Writer-director Stephen King falls short in his debut at the helm with Maximum Overdrive, an absurd tale about a radiation storm that somehow animates machines across the world, causing them to turn on their makers. The film focuses on a group of survivors held captive at the Dixie Boy Diner by a group of bad-tempered semis. Led by Emilio Estevez, ...
Writer-director Stephen King falls short in his debut at the helm with Maximum Overdrive, an absurd tale about a radiation storm that somehow animates machines across the world, causing them to turn on their makers. The film focuses on a group of survivors held captive at the Dixie Boy Diner by a group of bad-tempered semis. Led by Emilio Estevez, the diner-goers do their impression of Ten Little Indians, waiting their turn until each gets bumped off one by one. There are holes in the plot big enough for the semis to drive through; for example, why don't the trucks run over the diner at the start of the film rather than wait for 90 minutes? Jeremy Beday, Rovi
Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short. Good in good packaging. Language: English. Run time: 97 mins. Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1. Originally released: 1986. DVD/BLU-RAY (B71816CDVD) PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY: This sale is for (SET OF 1 DVD s MOVIE). This DVD s May Contains minor visible Scratches) DVD Case is (Good) a little DVDs Holding tab is (Good). This case is not Missing Cover pamphlet. DVD Contains may Marking Apply ON the Discs or on the case. If you are received the item and you are not at most 65% satisfied with this item, your purchase refund guarantee.
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Maximum Overdrive is Stephen King's first - and thankfully final - foray into directing. Certainly, nothing he tried to do made the movie any good. He himself even admitted it was a disaster. But this movie is, admittedly, hilariously campy, and full of fantastically stilted dialogue and acting, and a premise perhaps unmatched in made-for-TV style. To be brief, machines (with a focus on trucks) have suddenly become sentient with a genocidal streak. A team of likables and unlikables have assembled into a diner to try and survive.
Sometimes it's hard to see if Stephen King is shooting for a film that goes beyond the superficial camp so obviously there. At some points, a theme (does man really have control over machine?) tries weakly to break through and add some depth, only to be shoved aside as the next victim gets rammed by a semi-trailer and blood splatters everywhere. And this, of course, is why I can't give this film more than three stars. Camp is good for a laugh, and MST3K made a good show out of it, but it isn't filling. After about 45 minutes, I grew tired of the movie, and I realized how hollow it really was. The only reason I didn't shut it off was because I was in company.
Your enjoyment of the movie will have nothing to do with the quality of the movie but for how long you can stomach it. If you like superficial, campy laughs, by all means - it's hilarious. Otherwise stay away.