Maximum Overdrive (1986) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
217 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
"Who made Who?"
Backlash00730 August 2002
For those of us who like Maximum Overdrive, we are apparently in the minority. I view it as a funny and entertaining, B-grade action/sci-fi flick. There's mass destruction and tons of carnage as everything on-screen is blown to bits...plus it's got Emilio Estevez. What's better than that? The movie does require major suspension of disbelief as some of the story elements don't work (for example: the honeymooner's car works just fine, but every other machine on earth, from lawn-mowers, electric knives, trucks, and even steam-rollers, go haywire). But then again, this movie is all about fun. The best part of the movie (besides Emilio) is that no one is shown any sympathy...not even kids; in one stand-out scene, a steam-roller comes out of nowhere and completely squashes this innocent kid. Maximum Overdrive is a cool and outrageous cult classic that Stephen King should be proud of. Sadly, I feel that King will never direct again.

Note for genre buffs: C.H.U.D. alumni Frankie Faison and J.C. Quinn star in the movie. King himself also cameos as the ATM guy.
67 out of 75 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
just for fun
mcfly-3115 July 1999
Yes its stupid, yes its dumb, yes its whatever negative word you might wanna say, but if you want silly action, this is for you. After a comet passes over earth it leaves some of its demonic haze surrounding the planet. This particular haze takes control of machines, making them deadly killers (for whatever reason). A group of people trying to stay alive hold up at the Dixie Boy truck stop. Some dumb enough to stray from the inside get knocked off, others devise a plan to escape someplace where they can wait out the possession of the comet. Its not the most complex of plots of course, but if you like watching stuff get blown up or people hit by cars or trucks, or watching little leaguers getting neatly pressed by steamrollers, this delivers. (Yes, really, a steamroller).
50 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
HOORAH, STEAM ROLLER!!!!
BSchin218814 June 2003
Get sick of movies with intricate plots, outstanding acting, and multiple Academy Award nominations? Then go grab Maximum Overdrive! 90 minutes of mindless truck attacks, rocket launchers and A STEAM ROLLER RUNNING OVER A LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER!!! Now, most readers are probably thinking that this is a pretty sick review, but keep in mind that this is A MOVIE. Not real life. Even with all of this in mind, I think it is fair to say that Stephen King did a fair job with the directing. It's by no means fantastic, but it is far better done than most Cult Classic, B-flicks. Happy watching!
41 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
A guilty pleasure.
Aaron13757 March 2003
Oh, how I wished I hated this movie. However, I don't...I actually enjoy this movie a lot. All the critics hate it, most people I talk to hate it, but I like it. Maybe it is the cool AC/DC soundtrack...I don't know. The action is pretty good and there are some pretty good kills in this one, though it isn't anything that is very scary at all. A couple of the scenes are annoying, but for the most part I enjoy this take on the King short story "Trucks". This one has the machines of the world suddenly turning on humans, though in the end it is mainly trucks that are featured. Survivors at a gas station are stranded there as the trucks circle the facility. They have to find a way out or else. This isn't a movie that is worthy of awards or something, but I think it is a fun movie to watch.
54 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Not too shabby
baehr7619 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I grew up with this movie and always have found it quite entertaining. NO, it's not an Oscar contender, but it's funny as hell. The earth gets caught in the tail of some crazy comet and machines start going wack. You have everything from trucks going AWOL and attacking innocent people to an ARMY machine gunner thing that starts tearing people to pieces. It's AWESOME!!! The scene with vending machines alone is worth the price of admission. These crazy vending machines start attacking these kids by shooting out cans at mach speed. It's hilarious. I also loved the soundtrack. I mean AC/DC...Are you kidding me? The whole movie is like an AC/DC concert and as those of us who have been to an AC/DC concert can verify, this is certainly a treat.
14 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
An all-time underrated comedy...
tedwilliams2 December 2004
Hey, can't Big Steve have a little fun, too? I don't think this was a "so bad it's funny" movie - it's too well done to have been constructed as anything but a real comedy. Viewing this in the context of a traditional horror/slasher movie doesn't do it justice, and with deference to previous reviewers, trying to analyze the technical feasibility of the antics of the machines is a lot like making a big deal about pointing out the historical inaccuracies in Monty Python and the Holy Grail - why? It's a MOVIE, folks, and the liberties Our Most Televised Red Sox Fan takes with the things machines can do make it a damned funny one at that. The scenes, characters, and quotes are a notch below the aforementioned Grail, Spinal Tap, or Clerks, but still classic. (I've been caught by more than one co-worker standing at my desk screaming "WE MADE YOU!" at my laptop, but hey, to each his own.) Five out of five stars, as long as you come in with the right perspective!
49 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Just the soundtrack makes it worth watching !
Ronald Panis10 March 2006
I really cannot understand why this movie has such a bad overall rating. According to me a movie doesn't have to have a great plot or so to be appealing. First of all I like the movie for the soundtrack by AC/DC. Actually, I learned to know the music of them by watching this movie. The 'Who made Who' theme song conducts the beginning of the movie excellent when a traffic bridge is starting to open beyond human control. The same goes for the other songs in the movie - they really add. Secondly I like the movie for the humor in it. It's not a comedy but some scenes made me laugh - like the bible sales man who gets mad when his car is hit by a truck and he runs outside the roadhouse - cursing like hell; the truck hits him into a sewer and his shoes stay behind. Or the beginning of the movie in which you see a guy withdrawing money from an ATM and on the screen the message appears 'you're an *sshole'. 'Sugar buns, this thing is calling me an *sshole !' If you watch closely you might also notice just before this scene a digital clock on the building on which the time changes into F*CK YOU. Maybe I'm just simple but I like the movie. Better than some not understandable romantic drama if you'd ask me.
26 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Silly, Campy, Funny and Highly Entertaining Movie with a Great Soundtrack
Claudio Carvalho15 March 2015
When Earth passes through the tail of Rea-M rogue comet, the machines come to life and threaten and kill the mankind. A group of survivors is under siege of fierce trucks in the Dixie Boy truck stop in a gas station and they have to fight to survive.

"Maximum Overdrive" is a silly, campy, funny and highly entertaining movie by Stephen King with a great soundtrack by AC/DC. Despite the awful story, acting and direction, I saw this cult movie again yesterday afternoon and it makes laugh so stupid it is. Fortunately Stephen King has given up directing movies. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Comboio do Terror" ("Convoy of Terror")
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Extremely stupid but entertaining junk movie.
Lucien Lessard26 August 2005
When an invisible force of Aliens takes over the world in over a week. The force uses the machines to attack on the whole population of the world. The force uses all kinds of things, especially-Trucks. When Citizens and Co-Workers of the Dixie Boy Truck Stop, the people ended up fighting for their lives.

Written & Directed by Stephen King (Screen-writer of Cat's Eye, Silver Bullet, Sleepwalkers) made a dumb but entertaining film. The film's stars:Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington and Yeardley Smith (Who voiced Lisa Simpson in the animated hit show "The Simpsons"). This was a box office flop on it's release. This is still today, extremely underrated but it's not the worst-Stephen King film yet.

DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an digitally remastered-Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The Laserdisc Edition has an commentary track by King. Too bad, the Anchor Bay DVD doesn't have his commentary. DVD extras are Stephen King Bio and an excellent funny trailer.

The Canadian DVD from Vivendi ("Universal") has an good anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an fine Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The campy trailer is included as well. It's worth seeing for Stephen King fans and Curious Viewers. King had to cut 11 seconds to not get an X-Rating. Great rock score by AC/DC. Joe Dunton Camera Widescreen. (J-D-C Scope). (****/*****).
31 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
Not what I expected, but it's OK.
I've seen better movies based on the work of Stephen king, but in all fairness, I possibly have not seen one he has directed. Maybe I was taking off by how campy the movie is, A true celebration of the B-movie.

The concept was cool. An alien ship flying inside a strange cloud causes the machines on the planet to go haywire and the story focus on a small band of misfits trying to survive.

Heading up this band is Emilio Estevez who at the time was a bigger star than his little brother Charlie Sheen. the movie is perfect for him as it's similar to other B-movies he toke the lead on during his hey day like Repo man and Men at Work, which he did with his brother. This seems to be Emilio's thing and he shines as a bad boy force to do the right thing.

I'm use to being more frighten by a Stephen king story but I really was not. I don't really think it was the campy, just might not have stood the test of time in this factor.

What did stand out was the development of the characters. it's on the level of a good Zombie movie where everyone tries to figure out a way to keep alive while dealing with an unstoppable horror. It also reminded me of Tremors as the people were trapped in a gas station by the machines

Slightly different from what I was expecting from King's work from the 80's, but that might be the point. If you've seen all the other Stephen King movies than watch this one.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Based on Stephen King's "Trucks", its an inept, unconvincing, juvenile thriller.....but as fun as hells' bells!!!
kclipper5 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
There are several reasons why I put it upon myself to award this film the 6 out of 10 average rating. For one, its' total ineptitude has an effect of unintentional laughter, and lets face it, thats entertainment. Another reason is that this, 'Salem's Lot' and 'Creepshow' are a few of the first horror films that I have ever seen. (at the tender age of 10 years old.) So I must admit, Stephen King has been with me for quite a long time. If you have seen every King film, or read every King novel, then you are like one of the heroic characters portrayed within them. You have survived!

Now with all the banter aside, heres the facts. This movie is a perfect example of a complete ludicrous effort by an outstanding author being talked into directing a film. (and rushed into it as well) There are no words to explain how many plot holes are in this thing. The premise is: A rogue comet passes over earth causing machines (except cars???) to turn against mankind. A group of people are stranded in a truck stop by an army of trucks that circle the gas station continuously. The audience is bombarded with some of the most ridiculous sequences imaginable. Lawnmowers drive themselves, electric knives move about by themselves, a rear axle literally spins off of a truck!!!?, people are strangled to death by Walkmans, people are mowed down by giant tractor trailers without seeing them coming!!??, and so on and so forth. Not an ounce of logic or reasoning is attempted during the whole 98 minutes of this film.

Now for the good stuff. King purposely designed this to be "excessive and vulgar", and that he did! Fans of senseless violence will approve, and it seems like its all done for laughs. Emilio Estevez makes for a good hero type. Vulnerable when he should be, a man of action when its needed. Unsavory and annoying characters get their just desserts. (a mobile military firearm extinguishes half the cast in one scene!), and the AC/DC full soundtrack makes it worthwhile. This is definitely a favorite film among adolescents. A true juvenile delinquent's fantasy. So who cares how bad it really is. Besides, Stephen King himself realizes it, since this is the first and last film he will ever direct!! No apologies needed Steve, You're still the man!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
B-horror/sci-fans should love it
garetjax-23 January 2000
Yes, the acting isn't great, the story doesn't flow perfectly, and some of the things the machines do can't be rationalized. But, Hey!, it's a sci-fi flick about machines coming to life! Get over it. For you fans of B-horror and sci-fi, this is a great flick.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
Maximum Stupidity
grandfunkfan2 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I had never heard of this movie before I just saw it on the shelf. I picked it out because it had Stephen King's name on the cover. After viewing, it is very obvious why I'd never heard of it; it is just pure stupidity. If it was meant to be scary, it failed miserably. If it was meant to be funny, it failed miserably. Whatever genre it was meant to be, I assume it was meant to be entertaining, and therefore, it fails miserably. The story could have been somewhat scary, but any scare factor was overridden by poor effects and just plain uninteresting progression. As with any scary movie there is a great deal of blood and stupid decisions by people to set themselves up for catastrophe.

I never expected any real scientific explanation for why or how the machines came to life. No explanation is needed for a scary movie if it is interesting enough to hold the viewer's attention. This movie is not interesting. I don't think even die-hard bloodshed fanatics or Stephen King worshippers could find enough in this movie to hold their attention.
11 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"I ain't never seen a hero with his ass in the air like that."
utgard1419 August 2015
Stephen King wrote and directed this much-maligned film adaptation of his short story "Trucks." The plot has Earth passing through the tail of a comet, which somehow causes all the machines on Earth to come to life with murderous intentions. A group of people find themselves trapped in a truck stop surrounded by semi-trucks and other vehicles. The trucks, led by one with a huge Green Goblin face on the front, wait for the humans to leave the truck stop so they can kill them one by one.

This is one of my favorite guilty pleasures from the '80s. It's a ludicrous popcorn movie with an awesome soundtrack by AC/DC and a cast that includes Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Frankie Faison, Laura Harrington, and Yeardley Smith. Stephen King appears in a funny cameo at the beginning. This movie was HATED at the time and remains hated today, at least by stuffy film snob types. It's a fun movie! Not everything has to be high art. For people who are fans of silly and cheesy movies, this is right up your alley. Auto nuts might also like it for all the different old vehicles on display. Ignore the critics and give it a shot.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I love it!!!
Pete the killer3 June 1999
One of my favorite movies of all time. It's only one of the few movies that I can watch over and over. A meteor passes over the earth causing all the man made machinery to go ballistic. and the story centers upon a group of people stranded in a truck stop in North Carolina. What i loved about the movie is the whole world is messed up, in the basement of the truck stop they have an arson full of weapons. So imagine if that happens right now.. You have so many weapons and explosives and the whole world gone mad. I would have a lot of fun!! Not to mention this was Stephen King's first directing effort, and not a bad attempt. i give it a B
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Best B movie ever
papagerto29 September 2007
man what a great movie Emilio shows hes got just what it takes. i was 12 when this came out i cant think of anything that scared the crap out of ya and entertained as well. now its twenty years later and i have a younger thats just about 12 so we rented it and I'm going to let him tell what he thinks because i cant fill ten lines of excellence like he can. HERE IS HIS SIDE OF THE STORY.Okay so i think for an 80's movie its really good.i mean the blood and how they die i mean it surprised me but i knew it was coming because Stephen King made it and the music sound a little bit like Psyhco i hoped i spelled it right.It was so crazy and i may have screamed a little.
11 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good Cheesy Fun
EVOL66627 September 2003
Ok concept, Lots of fun, Kick ass soundtrack by AC/DC. Lags in some spots but still decent. Definitely not a masterpiece by any stretch, but worth at least 1 viewing. 6/10 for tractor-trailer with a giant goblin head !!
9 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
"We made you!"
Bezenby10 December 2012
This film deserves at least six Oscars. I remember as a kid watching that vending machine get the red mist and lay waste to a baseball team, followed up by a steamroller rolling over a child's head. That's just horror movie gold right there. Sure, the film is dumb as hell, but it's very far from boring, and has the right amount of daftness, gore and action that I need from a film.

Also worth noting is the amazing "We made you!" speech given by that waitress in the film, which is just devastating in it's delivery. If you aren't laughing at that point, then Maximum Overdrive is not for you.

My wife was asking questions like "How does the truck see with it's wing mirrors?" and "How did that guy get a rocket launcher?" and such like, but I said that this is the kind of film where you just let such things go, or else you'll end up feeling like that guy after the steamroller went over his head. The plot is as simple as an ACDC drumbeat - just sit back and left the daftness roll over you.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A great B movie
teejay1724 October 2003
This film is a B-movie, and you have to keep that in mind when you watch it. Also, it is one of the best B-movies. With Stephen King's popularity and financial situation, this film could have had an almost unlimited budget. Also, anyone could have directed this, but he chose to do it--on purpose. What you see is the way he intended the film to look like: cheesy, more funny than actually scary, lots of fake looking blood. It's destined to be a cult classic. It was intended to be that way. The only thing I was disappointed with was that the DVD did not have more special features.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
A waste of 97 minutes of your life!!!
PeterWilliamson11 July 2007
Maximum Overdrive is no doubt, THE WORST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN!! This movie is a not- see.

Maximum Overdrive is a waste of 97 minutes of life. There are millions of movies that are twenty times better than this. It is one of the few movies that I absolutely hate! It has a horrible, stupid storyline. Emilio Esteves would be looking back on it, and crying. The climax is so pathetic that you could cry in pity.

I would not recommend this movie to anyone, the only reason someone would watch this movie, is because they hadn't read any reviews about it, or watched it to get a laugh over idiocy. This is the worst movie in all eternity.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
1/10
This movie is as bad as it gets.
Fargin-Icehole3 February 2001
This is the worst movie I have ever seen. Stick to your day job Stephen King. This is the type of movie that should be studied at film schools as how not to make a movie. The acting, writing, directing, and special effects are so bad that I can't believe this movie was even released.
9 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
7/10
Compelling.
Elswet4 September 2003
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 :.
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Refreshes memories:)
raitism15 February 2005
I'm one of those post_USSR kids who started to enjoy all pleasures of VHS in mid 80's. The first ever movie I saw from another side was Arnie's Predator. This movie comes soon after and is one of the first 10 I ever see. This is why it will always have special place in my heart. And music by one of the best ever bands just makes it stronger.

If I look at the movie from today's perspective. No doubt it misses most of things modern move worm expects to see, but still it is a good fun. If you like to spend some hour+ watching well shot and acted movie with plot which is absolute nonsense, but all together provides absolute fun, this is the right one.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
One of The Most Enjoyable Movies Ever Made
reverendtom21 April 2004
This movie, without a doubt, is a ten out of ten! That is, if you like B movies and the idea of machines coming alive to reap destruction upon the human race. And Emilio Estevez, and a soundtrack by AC/DC!!! There are so many good sequences, from the introduction of Emilio: "I got eggs on!" To the Bible salesman getting run over (runs into non moving truck, King shakes camera to make it look like the truck hit him.) The cast of characters is awesome, and just the way that the action unfolds in the first half of the film is amazing. Stephen King: PLEASE DIRECT ANOTHER MOVIE! You are

wonderfully inept!
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews