Critic Reviews



Based on 8 critic reviews provided by
Miami Herald
Maximum Overdrive is the classic botch. Good idea, nice effects, bad pacing, porous script, no punch...Too bad. As usual, the premise has promise. [26 July 1986, p.C1]
Maximum Overdrive offers a variation on what has become a hopelessly hackneyed theme -- technology as monster. As long as King is tinkering with his crazed machines, the film sustains a certain amount of ominous tension, but as soon as the author turns his attention to his actors, the movie's slender storyline goes limp. It's dreary to the max.
For the most part, [King] has taken a promising notion - our dependence on our machines - and turned it into one long car-crunch movie, wheezing from setups to crackups.
A loud, obnoxious, single-idea schlocker...There's carnage galore, but minimal interest. King himself described it as a 'wonderful moron picture', and he was half-right.
Master manipulator Stephen King, making his directoral debut from his own script, fails to create a convincing enough environment to make the kind of nonsense he's offering here believable or fun.
Chicago Tribune
A mess of a movie, a no chills nightmare about what happens to a group of rubes at a Carolina truck stop when the machines go nuts. [29 July 1986, p.3]
MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE doesn't work on any level. As a comedy it's obvious and asinine, as a horror film it's simply not scary, and as an action film it's a bore.
Washington Post
Watching Maximum Overdrive is like sitting alongside a 3-year-old as he skids his Tonka trucks across the living room floor and says "Whee!" except on a somewhat grander scale...It's hard to even imagine a movie so impeccably devoid of everything a movie ought to include. [29 July 1986, p.C2]

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