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Truck Driver Movies: Maximum Overdrive (1986)


Stephen King Maximum Overdrive
Ladies and gentlemen, the man responsible for this particular cinematic sin.

Hey truck drivers! We’re back with another episode of our long running series Truck Driver Movies. Here we look at some of the silver screen greats that portray truckers as heroes, crime fighters, fathers and yes, even villains. For this episode, however, there are lots of trucks, but no drivers! What happened? Stephen King’s drug habit happened, for one.

Stephen King is one of the most popular horror and suspense authors in the world. He’s literally sold a book to everyone on the planet at one time or another. His classic tales of outcasts, sympathetic characters, creeping monsters and apocalyptic visions have become American icons. He’s talented and ambitious, for sure. Depending on who you ask, he may be a swindler or a genius.

King has also written quite a few stories about machines that have lives of their own. His most famous big screen gem was the 1983 film “Christine” about a classic Plymouth Fury possessed by dark forces who torment but also protect a young man from harm. The book and film were both a hit.

Maximum Overdrive was not a hit.

The movie is based on a short story King wrote for his Night Shift anthology, called “Trucks.” The story was popular because it didn’t do a whole lot to try and explain what was happening when semi trucks went on a murderous rampage across the Eastern seaboard. The unknown provided lots of tension and readers really felt the fear of the characters within the story. For the movie, King decided to blame it on a comet tail. You know, because ice and dust that dislodge from comets have such magical properties. The film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Director for Stephen King and Worst Actor for Emilio Estevez in 1987. In the book Hollywood’s Stephen King, the author stated that he was “coked out of his mind all through its production, and really didn’t know what he was doing.” No kidding.

So here come the trucks, and this time it’s personal. In fact, most machines in the movie rebel in some manner. Yep, horrifying. Maximum Overdrive has at least one thing going for it, a great hard rock sound track from AC/DC. So while you watch Emilio Estevez and Laura Harrington over act, at least you can get your groove on.

So here it is, in its entirety. We hope you enjoy it, but you probably won’t. ‘Til next time, truck drivers!

Truck Driver Films Maximum Overdrive
This was considered scary in 1986, says no one ever.



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