OWN IT ON BLU-RAY™ and DVD
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY
The Dead and the Damned starts off in a small town in California 1849. A bounty hunter named Mortimer (David A. Lockhart) is trying to capture an Indian named Brother Wolf (Rick Mora) for an unknown reason and buys a beautiful young woman (Camille Montgomery) to use as bait. After heading off on his quest, the small town of miners find a mysterious, glowing rock. Thinking it might be filled with emeralds, they decide to break it open with a pick axe. The rock turns out to be a meteorite and it unleashes a green gas turning the town folk into the undead. After capturing Brother Wolf, the trio find themselves stalked by the zombies and have no choice but to band together to survive.
The Dead and the Damned does a great job of mixing two contrasting genres into one fun, action-packed romp. The zombies look great and the Western settings/costumes are well done. Even with a running time under 90 minutes, the simple story had a few nice twists and turns but it could have been filled out a little (there are several long stretches with just music and the characters walking around). Other than that I have no gripes with this movie. The CGI gore FX are surprisingly good (considering CGI is my kryptonite) and the acting is also convincing. For a low budget horror/action film, this one stands out above the rest of the seemingly endless DTV garbage being released today.
Damnation Alley takes place in the near future after a nuclear attack has shifted the planet off of its axis, causing all kinds of weird shit. A group of army officers surive in their bunker and venture out in their survival vehicle (The Landmaster) to find civilization. The team - Maj. Denton (George Peppard), Lt. Tanner (Vincent) and Keegan (Paul Winfield) - find themselves in an endless number of obstacles, including giant scorpions, mutant cockroaches and some backwoods creeps.
Damnation Alley is admittedly not a great movie. Some of the special FX are laughable and there is an slight lack of depth in the story and characters. That said, you'll be hard pressed to find a more fun sci-fi post-apocalyptic film than this! A definitely cult classic, Damnation Alley has a great cast, an awesome vehicle for them to ride around and kick ass in and some really cool scenes (the cockroaches being my favorite). Shout! Factory does an incredible job here with a beautiful new transfer and a bunch of bonus features (commentary with producer Paul Maslansky, producer, screenwriter and car designer/stunt coordinator interviews, trailer and TV spot). Though the film is definitely flawed, it's fun and well worth a watch - especially for a seemingly lost cult classic like this.