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Literature / Trucks

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One day, in a small town in Nevada, trucks become sentient beings wishing to kill or enslave all the squishy meatbags. Somehow, the trucks are able to control every part of themselves, and rampage around a small truckstop. After killing several members of the cast, the trucks make it obvious what they want. To be fed by the gas station owner.

"Trucks" is a Stephen King short story from the anthology Night Shift that was later adapted into a made-for-tv movie by the same name. The story had previously been made into a much more loosely adapted movie, ironically directed by King himself, called Maximum Overdrive.


This story/movie contains examples of:

  • Drives Like Crazy: Everyone assumes this, until they finally figure out no one's driving.
  • Downer Ending: In the book, not only do the trucks emerge victorious, but the story goes out of its way to crush every single possibility of a happy ending for the humans. The tv movie on the other hand went for a....
  • Gainax Ending: The surviving humans manage to escape by helicopter. The final shot is of the survivors looking at an empty cockpit as the copter flies itself, while the voice of a character who'd left to get help says "just hang on, folks."
  • Missing Mom: The main character moved to where the movie takes place to protect his son after his wife dies. Whoops.
  • No Name Given: Most of the characters in the book go unnamed, though some versions give the narrator's name as David Murray.
  • Sentient Vehicle: A decidedly malevolent take on the trope.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After spending the whole story trying to survive and figure out a resistance strategy, it ends with the humans giving in to the trucks' demands, imagining a future dystopia where the earth is completely covered in pavement and humans exist as slaves to maintain and fuel the trucks, though its never explained just how the trucks intend to keep getting fueled if they work the humans to death (or, for that matter, what the trucks plan to do once the world's supply of fuel is used up)
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: The Yeagers. The wife complains non-stop about the cheapness of their vacation up until it becomes clear they're in a horror movie, but she seems happy to jump in bed with her husband while still complaining.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Trucker Bob is fanatically obsessed with "getting his truck back" despite it being obvious that it doesn't want to be driven.