Bullet Points: Maximum Overdrive
My first thoughts after finishing it was that Maximum Overdrive still holds up after all of these years. Fifty years from now, when the machines have taken over our civilization, the clone of Donald Trump will rise up from its hidden underground headquarters and blast this film onto a big projection screen, thereby showing all the subjugated humans that the spirit of humanity will never be extinguished. That living under the yoke of a bunch of stainless steel assclowns is no way to live at all. God Bless America and God Bless the clone of Emperor Donald Trump!
Synopsis: After a comet passes close to the Earth a series of incidents involving machines turns into a full-fledged post apocalyptic nightmare. Everything from a sewing machine, a toaster oven, and a lawnmower all the way to a big rig truck becomes intent on killing humans. A small group of survivors hole up in a truck stop along a busy highway; their only chance at living through the weeklong astrological event is to fight back against the very machines that they helped create.
Gordon Bombay and a Series of Unfortunate Events: Poor little Emilio is just trying to cook some eggs when a whole bunch of 18 wheelers start running people down. He’s stuck working under the awesome Pat Hingle (working 9 hrs for 8 hrs pay!), who has not surprisingly accumulated one hell of an arsenal in the basement of his truck stop.
Hello Laura: I don’t know actress Laura Harrington from any other movies but she had me smitten for the duration of the film. She starts out like most young women in 80’s movies; hitchhiking her way to God knows where, getting hit on by weird Bible salesmen and occasionally hitting on dudes who look like that guy from Young Guns. Emilio did such a good job in this movie that I barely noticed that he was three inches shorter than Laura.
Mowers, and Hair Dryers, and Vending Machines, Oh My: Competing with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Maximum Overdrive kills people in a grand multitude of ways. The lawn mower was an easy choice but whoever decided to show the deceased bodies of those killed by the headphones and the hair dryer is true genius. Sorry to all the animal lovers but my favorite was the slow scroll across the screen to the dog killed by the toy police car.
I Love You AC/DC: Maximum Overdrive is the only movie on planet Earth that can say that its entire soundtrack is done by AC/DC. Well, that isn’t entirely true. There are two instances in the film where the songs aren’t performed by the band but they are short scenes and I choose to forget them. Stephen King apparently sang an entire song in front of the band, thereby convincing them that he was a huge fan and not above humiliating himself in front of a bunch of rock ‘n rollers to get them to play for his movie. The band created the song “Who Made Who” for the movie, which was from the album of the same name. The album was actually the soundtrack to the movie but most people thought it was a Greatest Hits compilation and eventually they changed it to remove the movie’s name from the cover.
Not Another Haven: Why does every single movie where some bad shit goes down have to have some safe place for the survivors to run off to? Can’t they at least come up with a better name than “Haven”? Lazy.
Calm down folks, there are more Bullet Points.
- When Stephen King was asked why he hasn’t made another movie he replied, “Just watch Maximum Overdrive“.
- King also confirmed what we could have probably guess, he was “coked out of his mind” during filming.
- King has admitted that this is the worst adaptation of one of his works.
- The filmmakers wanted Bruce Springsteen for the lead.
- There was an ending that showed the survivors fleeing on the boat only to have a Coast Guard ship with machine guns attack them.
The Verdict: Maximum Overdrive is a classic. Not a classic like The Godfather or Predator, but no other movie featuring children being killed by steam rollers and ice cream trucks can also be so lighthearted at the same time. It’s hard not to have fun watching this film. Don’t even try to question the events of the film. Remember that the mysterious comet is to blame and there’s no need to dig deep for bigger meaning behind what happens. Also, cocaine.