Stephen King directs Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle and Laura Harrington in this sci-fi thriller siege movie where machines, especially trucks, start killing off humanity and one gas station stands alone in the fight to survive.
Much better than its stinky reputation – this delivers everything you want from the premise. Essentially Dawn Of The Dead with an AC/DC soundtrack and a lot of trucks instead of zombies. Yeah, the movie probably does get a little distracted by the 18-wheelers. The first act where anything and anything electrical can kill you is easily the best. But the rest of the movie is perfectly adequate Saturday night second rental fodder. Estevez makes for a fine anti-hero. There are some decent set-pieces and a great grafting montage sequence where they broker peace with the killer vehicles. The bad boss truck, a Green Goblin Toy delivery truck, is pretty iconic. I think the main issue some have with Maximum Overdrive is with some of its more extreme choices at the the peripheries of what works. Kids die graphically, everyone is sweaty, fat characters who take dumps sweat even more, most walls are stained or covered in ripped centrefolds, both Yeardley Smith and Ellen McElduff put in screechy, histrionic performances. So Maximum Overdrive is abrasive, it has snags the critics can get caught up on to easily. The core is robust. It still delivers energetic horror and hits the spot.
Perfect Double Bill: Repo Man (1984)
My wife and I do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/