Written by: John
Usually these mistakes go unnoticed and eventually forgotten, but not in Hollywood, and not when the mistake is made by one amazing writer.
Case in point for today’s B Movie Spotlight…Stephen King’s Maximum Overdrive.
In the film the planet earth finds itself caught in the tail of the rogue comet (oh yes, another comet) Rhea-M for the next eight days. But the instant these two astral bodies cross paths, strange occurrences begin to pop up. Radios no longer seem to be picking up any signals; traffic lights begin to malfunction and drawbridges rise up without warning. These accidents of course lead to carnage, but are only the beginning.
Suddenly the technology of the world seemingly becomes self aware, functioning on its own, and attacking mankind.
In North Carolina, the patrons and staff of the truck stop known as The Dixie Boy are cut off from the bloodbath of machine versus man so many miles away until the very trucks they service come to life, and keep them all trapped inside. With no rescue coming, and seemingly no hope on the horizon, this band of unfortunate victims must figure out how to survive.
Based off of Stephen King’s short story Trucks, King himself wrote the screenplay and even stepped behind the camera as Director for the only time in his career to helm what would quickly become an unmitigated disaster.
The acting is awful, and for solid proof of this, pop the DVD in and enjoy the scene when a waitress inside the Dixie Boy decides to go outside to lecture the machines on “who made who”. The idea of the film has promise but with no experience as a director King’s vision ends up playing out in the hokiest of fashion.
The only saving grace for the film comes in its decent special effects, some awesome kills and a bitchin’ soundtrack by AC/DC. But aside from those few highlights the picture provides only the highest quality of cheese, and it is no wonder that Stephen King returned exclusively to writing after crafting this stinker.
But in the end I forgive Mister King, if only for the fact that he provided us with an incredible B movie to marvel over and for finally finishing The Dark Tower series. But this was truly his greatest mistake, proving that while he may be the master of our nightmares, he really is only human.