Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986)


Director: Stephen King

Writer: Stephen King

Emilio Estevez, Stephen King (cameo)

Plot: When a comet passes through Earth, electronic devices (lawnmowers, electric signs, ATM machines, you name it!) start to move and decide to kill every organic being on the planet.

The film starts with a man (Stephen King) trying to withdraw some money from an ATM machine. But instead of dispensing some cash, the machine calls him “an a**hole.” From that point, everything went from bad to absolute madness in no time at all, as everything that was once useful to mankind started their assault: lawnmowers started shredding dogs, drawbridges began raising their pathways even when cars were still crossing, and electronics started electrocuting everyone. In one scene, a vending machine kills a man by shooting canned sodas at his groin and skull.

Mobile phones were hard to come by back in the late 80s but god knows what would have happened if they were prevalent in Maximum Overdrive. Apart from the power of the Internet, almost everything can now be executed using apps via smart gadgets. Gaming Realms, an entertainment provider that gave life to recreational site Pocket Fruity Humanity’s chances for survival in the movie are slim until an ex-convict by the name of Bill Robinson (Emilio Estevez) appears. When Bill sees a black truck with a Green Goblin mask running over people, he knew he had to do something.

Robinson rallies all the survivors and commands them to fight back using the firearms they discovered in a hidden bunker. Of course, the trucks annihilate most of the humans. At some point during the film, the trucks needed to get their gas tanks refilled and that’s where the tide of the battle changed in favor of the humans.

In a conversation with the trucks that can only be channeled through Morse code, the humans agreed to pump diesel into their tanks in exchange for safety. Distracted by the refueling of their tanks, Robinson pulls the pin of a grenade, puts the explosive inside a vehicle, destroys it, and then uses the commotion to lead the party of survivors to safety.

Actor Review 

Emilio Estevez: This wasn’t one of his finest moments unlike the mainstream success he had with The Mighty Ducks franchise. He was given a Golden Raspberry Award Nomination for the “Worst actor in a film,” for his role in Maximum Overdride. It’s like watching Jean Claude Van Damme in a rom-com. It’s awkward, and Estevez just isn’t the right person to lead a band of survivors against evil machines in this would-be horror movie.

Stephen King: In all honesty, King should’ve just stayed behind the camera. But perhaps the reason for his cameo was to help build the profile of the film, which he later admitted was the worst adaptation of his career.

Director Review: Maximum Overdrive is the perfect example why movie adaptations should tread lightly. Not everything that can be masterfully explained through words can be converted to the silver screen.

Horror: Horror? More like comedy (1/10)

Thriller: At some point, you’ll be expecting to see some new form of killing that a random electronic gadget will execute… (5/10)

Setting: Maximum Overdrive couldn’t have chosen a more perfect setting for a film: a forgettable US-based city filled with forgettable characters (2/10)

Suggestion: It’s so bad it’s like it was if a B-movie director made it. It’s something that you’d want to watch with your mates who are looking for something to amuse them.

Best Part: The end credits

Worst Part: Deciding to see this movie because it has the Stephen King name on it.

Kill Of The Film: A kid being electrocuted by an arcade machine. The part where he instantly gets pulled away by the shock is hilarious.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Please no.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar To: Sharknado

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $7.4 Million

Budget: $9 Million

Runtime: 97 Minutes

Tagline: Stephen King’s Masterpiece of Terror Directed by the Master Himself

Overall: Don’t waste 97 minutes of your life.

Rating: 5%

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Here’s yet another review of Maximum Overdrive (1986). This time it’s being reviewed by an anonymous reviewer, so tnx Anon!

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