The Film: Maximum Overdrive
Stephen King is back in vogue! It seems he’s always been around in some form or other, and though his work has been adapted almost yearly, be it TV or film, said adaptations have recently been met with a shrug and sigh of indifference. Yet as of 2017, King’s work has new life! Two successful film adaptations (It and Gerald’s Game) and one fizzler (The Dark Tower) ain’t half bad! But adaptations, as evident with The Dark Tower, are sometimes inconsistent with the spirit of the source material. This is how it often was in the ’70s & ’80s. Notably with The Shining, wherein Stanley Kubrick altered the story to such a degree that it angered Stephen King. And then came the chance for King to adapt his own short story “Trucks,” he leaped at the chance and brought us the film Maximum Overdrive.
The film stars Emilio Estevez, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, and John Short as the featured characters of a much larger cast of survivors who have holed up in a truck stop diner after having been surrounded by nefarious trucks who seem to have full autonomy! Why the trucks are seemingly sentient is anyone’s guess, though the film goes through great lengths to suggest: MAYBE IT’S ALIENS?!?
As a synopsis,this film is just as bare bones as ever. But there’s a certain kind of mid-80s magic that seems to be a combination of silly ideas and cocaine. It’s no secret that King was indeed a user of the stuff, to such a degree that he doesn’t exactly remember directing the film. While I don’t support substance abuse, there’s no denying that sometimes the end result can be, at very least, interesting.
Join us as we look under the hood of Maximum Overdrive and explore what we like about it, and what we don’t. Buckle up & enjoy!