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Trivia / Maximum Overdrive

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $10 million. Box office, $7.4 million. Thus King vowed to never direct another theatrical film again.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: Long after the film's release, "Who Made Who" still gets play on rock radio stations and is one of AC/DC's more well-known songs.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Stephen King himself once referred to the film as a "moron movie".
    • Emilio Estevez called the film the one he regrets doing the most in his career. He also has said that his mother literally asked him why he did it, and when he answered that it was a chance to work with King, she shot back "Couldn't you have helped him paint his house?"
  • Creator Killer: Played with; while the film did nothing to stymie King's illustrious career as an author, its failure pretty much banned him from the director's chair in Hollywood.
  • Deleted Scene: Quite a few that can be read about in detail here. The most infamous one being the extended steamroller sequence.
  • Old Shame: Stephen King likes to say that everyone makes mistakes now and then - "I directed Maximum Overdrive, I know what I'm talking about." He also agrees with most people that he should not have been so coked up while making it. Yeardley Smith reportedly isn't fond of being in it herself, though it seems to be an aversion these days as she was willing to be interviewed for the Blu-ray.
  • On-Set Injury: The director of photography Armando Nannuzzi was seriously injured when a radio-controlled lawnmower used in a scene went out of control and struck a block of wood used as a camera support, shooting out wood splinters. The splinters were fired at Nannuzzi's face, resulting in him losing an eye. He sued Stephen King for $18 million in damages due to unsafe working practices. The suit was settled out of court.
  • Self-Adaptation: Stephen King made the movie, loosely based on his own short story "Trucks" from Night Shift. He even released a trailer in which he directly addressed the viewer, boasting that if you want something done right, you've gotta do it yourself. It's the only movie based on his stories that he personally directed and reception was pretty negative, an opinion King himself later agreed with. By his own admission, he was also drugged out of his mind for most of the shoot, and it's pretty obvious that he's still heavily rattled in the trailer.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The scene where one of the little league kids gets run over feet first by a steamroller was bowdlerised from the original production cut. The mannequin used for the steamroller to run over had a bag filled with fake blood placed next to its head in order to add to the gore. However, what the crew didn't expect was for the head of the mannequin to explode into a huge mess of fake blood and gore. The crew loved it, but the censors found it too graphic, and ordered for the shot to be cut (though at least one frame of the original scene can still be seen).
    • The original scripted ending had the Dixie Boy survivors deal with one last obstacle before escaping, a machine gun mounted coast guard boat. There was also to be one last shot of the city of Wilmington being destroyed by the machines (rumored to have been done via a matte painting).
    • This film, along with Manhunter the same year, were originally going to be the last two films that producer Dino De Laurentiis would make with his deal with MGM. However, Dino decided to distribute both films by his own production company De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (originally Embassy Pictures), effectively halting the deal until the 1990s.
    • Before De Laurentiis got the rights, a British filmmaker named Milton Subotsky had planned to adapt Trucks, The Lawnmower Man, and The Mangler into an anthology film called The Machines. A script was drafted but finances weren't secured.
    • Gary Busey was interested in starring in the film.