RIP Jan-Michael Vincent: A Pictorial Tribute


Because ‘4 Shots’ just weren’t enough…

cracked rear viewer

Jan-Michael Vincent has passed away at age 74. Though the actor suffered many trials and tribulations in his personal life, there’s no doubt his onscreen presence connected with audiences of the 70’s and 80’s. In his honor, we present ten shots from the film and TV career of Jan-Michael Vincent:

Tribes (TV-Movie 1970; D: Joseph Sargent)

Going Home (1971; D: Herbert B. Leonard)

The Mechanic (1972; D: Michael Winner)

The World’s Greatest Athlete (1973; D: Robert Scheerer)

White Line Fever (1975; D: Jonathan Kaplan)

Damnation Alley (1977; D: Jack Smight)

Big Wednesday (1978; D: John Milius)

Defiance (1980; D: John Flynn)

The Winds of War (TV-Miniseries 1983; D: Dan Curtis)

Airwolf (TV Series, 1984-87)

Rest in peace, Jan-Michael Vincent (1944-2019)

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A Movie A Day #325: Damnation Alley (1977, directed by Jack Smight)


Anyone who has seen Damnation Alley knows that the only thing that matters is the Landmaster.

Damnation Alley has a slight plot.  A nuclear war has knocked the Earth off of its axis.  The skies are green and purple.  The scorpions are huge and the cockroaches eat humans.  Crazed survivors are living like savages, attacking anyone that they come across.  When a radio signal seems to indicate that there might still be civilization in Albany, four military men (George Peppard, Jan-Michael Vincent, Paul Winfield, and Kip Niven) decide to drive across the country to check it out.  To reach Albany, they will have to cross an inhospitable stretch of land called Damnation Alley.  They will be making the journey in two Landmasters, amphibious vehicles that provide RV comfort with the extra advantage of a rocket launcher.  Along the way, they fight scorpions, roaches, and pick up some extra passengers (Dominique Sanda and Jackie Earle Haley).

The radioactive sky looks cool but otherwise, the scorpions and the cockroaches are all obviously fake and no one in the cast makes any effort to do more than recite their lines.  But no one who has watched Damnation Alley cares about any of that.  We just want to drive a Landmaster.

There is nothing that the Landmaster cannot do.  It  can speed across desert sand.  It can tear up city streets.  It can break through walls.  It can turn into a boat.  It can fire missiles.  It also appears to be bigger on the inside than the outside, just like the TARDIS.  Either that or whoever did the set design for Damnation Alley was not detail-oriented.

Despite the awe-inspiring Landmaster, Damnation Alley was neither a critical nor a box office hit.  It was one of two science fiction films released by 20th Century Fox in 1977.  The other one was Star Wars, which was a good movie but didn’t have a Landmaster.

As for the Landmaster itself, it currently resides in California and has appeared in a handful of other movies.  Sadly, it missed out on the opportunity to appear in any of the Smoky and the Bandit movies.  Burt Reynolds driving a Landmaster?  That would have been box office gold.

Right, Burt?

6 Trailers For A Doomed Society


Hi there and welcome to yet another edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film trailers!

1) Damnation Alley (1977)

This movie was actually on the Fox Movie Channel last night.  The trailer’s better.

2) The Tenement (1985)

As this trailer makes clear, this film is also known as Slaughter In The South Bronx.

3) Enter The Ninja (1981)

It’s Franco Nero!

4) Eat My Dust (1976)

It’s Ron Howard!

5) Beatrice Cenci (1969)

Before Lucio Fulci devoted himself to making zombie films, he made this one.  It tells the true story of Beatrice Cenci, an Italian noblewoman who, in 1599, conspired to murder her abusive father.  Fulci considered it to be his second best film.  I’ve never seen it but I hope to do so someday soon.

6) The Slams (1973)

Finally, let’s conclude this edition with Jim Brown in … The Slams!