Thursday, September 5, 2013

MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (1986)

I remember reading King's short story "Trucks" (feature in the Night Shift collection) many years ago and it only being about actual large vehicles (18-wheelers, bulldozers, etc.) coming to life and crushing people.  This movie though, adapted to the screen and directed by King himself, has all kinds of different machines coming alive.  Everything from a foul-mouthed ATM to a gas pump and a soda shooting Coke machine.

Like the story, the main action takes place as a secluded truck stop along the side of a now deserted highway.  Fry cook Emilio Estevez's crappy day gets even crappier when an electric carver attacks a co-worker and then some trucks start running people down.  Eventually survivors gather at the truck stop for safety and are put to work (by a bulldozer and a military machine gun vehicle) pumping gas into a long line of thirsty trucks.  Throughout all this there's a few various events shown, like a steamroller running down a kid, a drawbridge going berserk and an ATM machine telling Stephen King he's an asshole.

As a horror movie MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE is a total failure, but as entertainment it's not too bad.  The idea of machines coming to life is compelling and the characters are interesting.  A little blood, zero gore, zero nudity, 80's clothing, AC/DC music, explosions, cheap gas, an alright pace that kinda runs out of steam towards the end.  With a bigger budget, tighter script and a more experienced director MO might have been awesome, but as it is it's still a fun time-waster.
I A-B Repeated this dude yelling "What the fuck's going on in here?!" until tears were streaming down my cheeks.