Maximum Overdrive (1986)

You know how you sometimes hear, “oh that movie is crazy, it’s hard to believe it was even made” and you’re sure whatever movie being discussed just can’t be *that* crazy? Well this is the movie that’s *just* as crazy as you’ve heard. The madness starts from the very moment the movie starts, with opening credits accompanied by static green text letting you know that there’s a comet passing near Earth that’s affecting machines in a malevolent way, and then we’re off to the races: Lawnmowers tear people to shreds, concrete rollers graphically flatten little leaguers, soda machines maul their customers, etc. That’s before the score by AC/DC rattles your speakers, lead Emilio Estevez shows up like he wandered in from another set entirely, Yeardley Smith shrieks her nonsensical dialogue, and a bunch of other characters wander in and out of the narrative while you’re busy trying to pick your jaw from off the ground. As a director, Stephen King doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing, with incoherent shots followed by poorly framed ones and no sense of suspense or tension, it’s all just a bunch of stuff that happens in front of your disbelieving eyes… and it’s a blast because of it. There’s nothing else quite like this, it’s like a bunch of unrelated elements that don’t mesh well but it’s all just so fascinating that you can’t take your eyes off it. There are few movies that feel like what a cocaine binge looks like it would feel, but this is one of them and for that reason alone you should watch it immediately.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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