As a kid Maximum Overdrive was one of my holy grail movies. It just dripped with menace and a sweaty inappropriate quality I couldn’t get enough of. The greasy, hot vibe of The Dixie Boy. The down and out characters. The way it hits the ground running. The way it kills children. The AC/DC soundtrack. The wonderfully lazy comet explanation. The mean-spiritedness of it all. It made me feel… grown up? In hindsight this is a funny thing to take away from such a gleefully immature movie. I don’t think I ever saw the film in the theaters during its initial release, but between multiple rentals of this and The Lost Boys I probably kept the lights on at my local Blockbuster.
I was unaware at the time that Stephen King had directed it, or at least I didn’t lend much attention to its significance. I knew it was based on one of his short stories (“Trucks”) and I had read several of them, but didn’t quite have the stamina at that point to make it through one of his novels. I had no idea how any of this stuff worked back then, and I certainly had no idea that King was upset with how some of the adaptions of his work had turned out (even including Kubrick’s masterpiece take on The Shining).
Even as an adult, I had no idea that this trailer existed until I saw it at a screening (can’t remember the movie – may have been this one) at the New Beverly here in Los Angeles a few years back. But it’s glorious. King has stated that during the making of Maximum Overdrive he was “coked out of my mind.” That more than comes across here.