Who made who, who made you....
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself."Maximum Overdrive
is a horror film written and directed by Stephen King
based on his short story "Trucks
" from the Night Shift
collection. The same short story was later adapted into a Made-for-TV Movie
The movie centers around people trapped in a truck stop, surrounded by homicidal trucks and other vehicles who have gained sentience from radiation produced by a comet close to earth.
Yeah, it's one of those So Bad, It's Good
films, but at least the whole soundtrack is made of AC/DC
Later King claimed that he was coked out of his mind while making this film
. This explains a lot.
This film contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion
- America Saves the Day: Inverted as in the end. It is a Soviet "weather satellite" which destroys the UFO hiding in the comet causing all the trouble.
- Artistic License: This movie requires some MST3K Mantra ("It's just a show") due to a lack of Consistency in exactly what is a machine that can come to life. Some mechanical items should be "alive" but aren't (like cars and the mechanical parts of the aresenal of weapons), and some things that really shouldn't be alive are (the side-view mirror moving, the valve on the gas refill truck, the swivel for the small military car's machine gun).
- Attack Of The Killer What Ever: Trucks, household appliances, you name it.
- Bad Humor Truck: One of the vehicles.
- Bond One-Liner:
Bill: Adios, motherfucker!
Bubba: That one's deported for sure!
- The Cameo: Bandmembers of AC/DC appear briefly on a boat in the bridge scene.
- Stephen King appears briefly as the man using ATM machine in the opening.
- Car Meets House
- Closed Circle: The truck stop.
- Completely Different Title: In Italy, the film was titled Brivido ("Shiver").
- Contrived Coincidence: The boy who just arrived knows Morse code.
- Cool Mask: The Green Goblin mask on the Kidz Toyz truck.
- Creator Cameo: That was King at the ATM machine in the opening sequence.
- Death by Materialism
- Everyone Knows Morse: When the military vehicle starts honking its horn, Deke recognizes that it's using morse code.
- Eye Scream: Duncan gets an eyeful of gasoline.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The mask on the Kidz Toyz truck has them.
- Groin Attack: One soda machine does this.
- Homicide Machines: The vending machine scene is one of the most memorable instances of this.
- How Many Fingers?: Said to Duncan after he got gasoline into his eyes.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: As with the other Stephen King filmations.
- Infant Immortality: Averted in the steamroller scene and played straight on Deke.
- Marionette Master: Stephen King on one of the posters◊.
- More Dakka: Hendershot's gun collection in the truck stop's basement and at one point serves this puprpose for the protagonists.
- At one point, the trucks call an armed military vehicle for assistance.
- Plug 'n' Play Technology: Kind of a weird partial example. There's no actual interfacing of differing technologies per se, but the weird alien radiation which animates the Earth's gadgets does endow those gadgets with some unexpected abilities — such as the ability to see/sense humans, or to move independently even with no built-in means of locomotion. In the short story, at least, the "alien ray" was supernatural.
- Pop Star Composer: Soundtack in its entirety is made from AC/DC songs.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "WE! MADE! YOU!"
- Recycled In SPACE: Maximum Overdrive is George A. Romero's Zombie trilogy WITH TRUCKS!!
- Recycled Trailer Music: The trailer uses "Chariots of Pumpkins" from Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Happy Toyz truck's Green Goblin mask red glowing eyes.
- Scenery Gorn: At one point, Deke slowly rides his bicycle through the streets of a neighborhood littered with bloody, butchered corpses. Even with the incongruous rock soundtrack, it's one of the more effective and properly disturbing parts of the film.
- Self-Deprecation: Combined with Creator Cameo.
This machine just called me an asshole!
- Sentient Vehicle
- Shout-Out: The light aircraft flying recon for the trucks is playing "Flight of the Valkyries" on its radio.
- Signature Style: Bill's "the comet is a broom" speech is typical King.
- Squashed Flat: One of the junior baseball player is flattened by a steamroller.
- Stealth Parody / Parody Retcon: After the movie was released, King claimed he had intended to film a modern B-Movie.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Title Drop
- Trash the Set: Fate of the Dixie Boy truck stop.
- Up to Eleven: In an MTV spot advertising the film's release, King said he asked cinema houses to play the sound as loud as possible when showing his film Maximum Overdrive—so it would be the loudest movie ever.
- Vengeful Vending Machine:
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Subverted - Stephen King claims it was.
- Your Head Asplode: This happened to the steamroller victim, but it was cut.
- Rumor says that George A. Romero actually threw up at this scene when invited to a test screening.