Damnation Alley (1977)

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A group of military survivors cross the apocalyptic terrain heading east in their giant land-rovers.


Genre

Post-Apocalyptic, War

Characters/Groups

Tanner - Jan-Michael Vincent

Denton - George Peppard

Janice - Dominique Sanda

Keegan - Paul Winfield

Billy - Jackie Earle Haley

Perry - Kip Niven

Man/Guard - Robert Donner

Mountain Man 2 - Seamon Glass

Technician - Trent Dolan

Haskins - Mark L. Taylor

Colonel - Bob Hackman

Burning Man - Erik Cord

Air Policeman - Terrence Locke

Gloria - Marcia Holley

Landers - Murray Hamilton

Giant Scorpions

Killer Roaches

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

At the 123rd Strategic Missile Wing at Tipton Airforce Base in California, Tanner and Denton enter the building to their workstations together. They show their identification and receive their weapons from Keegan, while also admiring his art that he has pinned to the wall. Denton asks Keegan how long it would take him to paint something for his wife for their anniversary. They check in once again before boarding an elevator. During the elevator ride down, Denton tells Tanner that he has requested a roster change, because he doesn't feel he and Tanner are suited as a team. They relieve the current team on duty and Technician tells them there is coffee waiting for them. In the control room a series of blips show up on the satellite image of the area. A message comes in and Tanner and Denton start to write down the phonetic alphabet being relayed over the radio. Multiple missile strikes are confirmed and a counter battery of missiles are armed and launched, while intercept missiles are launched. Only forty percent of the missiles are intercepted and Tanner, Denton, Keegan, Landers and Colonel watch the screen as enemy missiles hit major U.S. cities.

"The Third World War left the planet shrouded in a pall of radioactive dust, under skies lurid and angry, in a climate gone insane. Tilted on its axis as a result of the nuclear holocaust the Earth lived through a reign of terror, with storms and floods of unprecedented severity. When this epoch began to wind down, the remnants of life once more ventured forth to commence the struggle for survival and dominance. This is the story of some of them."

Keegan is drawing a giant mural of the Garden of Eden on the side of a building as Tanner rides nearby on a dirt bike with what appears to be a woman sitting behind him. Keegan radios him asking him if he needs any help and Tanner tells him to just watch his style. Tanner then weaves his way around Giant Scorpions that try and attack him and at one point he is forced to throw off his passenger. Tanner makes it to safety and Keegan angrily shoots near him, before Tanner has him look again at his passenger and Keegan realizes the passenger was only a store mannequin. Tanner tells Keegan he thinks he is losing it and on his ride back he was talking and even kissed the mannequin. Haskins hurriedly runs to work and when he arrives he is chewed out by Air Policeman for taking away 20 minutes of his time having to wait for Haskins to relieve him from duty. Denton and Perry are working in a garage building on the Landmasters, which are giant metal plated vehicles. Denton mentions to Perry that all they need is permission from Landers to leave, and Perry mentions that all Landers does is sit in the control room and drink. Haskins falls asleep with a lit cigarette which causes an explosion in the room he was assigned to work in. The main building explodes killing everyone but Tanner, Denton, Keegan and Perry. A few days later the four of them leave in the Landmasters after Denton recovers the American Flag from the base.

Keegan rides in Landmaster 2 with Perry, while Tanner rides in Landmaster 1 with Denton. Denton tells Tanner that they are headed to Albany, New York through an area he calls Damnation Alley. Denton allows Tanner to drive the Landmaster, while Perry bores Keegan with the specifications of the machines, before asking why he and Tanner left the Air Force and Keegan explains they didn't feel like there was much point in staying in the Air Force after the bombs fell. Perry interrupts Tanner and Keegan's rendition of Will the Circle be Unbroken over the radio to say that a storm is headed their way. Tanner ignores operational guidelines to stop and dig in and drives through the storm while Perry stays put. Landmaster 2 is flipped over and Perry is killed. Denton and Tanner return to where Landmaster 2 stopped and pick up an injured Keegan and other supplies from Landmaster 2 and they then leave in Landmaster 1. They overhear a message and Denton tells the others that the message is a recording that started after the war. They arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada and stop to look around. They start playing the slot machines until they are all surprised to see a woman named Janice standing on the upper floor staring down at them. Janice runs downstairs and hugs the three men. She tells them the manager of a club brought her down to a fall out shelter so she could do him a favor for a favor he would do for her to break into show business. The bombs fell and the only survivors were her and the manager named Alex who then died six months later of a heart attack. They drive through another bad storm before arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah to get gasoline. Keegan finds a car with a group of skeletons picked clean and the leather and rubber gone. Tanner and Janice leave to look for items in town on Tanner's dirt bike. While lifting the grate off of the underground gas tanks, an armored Killer Roach climbs out and Keegan stomps on it, but it just continues on. Denton gets a hose and they begin to siphon gasoline into the Landmaster. A roach begins to attack Keegan while in a department store, a group of roaches start to surround Tanner and Janice. Keegan is covered in more roaches and he runs into an empty car. Denton runs to help Keegan, but he is already dead. Tanner and Janice get back onto his dirt bike and they ride away to safety after telling Denton where they will meet him. They meet up with Denton in the Landmaster and then get inside and they all drive away.

While Tanner is driving he spots Billy staring at him from a wooden shack. Tanner opens the top hatch and calls out to Billy, but Billy throws a rock at him. Denton and Janice get out of the vehicle and Billy stares at Janice, before running away. They all run after Billy except Tanner who chases him with his dirt bike and Tanner grabs Billy and holds him until the other two can help. Billy tells them that after his mother died him and his father just started moving around until his father fell off of a cliff and broke both of his legs and eventually died. They offer to take Billy with them and he agrees if Tanner will teach him how to ride the dirt bike. Denton tells Billy that the Earth has been flipped onto its axis, but if it flips back, it might go back to the way it was before. They stop at a gas station with a diner called Ellen's Cafe to see if there is any fuel. Janice and Billy go inside the diner and as Janice is playing a piano inside she screams when she sees Man/Guard covered in radiation wounds and three more men walk towards her including Mountain Man 2. Denton and Tanner run into the building and the Mountain Men hold their rifles at the ready. Mountain Man 2 and two of the others follow Denton and Tanner into the Landmaster, while Man stays with Janice and Billy. Man tells Billy to stand next to Janice and Billy jumps out of the window and runs away. Man grabs Janice and when Billy returns he tells Billy to get out. Billy asks if can have a lollipop if he doesn't tell Man's friends about him and Janice and when Man goes to get him a lollipop, Billy throws a rock at his head killing Man. Billy runs into the Landmaster and tells the Mountain Men that Man told him to leave so he could be with Janice and Mountain Man 2 leaves. Tanner shoots and kills the remaining two Mountain Men in the Landmaster with Denton's pistol which Billy grabbed and passed to him after killing Man. Janice runs out of the diner and Denton fires a rocket into it killing Mountain Man 2.

They head towards Detroit, Michigan in order to find some spare parts. They stop at the Detroit Wrecking Yard and look for a semi in order to pull out some spare parts that might fit the Landmaster. Billy notices a weird sound and the sky begins to light up. Denton fixes the parts he needs and everyone gets inside of the Landmaster. The Earth's axis rights itself and the sky returns to normal, causing a giant flood of water and the Landmaster floats away. They eventually make it to land and while Tanner and Denton are arguing over who is going to ride the dirt bike, music comes on the radio and Gloria comes on the air from Albany, New York. Denton gets into contact with Gloria who tells them they are close to where they are. Tanner gets onto his dirt bike with Billy and Denton tells Gloria that Tanner is on his way to their location. Tanner and Billy arrive at the location and are greeted by a group of happy people.