You often hear people refer to The Shining, Carrie and Pet Semataryas "Stephen King movies," but in the purest sense, 1986's Maximum Overdrive is the only movie that can hold the title because the King decided to direct this adaptation of his short story "Trucks" himself. As he explains in the trailer (which is on the DVD, or you can catch it on Youtube) "if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. " Hard to say how much of that is hyperbole, but considering what a pop culture phenomenon the man was at the time (and continues to be), the idea of him taking the reins of this adaptation seemed pretty cool. King himself was not pleased with the end result, going so far as to call his tale of machines revolting against their masters a "moron movie," and I'm sure few would argue the point. As a fan of King's work and horror cinema in general, I've come to think of it as a failed experiment, but one that I was glad was undertaken.
An opening scrawl tells us that earth is passing through the tail of a rogue comet and will stay there for about eight days. The effects of the comet are first shown when a electronic bank marquee starts tossing F-bombs, and a bank patron (played by King) is angered when the ATM calls him an asshole. The machines are angry, it would seem, and as we all know payback can be a bitch, as is proven when a drawbridge decides to raise while there are still cars on it. Unlike King's short story, it's not just trucks but all machines that are revolting. In the movie we see items like an electric carving knife, gas pumps and lawnmowers turn on people.