"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.
- 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!"
- Car Meets House
- Closed Circle: the truck stop
- 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 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.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: WE! MADE! YOU!
- Recycled In SPACE: Maximum Overdrive is George A. Romero's Zombie trilogy WITH TRUCKS!!
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Happy Toyz truck's Green Goblin mask can have its eyes glow red.
- The Scourge of God: The creepy, lecherous Bible salesman.
- Self-Deprecation: Combined with Creator Cameo.
"This machine just called me an asshole!"
- Sentient Vehicle
- Signature Style: Bill's "the comet is a broom" speech is typical King.
- Squashed Flat: With a steamroller no less.
- 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.
- 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.