Maximum Overdrive title

Tag line : Stephen King's masterpiece of terror directed by the master himself.

Maximum Overdrive Stephen King adaptations were doing big business at the box office during the early-mid 80's, so when it came to adapting his story "Trucks" for the cinema, King decided to have a crack at directing himself

In this, Emilio Estevez (that's Charlie Sheen's younger brother), plays a hapless worker at a remote truck-stop diner. When an electric knife in the kitchen area just starts up on its own andcuts the hand of one of the waitresses, it marks the start of a series of bizarre incidents involving machinery.

Shortly afterwards, a trucker gets fuel sprayed in his face by a wayward pump nozzle and the gaming machines in the back start spraying money out. Elsewhere, confusion reigns as draw bridges start to raise on their own whilst still carrying traffic, vending machines fire cans of fizzy drink at people and cash machines call the people using them "assholes".

But when the lorries parked up outside suddenly spring to life and, lead by a delivery truck with a giant green goblin face on the front, begin circling the building and mowing down anybody who ventures out, it marks the start of a 3 day siege as the staff and customers find themselves trapped inside.

Fortunately, the manager of the truck stop has a hidden stash of weapons that can, hopefully, allow them to break out. But with all vehicles and machinery throughout the country also running rampant, what awaits for them outside?

Not your typical sort of Stephen King story, this isn't really a horror in the true sense of the word. If anything it, comes across as more of an action/comedy, as the story doesn't take itself too seriously and whilst having its share of blood, the deaths are done in a very tongue in cheek manner. It's certainly not a "scary" film and as a result many Stephen King fans seem greatly divided in their opinion of this.

However I found this to be hugely enjoyable, its action packed and overall great fun to watch, with an excellent hard rock soundtrack by AC/DC to boot!

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "Who Made Who", "Imagine your worst nightmare: machines take over the world", "Evil's wheels", "The day horror went into overdrive".

  • The story "Trucks", which this film was based on, was originally a short story that appeared in a the book "Night Shift". It was also adapted into a US TV movie in 1997.

  • The films budget was 10,000,000.

  • The man who gets called an "asshole" by the cash machine was played by the director/author Stephen King.

  • The goblin head on the front of the lead truck with the "Happy Toyz" logo, was based on the Green Goblin character from those Spiderman comics.

  • During the ferry bridge disaster at the start of the film, a boat can be seen in the background in some shots. The people on the boat were the members of rock band AC/DC, who provided the soundtrack.

  • The truck stop was actually a set built specifically for the film and was repeatedly mistaken for being a genuine one by various truck drivers as the crew had to turn several lorries away during filming.

  • AC/DC were apparently asked to do the soundtrack by Stephen King as he was a fan of their music. The songs used in the film can be found on the album "Who Made Who".

  • Many Stephen King fans, who were expecting a straight horror film,  were dismayed to find this was more of a campy comedy, which earned King a nomination for worst director at the "Golden Raspberry awards" 1987, after which he vowed never to direct again. However, the film amassed a huge cult following from fans who enjoyed this as a horror/comedy and was subsequently nominated for best film at the "International Fantasy Film Award" in 1988.

  • After filming had finished, the site was purchased by a group of locals and turned into a genuine working truck stop. They kept the name  "The Dixie Boy Truck Stop" from the film, but unfortunately, the site went bankrupt a few years later, sometime during the late 80's, and was demolished.

  • The music for the films trailer was taken from the score of "Halloween 3 : Season of the Witch".

  • Connie, the hysterical newlywed, was played by Yeardley Smith, who does the voice of Lisa in "The Simpsons".

  • During the scene where the steam roller runs over a young lad, a blood pack, which was supposed to smear blood on the roller, actually burst, giving the impression that his head had exploded. King wanted to keep this effect in the movie, but the US ratings board insisted he cut it.

  • Other scenes cut from the film, either for time/pacing reasons or because of the censors, include... more of the shoot out at the truck stop, the bible salesman getting his face cut off and a scene showing a demolished city that had been brought down by the machines. These have never been re-instated on any known release and are presumed lost.

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