238 user 114 critic

Maximum Overdrive (1986)

1:23 | Trailer
A group of people try to survive when machines start to come alive and become homicidal.


Stephen King


Stephen King (film by), Stephen King (written for the screen by)
2,627 ( 1,268)
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Emilio Estevez ... Bill Robinson
Pat Hingle ... Hendershot
Laura Harrington ... Brett
Yeardley Smith ... Connie
John Short ... Curt
Ellen McElduff ... Wanda June
J.C. Quinn ... Duncan
Christopher Murney ... Camp Loman
Holter Graham ... Deke
Frankie Faison ... Handy
Pat Miller Pat Miller ... Joe
Jack Canon Jack Canon ... Max
Larry Parks Larry Parks ... Steve (as Barry Bell)
John Brasington John Brasington ... Frank
J. Don Ferguson ... Andy


When Earth passes through the tail of Rea-M rogue comet, the machines come to life and start to kill mankind. A group of survivors is under siege from fierce trucks at the Dixie Boy truck stop gas station and they have to fight to survive. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The day horror went into overdrive. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Gary Busey was interested in starring in the film. See more »


When the diesel pump goes feral and sprays Duncan in the face, the fuel that comes out of the nozzle is a dirty gray-black in color. Raw, undyed diesel fuel's color ranges from clear to light amber; the Dixie Boy's pumps would have been full of undyed diesel, since the government hadn't mandated dying it different colors for different uses. Even when coloring of diesel fuel became law, the three colors were red, white (clear/yellow), and blue. See more »


[first lines]
Man At Cashpoint: Honey, come on over here, sugarbuns. This machine just called me an asshole.
See more »

Alternate Versions

King's thoughts and further info on these cuts can be read in the book "The Lost Work of Stephen King" by Stephen J. Spignesi. See more »


Referenced in Castle: The Fifth Bullet (2009) See more »


Chase The Ace
Written by Angus Young and Malcolm Young
Performed by AC/DC
Written in 1986
Written especially for Maximum Overdrive
See more »

User Reviews

4 September 2003 | by FiendishDramaturgySee all my reviews

Excellent Thriller!!

Although there is some shaky, hesitant and stiff acting in this production, it still stands as one of the best adaptations of Stephen King's literary works.

While it does stray a bit from the original work, it has earned its place in the genre of horror as a "Classic." To the accompanying heavy metal of AC/DC blasting in the background, killer trucks and other machines take over a small town truck stop, terrorizing those within, and killing any/every one without.

While some of the performances were amateurish, this movie SOARS above the "recent" remake of the same original work, entitled, "Trucks." Written, rewritten and directed by King, this movie is a surprisingly wonderful adaptation of his work. To date, his adaptations have been rather puerile and mellow compared to his original literary publications. This will be a very pleasant surprise following the absolutely horrid Made For TV Version of "The Shining," (1997).

While Emilio Estevez is not among my favorite top 500 actors, he carries this film rather well, but it's Yeardley Smith who makes the movie. Her wonderfully comedic little voice screaming out, "Curtis!! Are you DAY-YED??!!" She is what makes Maximum Overdrive fun. AC/DC and killer trucks take a back seat to her performance. Loved it. Own it.

It gets a solid 8/10 on the "B" scale.

That's a 6.6/10 on the "A" scale, from...

the Fiend :.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

25 July 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Overdrive See more »

Filming Locations:

Supply, North Carolina, USA See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,205,644, 27 July 1986

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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