Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986) From Tranquil Dreams

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Kim from Tranquil Dreams brings us this review on Stephen King’s only directed film, let’s see what she thinks

 

 

maximum overdrive posterDirector: Stephen King

Cast: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Holter Graham


A comet just flew over the world.  At a truck stop, a few people stop there and get stuck there when what everyone assumes is the radiation from the comet is causing the machines to start having a mind of their own.  Is it possession or is the world turning around? No one knows what is going on but they only wish that when the comet leaves, things will go back to normal.  Or else, they have no idea how long they can last stuck in the truck stop. 


maximum overdrive group

Maximum Overdrive is one of my guilty pleasures.  It was made the year I was born.  I actually didn’t know that until I was doing research for that review, or maybe I did but it slipped my mind.  Regardless, its a fun campy little movie. I’ve never read the short story that this movie is based on but with the author at the helm, there is a lot of heart.  It reflects what the story itself wanted its readers to see, at least I’m guessing that is a safe bet. Its no masterpiece and the effects are super dated with these laser-y textures and neon-ish lights for the weird comet covering the area.  On our modern day spoiled with great effects days, this movie certainly doesn’t age well but the heart in this is incredible and I think its for that I truly love it. Plus, the soundtrack is AC/DC.  I’m not huge on that usually but it was a perfect fit. 


maximum overdrive emilio estevez

The characters are also very balanced.  We have a good group of people here with different personalities that help cause a little friction.  There’s always the hero and the girl, a mean and selfish boss character, a not so righteous religious guy, a father and son story and most of all, a very memorably annoying newly wed couple.  Emilio Estevez is something like the hero here and while maybe the layout of the story gets a little messy with a ton of subplots going on, his performance is quite commendable.  In fact, some sub-characters are quite over the top.  But at times, it just gave it some laugh out loud moments. 


maximum overdrive trucks

The key to enjoying Maximum Overdrive is to not take it seriously because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.  Its about trucks and machines going crazy and coming to life.  While it does show that we have a huge reliance on machines, and its probably even more relevant now, the story is decent and a ton of fun.  Stephen King may not be making masterpiece in the director’s chair but he does have a lot of heart and we know exactly what he wants us to get from this story.  Its entertaining and an adventure even if its a little dated. Every once in a while, that’s what we need: suspend our disbeliefs a little, shut our brains off for an hour or two and just get a good laugh out of some random stuff that can happen. And that is exactly how I enjoy Maximum Overdrive

4 comments on “Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986) From Tranquil Dreams

  1. I guess I expected more scares from a movie directed by Stephen King, but for a good chunk of the movie the trucks barely do anything and they only kill a few people. The ATM machine at the start with a cameo by King is still pretty awesome

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Here’s another review of Maximum Overdrive (1986) for our October Kingathon. Let’s see if Kim of Tranquil Dreams liked this more than Darren did

  3. Reblogged this on Tranquil Dreams and commented:
    Check out my other entry into the Stephen King adaptation for Halloween Kingathon for Movie Reviews 101 and MovieRob’s blogathon during the month of October. This time, I’m talking about Maximum Overdrive and just how much I appreciate it for all its cheesy, campy turn off your brain entertaining fun 😉

  4. Great review, Kim. This is a real guilty pleasure. I have fun with it too. Some of the mayhem is just ridiculous. But I love the stuff like a killer vending machine. Plus ACDC! I wonder if the negative reaction to this flick is why Stephen King doesn’t direct any more? Good to know I’m not the only one who enjoyed this 80s cult classic.

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