Stephen King's 1986 directorial debut 'Maximum Overdrive' is still tons of fun

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There are two movies and perhaps books that pass muster, everything else is crap.
Here’s the thing about King, no accents.
Nothing has any flavor, everybody talks like a newscaster.

Everything is only what it takes to sell a lot of units.

Stephen King was so high when he wrote the screenplay that it never even occurred to him that the ending title card explaining how humanity stopped the attack (using a military satellite to shoot down the UFO causing all machines to turn on humanity) made zero sense since both the satellite and the ground station needed to control it would have been compromised just like every other machine on the planet.

ETA: For that matter, why would the rocket launcher work to kill the evil truck? All the electric carving knives had turned against humanity but the anti-tank missiles were still on our side?


No accents? More than half his books are set in small town backwoods Maine and the dialogue shows it.

I agree King’s prose is generally workmanlike and he needs an editor, but he can spin a great yarn regardless, imo.


GLORIOUSLY terrible.

Just watch the first 14 seconds of the opening scene, it’s all you need to know…


I think Maximum Overdrive is as close as we can get to a film being directed by a bag of cocaine. Not someone on a bag of cocaine, an actual bag of cocaine.

I welcome arguments for other films that could literally be directed by a bag of cocaine.


It’s kind of adorable that he thought no one would recognize his writing style when he started using the pen name “Richard Bachman.” He couldn’t even bother finding another state to set most of his stories in.


The only two things I remember about this movie are that trailer and Lisa Simpson’s voice.


This not a good film… It is a lot of fun though.


The thing I remember most is that it had a murderous vending machine that was apparently the inspiration for both a scene from a Futurama episode and the first Transformers movie.


The Lawnmower Man?




It’s actually a continuation of Otto’s story from Repo Man. He got in the alien car with Miller, zoomed around for a while, and then became convinced that aliens were going to attack us. Sure enough (at least in his drug-addled head), Otto found a small diner that was being attacked by trucks, just two years later.

All the aliens were trying to do was find that Chevy Malibu.


What, like, in human history? Or you mean Stephen King books/movies in particular?

Definitely. My favorite bit is the beginning with the ATM machine – and the AC/DC soundtrack of course. What’s bizarre is that the movie is ridiculous and terrible and fun, but also feels like it may never end. It just goes on and on and on and feels like a four hour long epic somehow.

Especially the Dark Tower books. Brilliant stuff there.

Personally, my favorite Stephen King movie is Stranger Things.


I meant King, but I like your version better.
It’s more definitive.
Yep, your version is much better trolling all around.


“If you loved most of Stephen King…”


I wasn’t trolling.

I was genuinely unsure if you meant there were only two books & movies that passed muster, and was curious which those were.

But er, feel free to… troll?


I enjoy bad movies to the point of alienating my closest and dearest family members.

A couple of years ago when my youngest daughter was 16, we watched this when looking for “bad” movies on one of the streaming video services, probably Netflix.

We made it through to the end credits, and she didn’t disown me, but I suspect it was a close thing.

^this: “How much time is left?” “It looks like 52 minutes.” “What?! We’ve been watching it all day!”


I’d say Running Man is his best bad movie by miles. Maximum Overdrive i think is just flat out bad.


You misunderstand me sir or madam. I wasn’t calling you a troll.
I was admiring your advise to me as a troll in future endeavor.

Neither am I a troll. Though I knew that as no fan of the King, that If
I stated as much it may irk some who are.