February 15, 2016

Maximum Overdrive

If you've ever thought that drugs or alcohol were the key to your creativity, sit down and watch Maximum Overdrive. Not only are viewers subjected to some major atrocities, people behind the scenes didn't fair much better. A crew member lost an eye and another was almost splattered by a truck all because of the recklessness of the drugged out director.

Yup, that's an electric carving knife.
The plot unfolds something like this: A comet passing by the planet seems to have brought mechanical and electrical items to life. People are now fighting for their lives against the machines they have surrounded themselves with. But mostly, they're fighting semi-trucks...

The prologue: The written out prologue practically tells us the tail of a passing commit is responsible for machines coming to life. It also states that the tail of said commit will take like eight days to pass by, implying that that is how long the mayhem will last.

The epilogue: The written out epilogue tells us that the comet in the prologue was a red herring, it was really aliens the whole time.

Things to watch for: Oh boy, there's so much. There's a very young Yardley Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson) screaming her husband's name relentlessly. Giancarlo Esposito (Gus from Breaking Bad) is also in it for an odd moment. Frankie Fasion shows up (Manhunter, Silence of the Lambs, The Wire). Multiple charters appear out of thin air during the third act. Pumping gas becomes the most grueling job on the planet. A soda machine takes out a little league team. And the "rules" regarding what can be possessed get muddy from the word go: trucks but not cars, hairdryers and electric knives, but not hardwired lighting, sprinklers but not indoor pluming, a machine gun but not a rocket launcher...

The top reason you don't work for coked out directors: At one point during filming, Stephen King wouldn't allow the blades of a stunt lawn mower removed, even though the blades would never be shown on camera. So later, when the lawn mower ran into a block of wood, the blades sent splinters right into the DP's face. He lost an eye, but won a subsequent lawsuit. (Seriously, no matter what they whisper into your brain, drugs do not make you smarter.)

Good thing there's a blade on that thing or we'd never believe it was real!

What we learned: The survivors? They're still survivors.

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