> My personal all-time favourite is one called > "Damnation Alley"-- it had this really terrible > actor called jan-michael vincent,some of the > "breath-taking" special effects included a really > cool looking truck and a scene where mutant > cockroaches eat a human being alive.... Roger Zelazny wrote a wonderful story about an outlaw biker named "Hell Tanner". It was his real name. When he was born, his mother died, and when they asked his father what to name him, he said "Hell!" and walked out of the hospital, never to be seen again. Hell Tanner had his name tattooed across his hand, one letter per knuckle. But in the movie, Tanner didn't have a first name. In Zelazny's story, Mr. Denton, who is secretary of Traffic of the nation of California, offers Tanner the choice of prison or of trying to drive across the country to deliver Hoffakine serum to the citizens of Boston, who were dropping like flies. Since the apocalypse, there were terrible winds which made flying impossible, and even radio communications were pretty iffy. A guy from Boston died trying to bring in the appeal for help, and it was pretty likely that anyone trying the return run would die. In the movie, Tanner (Jan Michel Vincent) was apparently in the military and he, along with Major Denton (George Peppard) are on a Sunday jaunt in search of communities that might have survived. Or maybe they are just taking a Sunday drive. It isn't really clear that there is any urgency involved. In Zelazny's story, there are three vehicles, each with two drivers - except that Tanner wounds his brother Denny, who is supposed to be his co-driver, out of concern for his safety. All right then, he is told, you drive alone. They get to the plains states and there are terrible tornadoes. Everybody batten down the hatches, comes the order. Not me, says Tanner. I ain't gonna be no sitting duck. I want to outdrive these suckers. Try it and we'll burn you, warns the commanding officer in another vehicle. Not when it's less than obvious that you're right and I'm wrong. Tanner takes off and the other vehicles are never heard of again. It's a big ATV in the movie, more cutesy than terrifying, and it has all the comforts of home. Maybe it has more. In the novel, the vehicle breaks down, and Tanner gets the spares out of the trunk. Not spare tires. Bikes. Eventually, Hell has to fight the Studs MC, who thinks he's got a nice bike, and doesn't believe in his story about the serum. He wipes out most of the gang, except for Cornelia, aka Corny, a bimbo who is good for relaxation. No sex in the movie, best I can remember. IMDB says that Dominique Sanda was in the credits, but darned if I can remember her. In the Zelazny movie, he ends up making it to Boston after fighting all sorts of menaces, ranging from good citizens to bikers to mutated animal monsters. The citizenry is pleased, and they put up a statue in his honor. At the unveiling, however, it turns out that the statue has been defaced - by Tanner. Hell of a great book. Roger Zelazny can really write. George Lucas could *really* make a great movie from this one. Jack Smight directed some good stuff before he did this one - he did Midway, Airport 1975, The Secret War of Harry Frigg, Harper, and a lot of good TV including Hitchcock, McCloud, Banacek, Madigan, Naked City, Twilight Zone - but only six movies in the 12 years after he made Damnation Alley in 1977, and all of them were highly forgettable. -- HTTP://GENEROUS.NET The web's best personal ads. Free to place, free to browse, free to reply.