Today In History 10/21

Damnation_Alley_1977October 21, 1977: Post-apocalyptic classic Damnation Alley opened in theaters. The film was based on a novel by Roger Zelazny. (Well, about as much as any “based on” movie ever is. It had the same title, anyway.)


Damnation Alley involved a cross-country trek in a vehicle dubbed the Landmaster. When production ended, it was parked beside the Hollywood Freeway by Dean Jeffries’ automotive shop from 1977 to 2005 where every passing science fiction fan might blink and ask himself, “Didn’t I see that in….?”

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3 thoughts on “Today In History 10/21

  1. Fox thought “Damnation Alley” (titled at one point “Salvation Run” for fear of Christian backlash) was going to be its big summer movie. They put all of their marketing muscle behind it. Originally. Then, in late May, this low budget “sci-fi actioner” they’d made opened. Plans and expectations changed.

  2. As a non-native, I always thought one of the cool things about Los Angeles was that you saw so many unnamed but definitely recognizable film and t.v. locations just driving around — I had never been there before and yet I *knew* the city from so many years of film and television. Also very cool was that the bus from Damnation Alley was casually visible from the Hollywood freeway; also the statue of Bullwinkle outside the now-gone Rocky and Bullwinkle store on Sunset cracked me up every time I saw it, it was so wonderfully silly.

    When I drove Jeanne Gomoll on my motorcycle from Anaheim to North Hollywood and back, so that she could attend a LASFS meeting, on return trip on the Hollywood Freeway a full moon was rising over Universal Studios. I turned my head and called back to her that it wasn’t the real moon, that was the Universal Pictures Studio Moon, as they were filming something which required a moon in the background that night.

    Just driving in Los Angeles hit me in the Sense of Wonder.

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