‘This machine just called me an asshole!’
As I have said before, Stephen King was the master of Horror in the 80’s. So, of course, he would eventually write and direct his one of his own films. It has everything, a mysterious comet, killer cars, even King himself in a cameo! The machines are revolting and they are also mad as hell.
Todays Key Movie:
A comet passes over the earth (haven’t we seen this before…) and for the next ‘eight days, five hours, twenty-nine minutes, and twenty-three seconds‘ all machines have come alive and they are not too happy with humanity. As a group of people hide out in a gas station in the middle of nowhere, a gang of cars and trucks lead by an Big-Rig Truck with a Green Goblin face wage war on the lone group of survivors. The survivors are lead by ex-con Bill Robinson (played by Emilio Estevez) who works at the gas station the vehicles are terrorizing. Of course there is a kid and a love interest plus we also get a cool bit from actor Yeardley Smith who would go on to voice Lisa Simpson in The Simpsons tv series!
Why this movie?
I know I didn’t see this in theaters but I do vividly remember seeing in at home on VHS. The VHS box looked like the ultimate action movie of Man vs Machine with Emilio Estevez ready with his gun facing off against the giant green face of the Green Goblin. Plus it didn’t hurt that AC/DC did the soundtrack so not only was this a crazy apocalyptic horror but also a rock and roll action fest! How could a kid of the 80’s not like it!
This film would be one that stuck with me forever and go down as one of my all time favorite B-movie Horror films of the 80’s. The idea of machines being something to fear has existed since the dawn of the industrial revolution. This film put that fear to screen and shows a world not ravaged by zombies of a virus but by the very devices we have become dependant on.
The idea of a robot revolution has been visited time and again in the form of The Terminator, Metropolis, Blade Runner and more but no other employed the shear terror that would be associated with the advent of such a revolution. While it is not without its faults, Maximum Overdrive gives us a the hometown view of an alien invasion.
How did this translate to real life?
After seeing this film as a kid, I would imagine my escape plan if and when such an apocalypse were to occur. Needless to say all of my plans involved finding a secluded area and using my (minimal at the time) boy scout skills to survive off of the land. If such a thing would have occured I doubt I would have lived very long but I have to say I had my bike and my bug out bag ready just in case! I would also have such machinations shout the communists attack thanks to a little movie called Red Dawn but that’s another story for a later review.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
It depends on what you consider a good film. Do I love this film, absolutely, should it win any major awards, no, not really. It was and is a dumb fun film that I love no matter how many times I’ve seen it.
Emilio Estevez does his best with the rough script and the awkward moments but overall, it is a blast to watch. If you love cheesy horror, b-movies, apocalyptic stories or just Stephen King himself, this is absolutely the film for you. It’s campy, unrealistic and insane in every way but I wouldn’t have it any other way, this is my 80’s and it is fantastic.
OK, where do I get this movie?
So apparently it is out of print and the only way to find a copy is via ebay or just happen across one. You can get it digitally via VUDU here for about $10. In all honestly, it’s a good deal seeing that a physical copy will run you $20+ if you can find one.
Of course, the Trailer:
Thanks for reading, Come back every Thursday for a new Key Movie In My Life!
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Late to the Game 5/3/2018