Director – Stephen King
Starring – Emilio Estevez (Young Guns, The Mighty Ducks), Pat Hingle (Batman, Sudden Impact), and Laura Harrington (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Quantum Leap)
Release Date – 1986
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 4/5
I love strange and weird movies. I grew up on a healthy dose of John Waters, Tim Burton, and USA Up All Night. When I discovered Troma it was game over. Their weird, hilarious, and off beat horror flicks really appeal to people with a taste for trash like myself. Almost all of these weird horror flicks are low to no budget because big production companies do not want to take a risk on a film that would flop at the box office.
In 1986 Stephen King would undertake one of the weirdest big budget flicks I have seen when he made his directorial debut. This sci-fi horror film starring Emilio Estevez features a sound track from rock legends AC/DC and is one of the most bonkers story I have ever seen in a theatrical release. As suspected it was panned by critics but I can’t help but love this mother fucker. Sometime back the film was released by Vestron Video on blu and I was lucky enough to get a review copy.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a truck stop owned by the greasy Hendershot (Hingle) who employees ex-cons so he can underpay them. A comet is passing over and it has turned most electronics and vehicles into homicidal killing machines. Those in the truck stop barricade themselves inside but they soon realize that they wont last long shacked up inside and must fight off an onslaught of killer semis, dozers, and military vehicles.**Spoiler Alert**
I can see why most movie goers disliked the film but as a fan of horror I absolutely loved it. It had some great characters, some unforgettable moments, and the story has some solid pacing. Honestly, as I sit here and type this I have to say that this is one of my favorite horror flicks and probably my favorite King adaptation. After saying that I expect the comment section to fill up with comments about how I’m not a real horror fan. If you want a good King adaptation then you get King to make it himself if you ask me.
I loved the acting in this one. I forgot how great of an actor Estevez. I know that many dislike him but I love him in almost every movie I’ve seen him in. He’s an amazing actor and his lack of emotions in this film really worked for his character. He is a former criminal after all and most criminals detach themselves from their emotions. I also really enjoyed Pat Hingle’s performance as well. His slimeball business owner character had to be written for him. He seemed to be having fun with it and it showed in every scene. The film is full of memorable characters and the cast does a great job at bringing those to life.
The story for this one is just so god damn fun. The thought that our electronics and vehicles, the things we rely on daily, coming to life and killing us is down right terrifying. There is several plot holes with this but for a late night horror flick it works very well. The film keeps a good pacing and the action is evenly paced through out the film.
Finally, the film has several deaths with plenty of blood but gore hounds will not be happy. The kills we get are what you would expect from killer semis along with some very bloody gun kills. The practical effects we get are great but the visual effects are very outdated and stand out horribly. They did not age well. Overall, Maximum Overdrive is just a fun movie. It does have it’s faults but you can’t help but love it. I highly recommend grabbing the blu from Vestron Video.
Behind the Scenes Footage