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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Maximum Overdrive

Emilio Estevez …  Bill Robinson
Pat Hingle …  Hendershot
Laura Harrington …  Brett
Yeardley Smith …  Connie
John Short …  Curtis
Ellen McElduff …  Wanda June
J.C. Quinn …  Duncan Keller
Christopher Murney …  Camp Loman
Holter Graham …  Deke Keller
Frankie Faison …  Handy
Pat Miller …  Joe
Jack Canon …  Max
Barry Bell …  Steve Gayton
John Brasington …  Frank
J. Don Ferguson …  Andy

97 mins * 1986 * De Laurentiis Entertainment Group * Rated R for violence a gratuitous use of the F*bomb and other language.

Synopsis from IMDb: When the tail of rogue comet Rhea-M passes through Earth’s atmosphere, humanity’s worst nightmares come to life as machines gradually develop minds of their own, turning on their creators in bloody rebellion. At the Dixie Boy truck stop just outside Wilmington, North Carolina, both workers and patrons alike are coming to grips with the horror as a series of increasingly bizarre accidents occur, some injurious, some near-fatal, and some fatal. The terror finally comes to a head when the parked trucks – led by one for a toy company which sports a demonically-smiling goblin face – each start-up on their own, circling the truck stop and preventing anyone from getting in or out. Trapped by the trucks and an emotionless manager (Pat Hingle), a young ex-con (Emilio Estevez) takes it upon himself to lead the rescue of anyone in the immediate vicinity whose life is in danger, and to ultimately escape the truck stop and head to safety. Unfortunately, things become more complicated when a machine-gun-mounted mobile platform orders each of the humans to pump gasoline for the trucks. Pitted against an army of machines demonized by an unknown phenomenon, the people trapped in the Dixie Boy truck stop must use stealth and a concealed arsenal to escape. In the meantime, they realize that there is more to the tail of Rhea-M than they initially thought.

VS: 1.4 pointed ears.
The short story “Trucks” written by Stephen King is the inspiration for this movie.  According to numerous sources Stephen King was dissatisfied with other adaptations of his novels and short stories.  He decided that he was going to this adaptation “right” and therefore do it himself.  I’ve read the short story and I actually prefer the short story over the movie.  This is not to say this is a bad adaptation.  King faithfully adapts his short story (within budgetary allowances).  That is the problem with this flick.  King filmed every scene in the story, scenes the could’ve been shortened or eliminated entirely were left in.  King seemed to be unaware of the differences in the two mediums.  While this was a decent (aside from the language which was unnecessary) film, it could’ve been a great film in the hands of an experienced director.

My other problem with this flick was with both the story and film.  How long do these trucks continue to circle the truck stop before the humans are forced to start pumping gas?

P.I.T. #2 – 1.5 pointed ears
This was a decent flick.  However, what was the criteria for a machine to come to life?  The newlywed’s car never came to life.  There were plot holes in this movie were enough to distract me momentarily.  However if you can overlook the plot holes you should find this an enjoyable enough movie.

P.I.T. #3 – 1.9 pointed ears
There was plenty of death and destruction.  The machines come to life, what could be cooler?  No kissing, and destruction make this a good movie (editor’s note I keep waiting for him to outgrow this aversion to kissing but at the same time, I’m glad he’s not girl-crazy).  However, I can’t help but wonder why not all the machines came to life.  I also want to know what kind of gas mileage the ‘intelligent’ trucks get.

4.8 pointed ears out of 6
Bloody but not gory.  The biggest problem with this movie was the language.  If repeated use of the F*bomb is offensive to you, leave this one on the shelf.  The plot holes were picked up on by all thee of us without discussion during the movie, meaning I didn’t point it out during the film but the boys picked up on it any way (I’m so proud).  In fact that all three of us picked up on the plot holes have inspired another post on this movie, Errors and goofs we found.

April 21, 2010 - Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , ,

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