Written by / 10/29/2014 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

CRANKING THROUGH STEPHEN KING'S MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE

year: 1986 rating: ***
WEEK OF THE COMET would be a fitting alternative title for MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, Stephen King’s adaptation of his short story TRUCKS where a slime green meteor shower puts the Earth in an eight-day mechanical bedlam straight from THE TWILIGHT ZONE episode A THING ABOUT MACHINES, only trucks are more lethal than electric razors…

Can't shake the clown
But every form of contraption goes bonkers during a clever twenty minute buildup before an army of killer trucks circle the main location: a small town gas station/diner in the middle of nowhere.

A collection of heroes and zeroes are holed up, much like the tortured residents in THE BIRDS coffee shop, watching the unnatural havoc unfold while the real suspense relies on the main character, paroled dishwasher Bill Robinson played by Emilio Estevez, sporadically venturing outside: sneaking beyond the perimeter or figuring ways to strike back. He puts up with a bullying militaristic boss, romances a hitchhiking ingénue, deals with an annoying Bible salesman, tries saving an intrepid kid and two bickering newlyweds: a MAXIMUM chore for minimum wage.

"Play Me!"
All the while, the hellish Macks keep getting closer to taking out the only safe harbor. And music is almost everything here… and how! 

Stephen King brings his favorite band AC/DC to the front lines: their barging rhythm sounds as if the trucks had their own formidable steel-plated anthem. Songs like WHO MADE WHO and HELL'S BELLS aside, impromptu blues riffs between Angus and Malcolm Young provide the true soundtrack.

With so much driving around, the high octane romp practically deflates in the final stretch, although as director, before the circling trucks become the sole antagonists, King wields a nifty barrage of 70's-style crash 'em up exploitation, providing genuinely creative shots and dark humor to balance the gritty violence.
Laura Harrington and Emilio Estevez reflect in MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE
Emilio Estevez investigates in MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE
The first sign that technology is rebelling...
Personalized to we human beings...
You'd think Stephen King would have enough in his account...
Guess the bank expected more of a box office turnout...
J.C. Quinn admires the scene-stealing Green Goblin truck in MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE
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