to be too close to explosive tanks! Then some military guys trek out across the desert landscape that was once America in gigantic armored motor-homes of some sort.

Along their way to Albany in New York, they cross vast expanses of listless desert and, an abandoned city filled with killer cockroaches, and some rednecks. Each and every shot reeks of continuity issues with bizarrely coated hues which carry little or no explanation. One shot will be all blue-ish, the next, coated in ugly green hues, the next two will be fine, but different contrasts of light and dark, then the next one will be a hue of green with really queer “lightning” in the sky. The whole movie is like this.

And as for the setting, it’s close enough to be recognizable, but is not the world that Zelazny was exploring in the book. Different post-apocalypse stories have chosen to stake their respective posts at different points along the timeline, from “28 Days Later” to the far-flung dystopias of “Planet of the Apes” and “The Time Machine”. In the novel, Zelazny looked at the world a generation after the holocaust, an interesting point to examine, where government has established control again in the remaining population centers, and the recognizably ordinary lives people can lead in these pockets of safety is in sharp contrast to the nightmare world that lays down the road apiece. Instead of keeping this setting, though, the authors of this film decided to go with a world maybe a year or two after the bombs, which presents a much less interesting vantage than any of the time-points noted above.

The Blu-Ray comes with an audio commentary from the producer. You also get a ton of featurettes, trailer and TV spot. It’s so weird to see that Jackie Earle Haley wasn’t Rorschach forever or a Bad News Bear. The A/V Quality is flawless for the first time in the film’s history. SHOUT used the best elements from FOX to turn this B-Movie Classic into a fine looking film. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track is superb and almost borders on reference quality. Check out Paul Winfield’s death scene to get the full effect. I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 07/12/2011
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