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Maximum Overdrive (1986)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
Genres:
Horror, Psychological Thriller, Sci-Fi Action
Director:
Stephen King Stephen King
Starring:
Emilio Estevez Emilio Estevez
Pat Hingle Pat Hingle
Laura Harrington Laura Harrington
Yeardley Smith Yeardley Smith
John Short John Short

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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When a comet passes close to the earth, machines all over the world come alive and go on homicidal rampages. A group of people at a desolate truck stop are held hostage by a gang of homicidal 18-wheelers. The frightened people set out to defeat the killer machines... or be killed by them. --TMDb
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Review by Nirrad
Added: August 17, 2009
Personally, I'm not the biggest Stephen King fan. I could care less about his books, and I don't plan on reading a single one of them. However, I have enjoyed some of his movie adaptations like "Stand By Me" and "Shawshank Redemption". I do recognize his talents though, but like I said, I'm just not that into him. When I was a kid, a friend of mine told me about a movie where machines come alive and begin to kill off the human race. This sounded absolutely amazing to me and I just had to see it. That movie was called "Maximum Overdrive."

One night a comet begins to pass Earth, and as our planet entered the tail of the comet, machines started to come to life and attack humans whenever possible. Left and right people begin to be killed off in creative ways from things like walkmans, lawnmowers and even a soda pop machine. But the main problem appears to be transport trucks. One day a trucker pulls up to a truck stop for something to eat. As he stays, local employee and "bad boy" Bill (Emilio Estevez) begins to realize that something odd is going on. It's not until one of his co-workers gets killed by a truck that they realize all hell has broken loose. As more and more trucks begin to appear at the truck stop, the people trapped inside begin dropping one by one. However, all vehicles need gas to run, right? Well the "leader" truck (equipped with the head of the Green Goblin) calls in a machine gun mounted on a jeep, and it forces them to fill up each vehicle within the area so that they can survive. Bill and his gang have another plan, and they refuse to help these machines any longer. So there's only one thing to do. Blow them up!

You really need to watch "Maximum Overdrive" with an open mind. I mean, it's really far fetched and quite unbelievable in the first place. A comets' tail bringing machines to life for a week? Please. I also like the fact that the explanation at the end of the movie is different than what we are told at the beginning. I guess King wasn't paying attention. But considering what we're dealing with, I don't think it matters at all. I personally love the blend of genres that this offers. We're treated to comedy, action, and horror. I almost want to take horror off the list, because save for a few deaths, it really isn't horror. I guess they kind of failed in that department. But it does deliver with the other two though which is OK in my book. About halfway through the movie, we are treated to explosions, gun fire and car chases in just about every scene. Now if that doesn't get your heart pumpin', then I don't know what will. I was actually amazed by the action because this movie had little to no budget and there are some nice explosions to be found. I don't want to ruin too much, but a certain building blows up and the explosion is probably on par with what you would find in a "Die Hard" movie. As for the comedy, it delivers in both intentional and unintentional laughs. I personally found myself laughing at the most random scenes simply because some of the accents were hilarious. I guess they are from Delaware.

I really can't say much about the acting. It was pretty bad for the most part, maybe with the exception of Emilio, but that might be a stretch. The problem here is that they are forced to deal with a completely terrible script. Each character spews out stupid line after stupid line. It literally makes the characters seem like a bunch of morons, and it's too bad because it really could have helped the movie out a little bit if we actually cared about them. But instead they die and we just shrug it off and think nothing about it. A little boy's father dies quite early in the film, and while we should feel sympathy for the character, we just simply don't care. The problem is that these characters are so one dimensional. We don't know anything about them except for some stupid side story involving Emilio's character, which we STILL don't even care for. Maybe it's just me, but kill them all off, even the kids and I wouldn't care. One thing that can completely draw you to this movie, and turn you away is the soundtrack. If you love AC/DC then you will love, and I mean love the soundtrack because that's all it is. Every scene is just one song followed by another. I'm not a big fan of AC/DC, but I must say that it fits this movie perfectly. I caught myself bobbing my head, rocking out to each scene plenty of times.

"Maximum Overdrive" is not good, but it's not bad either. It's a tough movie to score because it delivers on action, comedy and music, and can be quite enjoyable, but it fails with the gore, dialogue and directing (sorry Stephen). There were some scenes cut so that they could achieve an R rating, and judging by the description of those scenes cut, it would have made this movie a hell of a lot better. In the end, "Maximum Overdrive" is still OK in my book!

6.5/10.
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grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 08/17/2009, 10:10 PM
This is one of my favorites, brings back so many memories from my childhood. Love it. 9/10
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