Perfectly campy if nothing else Aug 1, 2008
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.