Macabre...ish Horror Review: Maximum Overdrive



Maximum Overdrive, 1986/ 97 min. Based on a short story by Stephen King and directed by Stephen King. In 1987 inanimate objects come to life for 8 days as a result of a passing comet. And the machines aren’t just alive, they are aggressively, murderously alive.

Bridges raising when they shouldn’t, drink machines pelting people with drinks, lawn mowers running over anything alive, electrocutions etc. 


The movie focuses mostly on a truck stop and the people trapped there. Large trucks from everywhere arrive for fuel.


If the inhabitants of the diner are threatened with death if they do not comply. Anyone goes outside, they’re run over.


Meanwhile, other than employees and the owner, newlyweds take refuge there after a truck tries to run them over, as well as a bible salesman, a hitchhiker etc. 


Also Deke, son of one of the truck stop employees, makes the treacherous trek across town after his baseball game ends and the soda machine attacks the players, a steamroller running over one. On his way, he is stalked by an ice cream truck and chased by a lawnmower. But he doesn’t know that his Dad’s been run over by a truck after he was sprayed in the face with fuel.


Eventually a utility truck with a mounted machine gun arrives after the people in the diner resist with firearms from the owner’s stock pile, and communicates with them via Morse code. 

When the cook comes out screaming with a rocket launcher, it guns her down. Eventually those who survive sneak out of the diner through the same drainage pipe Deke came in through. Which comes out in the ditch near the Bible salesman when he was hit earlier by a semi truck. He laid there yelling for help until he finally died. 

The group escapes to the docks and they are stalked by the green goblin truck and they destroy it with a rocket, after it runs one of them over. Six days later, the comet passes and the machines stop.


This movie is typical campy, nostalgic Stephen King fare. Graphic with dark humor and right to the point. It’s a fun watch if you want something that’s not too serious. And be prepared to be annoyed by Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson). 



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