I've waited years for "Damnation Alley" to finally be released on DVD and after watching it again; I have mixed feelings about the picture and sound quality. I really thought the picture and sound quality from Shout factory for this long awaited DVD release was going to be nothing short of spectacular, but it really isn't.
The video transfer for the most part is pretty decent and the film is definitely watchable, although the picture does suffer from some noticeable grain and embedded artifacts here and there. I'd rate the video transfer about a 7/10 because it seems that no real picture restoration was done by Shout.
There are three sound options for this release but sadly the original sound 360 heard in theaters isn't one of them. Either the original sound 360 audio mix couldn't be located or it couldn't be salvaged for this release. I listened to the movie in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound over the Digital Stereo option on my home theater system and it sounded good.
Welcome to the alley "Damnation Alley" Violent post apocalyptic radiation storms, giant sand scorpions, flesh-eating cockroaches; the earth will never be the same. Two years after the third world war and the devastating nuclear holocaust that followed, a rag tag group of survivors led by Commander Major Eugene Denton (George Peppard) set out in search of civilization. Major Denton believes that there are other holocaust survivors living in Albany, because he has been monitoring their radio signals for some time.
Getting to Albany won't be easy for the group; they'll have to brave the one hundred mile wide corridor between the radiation belts known as "Damnation Alley" Fortunately for the group Major Denton spent his time at the military installation constructing two armored plated Landmaster vehicles that will carry them across the desolate wasteland to Albany. Will the Landmasters make it through Damnation Alley? Are there really other survivors living in Albany? You'll have to buy your own copy to see how this post apocalyptic cult classic ends.
Despite the lack of complete picture restoration, this is probably the best this film will ever look and sound; and I'm happy to finally own it on DVD. Shout factory should still be commended for their efforts. Thanks!
Special Features Include:
- New anamorphic Widescreen transfer (2.35:1)
- Audio Commentary with Producer Paul Maslansky
- Theatrical trailer and TV spot
- Survival Run Featurette: co screenwriter Alan Sharp discusses the challenges of adapting a novel to film
- Road to Hell Featurette: Producer Jerome Zeitman recalls the difficulties of filming Damnation Alley and the process of making the film
- Landmaster Tales Featurette: Stunt coordinator and Landmaster designer Dean Jefferies gives an in depth review of the Landmaster
George Peppard ... Major Eugene Denton
Jan-Michael Vincent ... Tanner
Paul Winfield ... Keegan
Dominique Sanda ... Janice
Jackie Earle Haley ... Billy
on March 31, 2004
Based on Roger Zelazny's Sci-Fi novel of the same name, Damnation Alley (the movie) bears only mild resemblance to it's written inspiration. Tanner (played by Jan-Michael Vincent) has little in common with Hell Tanner of the book, and most of the other characters in the movie don't even appear in the book. That said, I actually prefer the movie, though most die-hard Zelazny fans my not.