is a 1977 science-fiction thriller set in a post-apocalyptic world.World War III
happens. The crew at a remote US Air Force missile base survive the war, but following an accident which kills several of them and destroys most of their supplies, the remainder decide to make their way across the country to the only part of the USA that is still inhabitable. Unfortunately, the only way to get there is a narrow strip of not-quite lethal wasteland, dubbed by the leader of the expedition as "Damnation Alley". As the name suggests, it's no picnic. They set out in two "LandMaster" armored vehicles, encountering various dangers and other survivors as they travel east.
The LandMaster prop is arguably the best thing in this movie, and went on to have almost as long a career in cinema
as the human star, Jan-Michael Vincent.
Very vaguely inspired
by the novel of the same name
by Roger Zelazny
Best known for being the blockbuster 20th Century-Fox was expecting in the summer of '77, if not the one they got
The movie contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: Only one LandMaster was actually built for the movie. One of the "twins" gets destroyed early on.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The LandMaster. Armed to the teeth with rockets, mortars and machine-guns, amphibious, large enough to hold several people comfortably (complete with bathroom and shower), an internal navigation system and radio, with a triple-wheel arrangement on each axle that allows it to go over obstacles with minimum fuzz. This interview by Dean Jeffries showcases the awesome.
- After the End
- Alien Sky
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: The cockroaches of Salt Lake City.
- Base on Wheels
- Black Dude Dies First: Strictly speaking averted, in that he's not the first to die, but he doesn't come close to surviving the trip either. The fact he is played by Paul Winfield assures his fate.
- Cool Car: If the LandMaster can be called a "car".
- Cosy Catastrophe: The people of Albany have apparently been doing quite well despite the catastrophe.
- During the War
- Hey, It's That Guy!: A teenage Jackie Earle Haley is one of the survivors.
- Safe Zone Hope Spot: Blithely subverted with Albany. Although it's discussed early on that it could be this trope played straight (an automated radio broadcast, etc), the town survived.
- Scary Scorpions: Giant mutated ones make a brief appearance.
- The Swarm: The cockroaches again.
- There Was a Door: The LandMaster is used to blast into and out of a parking garage.
- Wacky Wayside Tribe: A small group of survivors (hinted to be cannibals) threaten the companions at one point. They are disposed of easily, with a few head shots, a well-thrown rock, and the LandMaster's rocket launcher.