"Maximum Overdrive" isn't all that bad for Steven King's director debut.
All over the world, machines aren't running the way they are supposed to. One truck stop in Connecticut experiences them first-hand, and manages to get them settled in and protected. Bill, (Emilio Estevez) the cook, starts to suspect that maybe the appliances are controlling themselves, which his boss (Pat Hingle) doesn't appreciate. Picking up hitchhiker Brett (Laura Harrington) and newlyweds Connie (Yeardly Smith) and Curtis (John Short), everyone gathers inside. Laura proposes that a comet passing by Earth's rotation is the culprit, and suggests that they weight it out for the duration. Hendershot isn't content to wait it out, and threatens Bill. Now trapped inside the diner, the machines eliminate them one at a time until they finally decide to fight back.
The Good News: People like to rag on this movie for some reason, and I don't know why, as this is a pretty fun movie. It has more action than what is usual in this kind of movie. There are tons of big action set pieces around such a small locale. There were even some big explosions, which don't include the exploding trucks. An entire gas service station goes up in flames as well as an entire dock. With shoot-outs, chases, and building demolitions included in the action, it really builds up to a wall to wall action movie. The trucks even kill people in great ways, running them over in a giant wave of bloodstained carnage. All of the other killings, which aren't as bloody, are just good. The film even has a few good chases thrown in good measure, which is really exhilarating to see a driver-less big rig trying to mow down a pursuing car. It brings back a lot of "Duel" memories watching the chases in here, because of the same scenario: driver-less cars and trucks chasing after hysterical people. With all the great stunts, though, in the movie, the best one is the opening of the movie. It is a great stunt, to see cars fall off of a drawbridge into the icy depths below and for no apparent reason at the time. For some reason, the film simply seems like one big B movie. It's campy, it's bad, and it knows it, but the set-ups provided within are just for the bad movie lovers at heart. It has that certain feel that movies of this particular genre have, where you can tell that it was made pretty cheap, but yet it still comes across as enjoyable.
The Bad News: The cheesiness of the movie may hinder some from really checking it out. Because it has so many head-scratching lines delivered by a mostly misplaced cast, this is a prime target for those who like to think that movies need to be highly cultured types to be respectable. Major plot-holes notwithstanding, many of you will be able to poke so many holes into it that it may provide you with more opportunities to laugh at than the rest of the movie.
The Final Verdict: Yes, it is a cheap, low budget movie with really no rewarding value to society. That, however, is the film's strength, as it mostly serves as a guilty pleasure. As it stands, unfortunately, the AC/DC soundtrack is more known and critically accepted than the movie, so be at your own risk when attempting to watch it.
Review by slayrrr666 from the Internet Movie Database.